Information Technology ServicesThe Division of Information Technology Services is Schreiner University’s primary technology provider, supporting the main campus and remote sites, academic and administrative systems, core applications and telecommunications, network, and technology infrastructure for the Schreiner University community.

Information Technology Services is an integral part of Schreiner University, committed to supporting the university’s mission through innovative uses of technology and service excellence.

The division of Information Technology Services includes three departments that serve the Schreiner University’s Campus Community. Logan Library, Schreiner Technology, and the Center of Print and Digital Production.

Schreiner Technology supports, administers, and maintains the University’s digital ecosystem including all on-premise hardware and devices.

GET HELP

Apogee “MyResnet” Campus WIFI Support 877-478-8858 (normal business hours) or 855-241-1587 (after hours)

Canvas Support: Student/Faculty Support (1-833-564-3147), Support is also available within every course page by clicking on Help.

Center of Print and Digital Production

Password Reset: Schreiner One self-service password reset or call 830-792-7344

Schreiner Technology Help Desk: 830-792-7344 or helpdesk@schreiner.edu


Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

In 2008 the Higher Education Opportunity Act was signed into law. Several of the Act’s provisions are intended to reduce unauthorized duplication of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks.  This Act includes provisions requiring educational institutions to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of their networks.  These provisions require that

upon request, the institution supply prospective and current students with the following information (annual disclosure):

A) a statement that explicitly informs its students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;
B) a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and
C) a description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system.

the institution develop and implemented written plans to effectively combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution’s network without unduly interfering with educational and research use of the network. Plans must include the following four components:

A) the use of one or more technology-based deterrents;
B) mechanisms for educating and informing its community about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material
C) procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including disciplinary procedures; and
D) procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of the institution’s network using relevant assessment criteria.

to the extent possible, the institution must offer legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material. The institution must also periodically review the legal alternatives and make the results of such review available to students through a web site or other means

the institution make readily available upon request to enrolled and prospective students

A) Institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including—
B) A statement that explicitly informs its students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;
C) A summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and
D) A description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system

In compliance with that legislation and the Department of Education’s regulations in 34 C.F.R. Part 668 (Subpart D) Schreiner University students, faculty and staff are hereby notified of this Act.

COMPLIANCE

Schreiner University’s compliance with the above requirements

In 2008 the Higher Education Opportunity Act was signed into law. Several of the Act’s provisions are intended to reduce unauthorized duplication of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks. In compliance with that legislation and the Department of Education’s regulations in 34 C.F.R. Part 668 (Subpart D) you are hereby notified of this Act and are STRONGLY ADVISED to read this notice thoroughly. Paper copies of this notice and the information referenced in it are available upon request and are included in all new student and parent information packets.

Schreiner University provides a high-speed network and other information technology resources to help you accomplish your educational and instructional goals.  When you access our network or when you sign on using your Schreiner ID/user name and password, you agree to comply with the University’s Responsible Computing Policy and with the Student Code of Conduct.  Both policies include a section on copyright compliance and are included in the Student Handbook and are posted on University’s website. (schreiner.edu/campus-life/student-conduct)

These policies prohibit the use of University resources for unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted materials, including music and video files.  The University considers unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted content (such as but not limited to music, videos, text-based documents) to be an inappropriate use of its network resources.  Moreover, such activity is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and exposes you to serious civil and criminal penalties.

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.

The DMCA is a federal law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, and services intended to circumvent copyright protections. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can include fines of up to $250,000 and incarceration for up to five years.  In civil court, damages of up to $150,000 are possible for EACH movie or song that has been illegally acquired or shared. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at copyright.gov.  The FAQ’s are particularly informative: copyright.gov/help/faq.

In December 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that it was abandoning its longstanding practice of filing law suits against students for infringing copyrights via illegal file sharing.  The RIAA had reportedly filed over 17,500 lawsuits through early 2008. Despite the moratorium on law suits, the RIAA’s aggressive enforcement campaign continues on other fronts and the University urges all students to refrain from copyright infringing behavior.

