UC Irvine Compliance with HEOA P2P Provisions

University of California Irvine Plan for Combating Illegal File Sharing in Compliance with the P2P Provisions of the HEOA July 1, 2010 The HEOA P2P provisions* require universities to develop and implement “written plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution’s network without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network.” This document is UC Irvine’s plan to satisfy this HEOA requirement. Contents Appendix A: Required Information for Community Education and Student Disclosure
  • Appropriate vs. Inappropriate Use of Copyrighted Material
  • Institutional Policies and Sanctions Related to Copyright Infringement
  • Student Disciplinary Procedures
  • Civil/Criminal Liabilities
  • Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright
* Information about the HEOA P2P (“peer to peer”) provisions may be found at the  EDUCAUSE HEOA Resource page. I. Introduction The University of California is committed to upholding U.S. copyright law. As an Online Service Provider under the meaning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the University does not monitor its networks for the purpose of discovering illegal activity. However, the University pursues a set of ongoing initiatives to ensure that copyright, particularly as it applies to digital assets, is respected within the University community. The initiatives at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) campus relevant to the HEOA are described as follows in this implementation plan. II. Technology-Based Deterrents Four categories of “technology-based deterrents” have been identified, any of which are equally valid in meeting the need to use one or more of these deterrents. Three are in use at UCI:
  • Bandwidth shaping
  • Traffic monitoring to identify the largest bandwidth users
  • A vigorous program of accepting and responding to DMCA notices
University of California campuses have developed various network management strategies to balance the many and competing demands placed on network resources. Under provisions of the DMCA and as a matter of University policy, the University does not routinely search for illegal activity that may occur over its networks. Bandwidth Shaping UCI uses bandwidth-shaping technologies on ResNet, the network serving Student Housing, to enable network administrators to ensure network access is available for purposes aligned with the University’s mission. (Other uses of the network, unless illegal or against policy, are permitted: students who live in the residence halls also have a landlord/tenant relationship with the University, and the network connection provided by the campus is akin to a commercial broadband connection available to students who live off-campus.) Such capacity management tends to have a deterrent effect on illegal file sharing when large files are involved. Traffic Monitoring UCI, as have other campuses, has developed various network management strategies to balance the many and competing demands placed on network resources. Under provisions of the DMCA and as a matter of University policy, the University does not routinely search for illegal activity that may occur over its networks. However, network administrators pay attention to network traffic as one method to manage the resource and ensure that bandwidth is available for academic, research and administrative uses in alignment with the University’s mission. In the process, administrators identify anomalies in traffic.  Some anomalies, such as sudden spikes in usage, are not uncommonly the result of a compromised system that has had file sharing software installed on it. Regardless of reason, administrators follow up on such anomalies DMCA Notice Response UCI implements an active program for responding to copyright infringement notices. The campus follows the UC guidelines for complying with the DMCA.  It meets the DMCA’s general eligibility requirements for liability shelter as a qualified provider of online services, including the identification of a Designated Agent on file with the U.S. Copyright Office. Each allegation of copyright infringement is individually investigated.  Those involving students are handled by the Office of Student Conduct within the Office of the Dean of Students, while those involving faculty and staff are referred to the appropriate administrative official in keeping with the procedures for allegations of violations of University policy.  Network access is routinely suspended as part of the investigation both because of the seriousness of such allegations and as a network security measure to address situations where the allegation is an indication of a computer system or network account having been compromised. These procedures ensure that any offending material is expeditiously removed from the network and the individual involved is appropriately counseled and/or sanctioned, as per the specifics of the case. They also provide “teachable moments” for addressing ignorance or disregard of legal and ethical aspects of the situation. III. Community Education and Annual Disclosure to Students UCI conducts an ongoing educational campaign to inform the campus community – especially students – about UCI’s commitment to upholding copyright law, deterring copyright infringement and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. These educational activities, provided cooperatively by the Office of Student Conduct within the Office of Dean of Students with the Office of Information Technology, include the following:
  1. Orientation. Illegal file sharing is addressed during new and transfer student orientation sessions.
  1. Informational web sites:  To ensure the widest dissemination of information, a number of interlinked web sites inform the campus community in various contexts about the University’s policies and position in this area, and about compliance with copyright law including options for legal digital entertainment acquisition: http://www.oit.uci.edu/org/copyright/http://eee.uci.edu/help/copyright/, http://www.dos.uci.edu/conduct/downloadtips/, http://www.vcsa.uci.edu/music/, and others linked from these sites. 
  1. Informational workshops. Workshops covering file sharing and alternatives are offered by the Dean of Students Office. Students who are subjects of DMCA infringement claims must meet individually with the Student Conduct Office or participate in one of these workshops which are  open to all, including other students who are simply interested to attend.
  1. Promotional activities. Flyers and table tent cards in the Residence Halls, move-in packet inserts, presentations to student groups, presence at information fairs, advertisements in campus media typically occur at the beginning of each academic year and on an ad hoc basis at other times.
  1.  Annual memo A letter jointly signed by the Dean of Students and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Information Technology is emailed to all students.
  1. Policy.
    • Students who  infringe on copyright  are subject to sanctions under the UCI Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students Section 102.05 and Appendix K: “Abuses include, but are not limited to … Violating the terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws … Utilizing campus network (wired or wireless) resources to implement peer-to-peer file transfers or other forms of file transfer or web enabled site of copyrighted material without the explicit written permission of the copyright holder and UCI network administrators.”
