TCNJ and the Higher Education Opportunity Act
On October 29, 2009, the Department of Education issued final regulations related to Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks. The three primary requirements are:
1. An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law
The best way you can help TCNJ comply with these final regulations and assist us in combatting copyright abuse on campus is to become informed about file-sharing. Become familiar with the College’s Computing Access Agreement found at http://it.tcnj.edu/procedures/computer-access-agreement/
Another great source for information relating to p2p and file sharing is EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. The Educause series of “7 Things you should know about….” includes a comprehensive overview of P2P. To find out more about the 7 things you should know about P2P, read http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EST0901.pdf
Unauthorized distribution of copyright material may result in civil and criminal penalties. More information about copyright violations and associated fines can be found at in Chapter 5 – Copyright Law of the United States of America. Refer to section 506 – Criminal Offenses for penalties. In addition to these penalties, students may also be cut off from federal student aid funds.
2. Develop a plan to effectively combat copyright abuse on the campus network using one or more technology based deterrents.
TCNJ has a written plan in place to effectively combat copyright abuse on our network. Part of that plan includes:
Identifiable peer to peer file sharing traffic is presently throttled with our traffic shaping device to a very small percentage of our total bandwidth. Throttling to zero would cause some of the peer to peer applications to choose alternative ports for their transfers and make identification harder. This discourages the use of these applications because the severely limited bandwidth renders them unusable.
3. Offer legal alternatives to illegal downloading.
A comprehensive list of legal downloading alternatives may be found at Educause – Legal Downloading sites
Frequently Asked Questions – P2P and Illegal File Sharing
Another source of information can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions below:
Q: Is P2P ever legal?
A: Yes, if you write an article that you want to send to share with your friend. If you use it to share music, images, movies or anything else that you have purchased or downloaded from someone else it is illegal. Illegal file sharing can occur between the campus network and the public internet, or within a local area network (LAN).
Q: Is it illegal to forward an email that includes copyrighted material to someone else?
Q: Is it illegal to make an MP3 copy of a song from a CD you bought?
Q: Is it illegal to transfer copyrighted material using instant messenger?
Q: What is the DMCA?
A: Digital Millennium Copyright Act – An act that updates U.S. copyright laws for current digital technologies
Q: What is a DMCA violation notice?
A: A notification The College receives indicating a violation of the act has been discovered, which requests TCNJ to investigate and respond.
Q: What are the potential institutional consequences of illegal P2P?
A: Illegal file sharing is considered a violation of the Computing Access Agreement. If discovered your network access will be restricted and you will be subjected to the TCNJ judiciary procedures.
Q: Besides civil and criminal penalties, what are some of the dangers of illegal P2P?
A: There are several dangers of participating in illegal file sharing including:
Propagation of viruses and worms – simply being connected to a P2P network can allow worms to spread without any action on your part.
Exposure of private information to strangers, which can lead to identity theft
Vulnerability to exposure to unwanted pornographic images
Q: How can I find out more about illegal file sharing?
A: Visit some of the following links:
TCNJ Computing Access Agreement
Recording Industry Association of America
Motion Picture Association of America
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Educause information on the DMCA