Schreiner University does not routinely monitor the content of network transmissions except as necessary to identify and repel network attacks, viruses, worms, and other malware.  However, many P2P networks are used almost exclusively for illegal file sharing and are also favorite channels for spreading malware due to their popularity and pervasiveness. To mitigate these threats, the University employs various methods to block illegitimate P2P network traffic at the perimeter of its network.  For example, The University employs traffic/packet shaping which allows the campus to ensure smooth flow of content to and from the Internet with the ability to prioritize traffic based on need or policy. Traffic-shaping technology also allows for dynamic partitioning. Dynamic partitioning gives the network administrator the ability to determine large bandwidth users and abusers.  Note, however, that these methods are not 100% effective; all P2P traffic is not blocked at all times. Students should assume that P2P file sharing activity on the campus network is visible to the RIAA and other content owners that monitor the Internet for copyright infringement activity.

Copyright Enforcement Activities

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other content owners are aggressively trying to stop unauthorized downloading, copying, and sharing of music and video by college students. They monitor the Internet continually to identify Internet Protocol (IP) addresses involved in these activities, but they require assistance from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to communicate with an alleged infringer.  They generally seek the ISP’s help in communicating DMCA takedown notices, preservation requests, pre-litigation settlement letters, and subpoenas (in connection with law suits).  These four communications operate independently and do not necessarily progress from one to another. For example, nothing prevents the initial communication from being a subpoena that seeks the identity of a user connected at a specific IP address at a specific day and time.

DMCA Takedown Notices

When a content owner determines that an IP address has been used to violate its copyright, it sends a Takedown Notice to the applicable Internet Service Provider (ISP) describing the IP address, date, time, and material involved in the alleged infringement. The notice requests that the ISP remove or disable access to the listed material under the terms of the DMCA.

When Schreiner University receives such a Takedown Notice, it reviews its network activity records to independently validate the legitimacy of the complaint.  If the complaint appears valid, the University suspends the offending computer’s network access until the infringing material is removed.  First offenders regain network access once proof of removal is provided and an acknowledgement is signed.  Repeat offenders are referred to the Dean of Students for additional sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the University.

The University also notifies the sender of the Notice that a) appropriate removal actions have been taken, or b) the allegation could not be validated through network activity records. The University does not provide any user identifying information to the sender of the Notice unless the Notice is accompanied or followed by a lawfully issued subpoena. Likewise, the University does not forward a copy of the Takedown Notice itself to the alleged infringer.

Preservation Requests

Preservation Requests are used to notify the ISP that a subpoena may be served on it seeking identifying information about a network user who has allegedly infringed a content owner’s copyrighted material. Like the Takedown Notice, the Preservation Request identifies an alleged infringer’s IP address at the time of the alleged infringement. The Preservation Request asks the ISP to preserve the identifying information for the user connected via that IP address at that time.

Schreiner University first determines if the information provided in the Request may be sufficient to implicate a specific user. If not, the University notifies the requesting party of its inability to comply. If a specific user is implicated, the University preserves the information as requested and forwards the Request to that user via email. The cover email explains the nature of the Request, encourages the user to preserve evidence relating to the claims in the Request, and informs them that they may wish to obtain legal advice before taking any other action. Once again, Schreiner University will not release a user’s identifying information in response to a Preservation Request unless and until the Request is accompanied or followed by a lawfully issued subpoena.

Pre-Litigation Settlement Letters

Prior to abandoning the “sue the customer” strategy, the RIAA’s outside legal counsel sent what were known as “Pre-Litigation Settlement Letters” to many universities and other ISP’s.  The Settlement Letter was generally sent to the ISP with a request that it be forwarded to the user of a particular IP address. The Letter alleged that the user of that particular IP address had violated copyright laws and presented an opportunity to settle the claim as early as possible at a “significantly reduced amount” compared to the judgment that a court might impose at the end of a lawsuit.  The Letter also informed the user to preserve evidence relating to the claims and instructed the user to retain, and not delete, any peer-to-peer programs.