    • The  UC Electronic Communications Policy states that “The contents of all electronic communications shall conform to laws and University policies regarding protection of intellectual property, including laws and policies regarding copyright, patents, and trademarks” and provides for sanctions: “In compliance with the Digital Millennium  Copyright Act, the university reserves the right to suspend or terminate access to university electronic communications systems and services by any user who repeatedly violates copyright law.”
In addition to whatever information is appropriate to convey through each of these educational activities, they also speak explicitly to one or more of the following issues as applicable:
  • Respect for intellectual property rights and commitment to the standards embodied in “UC Irvine Values.”
  • Appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material
  • Institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement
  • Student disciplinary procedures
  • Civil/criminal liabilities
  • Penalties for violation of federal copyright law
  • Risks of malware associated with illegal file sharing
IV. Legal Alternatives to Illegal Filesharing The informational web sites listed above provide the campus community with information about legal options for obtaining electronic content, including movies and music.  Among other resources, they refer the campus community to the list of legal alternatives maintained by EDUCAUSE, linking to the list from its informational Web site about copyright and illegal file sharing. V. Procedures for Handling Allegations of Copyright Infringement As described in Section II above under the heading “DMCA Notice Response,” UCI implements an active program for responding to copyright infringement notices. The same investigatory, remediation, and disciplinary procedures that are employed in handling formal allegations of copyright infringement under the DMCA are also used with any credible, specific allegation of copyright infringement as an integral part of  the enforcement of University policy, sound information and network security practice, and respect for intellectual property. VI. Periodic Review of Plan and Assessment Criteria
  • Procedures
In addition to the continuing assessment and improvement of the various components of its ongoing programs in this area as outlined above, beginning September 2010, UCI will conduct a formal review of its plan for combating copyright infringement. The review will occur on a biennial basis. No single criterion is used to determine whether or not the plan is effective, rather a range of factors are considered in the context of the changing, external environment. The assessment may include the considerations indicated below.
  • Assessment Criteria
  • Survey of user community – are the education materials effective?  What are the prevailing attitudes toward copyright and obligations under copyright law?
  • Periodic review and update of educational materials (Web, print, etc.) for clarity, organization, pertinence, effectiveness, and availability.
  • Review of recidivism—whether there are few or many repeat offenders (in comparable circumstances), what the causes may be.
  • Review of other institutions’ practices to determine if there are different approaches worth exploring and that are appropriate to the campus’s environment and policies.
  • Review of security measures, rates of compromised systems, and other factors indicative of outside entities using university equipment to infringe copyright, and the effectiveness of campus information-security education
  • Review of the number of distinct, credible allegations of copyright infringement over time.
  • Review of the technological, social, and legal trends that may alter the number of complaints received.
Appendix A Required Information for Community Education and Student Disclosure A. Appropriate vs. Inappropriate Use of Copyrighted Material A systemwide Web site provides information about copyright, including appropriate vs. inappropriate uses of copyrighted material. The information includes FAQs about copyright ownership and using copyrighted material, and links to pertinent University of California policies. Copyright law allows for the “fair use” of copyrighted materials for purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a complex subject; some resources for more information follow: B. Institutional Policies and Sanctions Related to Copyright Infringement Information about University policies addressing copyright infringement is available on the Web. The UC Electronic Communications Policy (ECP) states that “The contents of all electronic communications shall conform to laws and University policies regarding protection of intellectual property, including laws and policies regarding copyright, patents, and trademarks” (section III.D.10. Intellectual Property). The ECP also provides for sanctions against network users who violate copyright law and UC policy: “In compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the university reserves the right to suspend or terminate access to university electronic communications systems and services by any user who repeatedly violates copyright law” (ECP Section III Allowable Use, E). UCI has local policies as well that govern copyright infringement: C. Student Disciplinary Procedures UCI handles claims of online infringement under the DMCA through established processes. Once notified of possible copyright infringement, most students do not repeat the activity, and most cases do not result in a University judicial process. When it is necessary to initiate a judicial review, however, UCI utilizes established local procedures for adjudicating violations of University policy, including copyright violations. Appropriate sanctions are imposed according to University guidelines. The type of sanction imposed depends on the facts of the case and may range from probation to loss of privileges, to suspension, and, potentially, to dismissal from the University. UCI may use sanctions as a means to further educate students about responsibilities. For example, the student may be required to take an ethics course, carry out community service, or develop copyright education materials for distribution. It is important to note that the UC Electronic Communications Policy provides for sanctions. It states that “In compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the university reserves the right to suspend or terminate access to university electronic communications systems and services by any user who repeatedly violates copyright law.” (ECP Section III Allowable Use, E) Student infringers also are subject to sanctions under the UC Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline, which states that illegal file-sharing of copyrighted materials is a violation that may be grounds for discipline. “Chancellors may impose discipline for the commission or attempted commission…of the following types of violations….” (section 102) “Abuses include (but are not limited to) unauthorized entry, use, transfer, or tampering with the communications of others; interference with the work of others and with the operations of computer and electronic communications facilities, systems, and services; or copyright infringement (for example, the illegal file-sharing of copyrighted materials). (section 102.5) D. Civil/Criminal Liabilities Although using peer-to-peer file-sharing (P2P) technology is not in itself illegal, what you share and how you share it may be. When you upload or distribute copies you make of copyrighted works, or when you download or acquire unlicensed copies of copyrighted works, you may be infringing someone else’s rights. If you are infringing—even unwittingly—you can be subject to civil damages of between $750 and $150,000 per infringement and even criminal jail time. Use technology wisely. You are responsible for the choices you make, including the choice to use P2P technology. When you use University resources you must not only obey the law, you must comply with all UC policies and UCI policies. E. Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Law Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at http://www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ’s at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.