Should the RIAA or another copyright owner resurrect lawsuits and settlement letters, Schreiner University’s practice is, and has always been, to forward a Settlement Letter along with an explanation to the alleged infringer if the University’s network activity logs can establish the identity of the person at the specified IP address with a reasonable degree of certainty. Because network log data can be unavailable or inconclusive, the University cannot guarantee that all Settlement Letters will be forwarded to alleged infringers. Individuals should not expect to receive such a letter prior to being sued for copyright infringement.  Based on the wording in recent Settlement Letters, recipients must settle within twenty (20) days of the date of the Settlement Letter or face a lawsuit.  Recipients are encouraged to seek legal counsel before taking any action.

Lawsuits and Subpoenas

In cases where no settlement is reached, the RIAA and member companies had been filing lawsuits in Federal District Courts. The suits alleged that unnamed students have infringed copyrights by downloading certain information and, for some, distributing the information to others over the Internet.  After filing these “John Doe” lawsuits identifying only IP addresses, the companies served subpoenas on universities seeking the identity of the users associated with those IP addresses.

If and when Schreiner University receives such a subpoena, the University first ensures that the subpoena is valid and lawful. If so, and if the information sought in the subpoenas exists, the University is legally required to provide the desired information. While complying with the subpoena, the University notifies the individuals being identified in the subpoena response. The University has heard but cannot confirm that companies first used the subpoenaed information to try to settle the matter with the identified individuals, and if a settlement was not reached, the companies would amend the lawsuits to name the individual students and proceed in court.

Obtaining Legal Advice

Information provided in this notice does NOT constitute legal advice. It is intended for information and educational purposes only. Every situation is unique and you are encouraged to consult an attorney if you need specific legal advice. Links to legal web sites, such as those provided below, do not constitute an endorsement of any legal services. Neither the downloading of materials nor any communication with respect to this Notice constitutes the formation of an attorney-client relationship. In reading and acting upon this Notice, you acknowledge that nothing in the Notice is intended to or constitutes the practice of law or the giving of legal advice.

Finding an attorney to explain your rights and options 

Subpoena Defense Resources
eff.org/issues/file-sharing/subpoena-defense

State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service
1-800-252-9690
texasbar.com

Other questions about this message should be directed to:

Information Technology Help Desk, 830-792-7344 (helpdesk@schreiner.edu)

Portions of this document are based on policy and procedure statements by Texas State University and are used with permission.

In 2008 the Higher Education Opportunity Act was signed into law. Several of the Act’s provisions are intended to reduce unauthorized duplication of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks. In compliance with that legislation and the Department of Education’s regulations in 34 C.F.R. Part 668 (Subpart D) you are hereby notified of this Act and are STRONGLY ADVISED to read this notice thoroughly. Paper copies of this notice and the information referenced in it are available upon request and are included in all new student and parent information packets.

Schreiner University provides a high-speed network and other information technology resources to help you accomplish your educational and instructional goals.  When you access our network or when you sign on using your Schreiner ID/user name and password, you agree to comply with the University’s Responsible Computing Policy and with the Student Code of Conduct.  Both policies include a section on copyright compliance and are included in the Student Handbook and are posted on University’s website. (schreiner.edu/campus-life/student-conduct)

These policies prohibit the use of University resources for unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted materials, including music and video files.  The University considers unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted content (such as but not limited to music, videos, text-based documents) to be an inappropriate use of its network resources.  Moreover, such activity is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and exposes you to serious civil and criminal penalties.

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.

The DMCA is a federal law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, and services intended to circumvent copyright protections. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can include fines of up to $250,000 and incarceration for up to five years.  In civil court, damages of up to $150,000 are possible for EACH movie or song that has been illegally acquired or shared. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at copyright.gov.  The FAQ’s are particularly informative: copyright.gov/help/faq.

In December 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that it was abandoning its longstanding practice of filing law suits against students for infringing copyrights via illegal file sharing.  The RIAA had reportedly filed over 17,500 lawsuits through early 2008. Despite the moratorium on law suits, the RIAA’s aggressive enforcement campaign continues on other fronts and the University urges all students to refrain from copyright infringing behavior.

Schreiner University does not routinely monitor the content of network transmissions except as necessary to identify and repel network attacks, viruses, worms, and other malware.  However, many P2P networks are used almost exclusively for illegal file sharing and are also favorite channels for spreading malware due to their popularity and pervasiveness. To mitigate these threats, the University employs various methods to block illegitimate P2P network traffic at the perimeter of its network.  For example, The University employs traffic/packet shaping which allows the campus to ensure smooth flow of content to and from the Internet with the ability to prioritize traffic based on need or policy. Traffic-shaping technology also allows for dynamic partitioning. Dynamic partitioning gives the network administrator the ability to determine large bandwidth users and abusers.  Note, however, that these methods are not 100% effective; all P2P traffic is not blocked at all times. Students should assume that P2P file sharing activity on the campus network is visible to the RIAA and other content owners that monitor the Internet for copyright infringement activity.

Copyright Enforcement Activities

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other content owners are aggressively trying to stop unauthorized downloading, copying, and sharing of music and video by college students. They monitor the Internet continually to identify Internet Protocol (IP) addresses involved in these activities, but they require assistance from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to communicate with an alleged infringer.  They generally seek the ISP’s help in communicating DMCA takedown notices, preservation requests, pre-litigation settlement letters, and subpoenas (in connection with law suits).  These four communications operate independently and do not necessarily progress from one to another. For example, nothing prevents the initial communication from being a subpoena that seeks the identity of a user connected at a specific IP address at a specific day and time.

DMCA Takedown Notices

When a content owner determines that an IP address has been used to violate its copyright, it sends a Takedown Notice to the applicable Internet Service Provider (ISP) describing the IP address, date, time, and material involved in the alleged infringement. The notice requests that the ISP remove or disable access to the listed material under the terms of the DMCA.

When Schreiner University receives such a Takedown Notice, it reviews its network activity records to independently validate the legitimacy of the complaint.  If the complaint appears valid, the University suspends the offending computer’s network access until the infringing material is removed.  First offenders regain network access once proof of removal is provided and an acknowledgement is signed.  Repeat offenders are referred to the Dean of Students for additional sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the University.

The University also notifies the sender of the Notice that a) appropriate removal actions have been taken, or b) the allegation could not be validated through network activity records. The University does not provide any user identifying information to the sender of the Notice unless the Notice is accompanied or followed by a lawfully issued subpoena. Likewise, the University does not forward a copy of the Takedown Notice itself to the alleged infringer.

Preservation Requests

Preservation Requests are used to notify the ISP that a subpoena may be served on it seeking identifying information about a network user who has allegedly infringed a content owner’s copyrighted material. Like the Takedown Notice, the Preservation Request identifies an alleged infringer’s IP address at the time of the alleged infringement. The Preservation Request asks the ISP to preserve the identifying information for the user connected via that IP address at that time.

Schreiner University first determines if the information provided in the Request may be sufficient to implicate a specific user. If not, the University notifies the requesting party of its inability to comply. If a specific user is implicated, the University preserves the information as requested and forwards the Request to that user via email. The cover email explains the nature of the Request, encourages the user to preserve evidence relating to the claims in the Request, and informs them that they may wish to obtain legal advice before taking any other action. Once again, Schreiner University will not release a user’s identifying information in response to a Preservation Request unless and until the Request is accompanied or followed by a lawfully issued subpoena.

Pre-Litigation Settlement Letters

Prior to abandoning the “sue the customer” strategy, the RIAA’s outside legal counsel sent what were known as “Pre-Litigation Settlement Letters” to many universities and other ISP’s.  The Settlement Letter was generally sent to the ISP with a request that it be forwarded to the user of a particular IP address. The Letter alleged that the user of that particular IP address had violated copyright laws and presented an opportunity to settle the claim as early as possible at a “significantly reduced amount” compared to the judgment that a court might impose at the end of a lawsuit.  The Letter also informed the user to preserve evidence relating to the claims and instructed the user to retain, and not delete, any peer-to-peer programs.

Should the RIAA or another copyright owner resurrect lawsuits and settlement letters, Schreiner University’s practice is, and has always been, to forward a Settlement Letter along with an explanation to the alleged infringer if the University’s network activity logs can establish the identity of the person at the specified IP address with a reasonable degree of certainty. Because network log data can be unavailable or inconclusive, the University cannot guarantee that all Settlement Letters will be forwarded to alleged infringers. Individuals should not expect to receive such a letter prior to being sued for copyright infringement.  Based on the wording in recent Settlement Letters, recipients must settle within twenty (20) days of the date of the Settlement Letter or face a lawsuit.  Recipients are encouraged to seek legal counsel before taking any action.

Lawsuits and Subpoenas

In cases where no settlement is reached, the RIAA and member companies had been filing lawsuits in Federal District Courts. The suits alleged that unnamed students have infringed copyrights by downloading certain information and, for some, distributing the information to others over the Internet.  After filing these “John Doe” lawsuits identifying only IP addresses, the companies served subpoenas on universities seeking the identity of the users associated with those IP addresses.

If and when Schreiner University receives such a subpoena, the University first ensures that the subpoena is valid and lawful. If so, and if the information sought in the subpoenas exists, the University is legally required to provide the desired information. While complying with the subpoena, the University notifies the individuals being identified in the subpoena response. The University has heard but cannot confirm that companies first used the subpoenaed information to try to settle the matter with the identified individuals, and if a settlement was not reached, the companies would amend the lawsuits to name the individual students and proceed in court.

Obtaining Legal Advice

Information provided in this notice does NOT constitute legal advice. It is intended for information and educational purposes only. Every situation is unique and you are encouraged to consult an attorney if you need specific legal advice. Links to legal web sites, such as those provided below, do not constitute an endorsement of any legal services. Neither the downloading of materials nor any communication with respect to this Notice constitutes the formation of an attorney-client relationship. In reading and acting upon this Notice, you acknowledge that nothing in the Notice is intended to or constitutes the practice of law or the giving of legal advice.

Finding an attorney to explain your rights and options 

Subpoena Defense Resources
eff.org/issues/file-sharing/subpoena-defense

State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service
1-800-252-9690
texasbar.com

Other questions about this message should be directed to:

Information Technology Help Desk, 830-792-7344 (helpdesk@schreiner.edu)

Portions of this document are based on policy and procedure statements by Texas State University and are used with permission.

Goal: Deter the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted digital material, especially audio, video, and software file sharing that involves the use of the campus network for peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading or distribution of copyrighted digital material.

Educational Objective: Develop and implement proactive outreach and educational programs that increase student, faculty, and staff knowledge and awareness of copyright protections and the penalties attendant to infringement of those copyrights.

  1. Provide a “Notice to Students” every semester via email that outlines federal law, University policy, campus practices, and the potential internal and external sanctions applicable to copyright infringement, including unauthorized P2P file sharing via the campus network.
  2. Provide a “Notice to Faculty and Staff” every semester via email that outlines federal law, University policy, campus practices, and the potential internal and external sanctions applicable to copyright infringement, including unauthorized P2P file sharing via the campus network.
  3. Forward the “Notice to Students” to Schreiner parents via the Dean of Students electronic newsletter.
  4. Develop and distribute curricula materials on Copyright Infringement and P2P File Sharing for inclusion in the introductory course required of all entering freshmen.
  5. Expand information presented on Schreiner University’s website on copyright use rights and responsibilities, copyright infringement, and P2P file sharing; also post there the “Notice to Students” and “Notice to Faculty and Staff”
  6. As possible, include a discussion of copyright infringement and the risks of P2P file sharing as part of the discussions at New Student Orientation, Parents Orientation, New Employee Orientation.  Speak to individual departments as invited.

Policy Enforcement Objective:  Maintain and enforce campus copyright policies and procedures in accordance with federal copyright laws and regulations.

  1. Maintain and enforce a clause in the campus appropriate use policy prohibiting the unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted digital materials (including software, music, video, graphics, etc.).
  2. Document, publicize, and adhere to campus procedures for addressing notices and other communications pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  3. Maintain a historical record of policy violators for use in applying progressive discipline to repeat offenders.
  4. Keep all University copyright policies up-to-date with evolving federal regulations

Technology-based Objective: Employ technology-based deterrents to combat illegal P2P file sharing in ways that do not unreasonably impede the use of P2P technology for legitimate University purposes.

  1. To the extent practicable, configure the University’s Intrusion Prevention Systems to block and/or otherwise disrupt transmissions employing the P2P networks and protocols that are used almost exclusively for illegal file sharing (e.g., Gnutella, Ares, BitTorrent, eDonkey, etc.).
  2. To the extent practicable, implement secure solutions/exceptions that facilitate authorized use of P2P technologies
  3. Utilize Network Control systems to prevent offending computers from accessing the campus network until any allegedly infringing materials are removed or otherwise made unavailable from those systems
  4. Monitor the viability of bandwidth shaping as an effective future alternative mechanism for discouraging illegal P2P file sharing

Plan Effectiveness Assessment: The department of Technology will assess the effectiveness of the above plan in meeting its goal in May of each academic year. The plan will be considered effective if the total number of infringement notices and reports for the preceding academic year is less than five.

Countable infringement notices and reports include those validated as accurate by Schreiner Technology and resulting in University action to force removal of the infringing material and/or an end to its unauthorized distribution. Countable infringement notices and reports may come from any of the following sources:

  • DMCA notices received from content owners or their representatives,
  • open P2P shares discovered through proactive, internal network scans, and
  • verifiable reports from other reputable sources.

 Portions of this plan are based on web documentation produced by Texas State University and are used with permission.

In 2008 the Higher Education Opportunity Act was signed into law. Several of the Act’s provisions are intended to reduce unauthorized duplication of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks. In compliance with that legislation and the Department of Education’s regulations in 34 C.F.R. Part 668 (Subpart D) Schreiner University’s Department of Information Services provides this policy.  Notices regarding these policies and procedures are sent to all students, faculty, and staff each academic term and are posted Schreiner University’s Logan Library website.  Paper copies of this notice and the information referenced in it are available upon request and are included in all new student and parent information packets, the Schreiner University Staff Manual, and the Schreiner University Faculty Manual.

Schreiner University provides a high-speed network and other information technology resources to help you accomplish your educational and instructional goals.  When authorized users access our network or when they sign on using confidential Schreiner ID/user names and passwords, they agree to comply with the University’s Responsible Computing Policy.  Relevant policy text may be found in the Schreiner University Staff Manual, Responsible Computing Policy; the Schreiner University Faculty Manual: Copyright Policy, Schreiner University Code of Academic Conduct and Intellectual Property Policy; and the Schreiner University Student Handbook and are posted on University’s public website.

These policies prohibit the use of University resources for unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted materials, including music and video files.  The University considers unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted music and videos to be an inappropriate use of its network resources.  Moreover, such activity is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and exposes individuals to serious civil and criminal penalties.

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.

The DMCA is a federal law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, and services intended to circumvent copyright protections. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can include fines of up to $250,000 and incarceration for up to five years.  In civil court, damages of up to $150,000 are possible for EACH movie or song that has been illegally acquired or shared. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at http://www.copyright.gov.   The FAQ’s are particularly informative: www.copyright.gov/help/faq.  For information and guidance in using sections of copyrighted materials for teaching and learning, consult the staff of the Logan Library.

Schreiner University does not routinely monitor the content of network transmissions except as necessary to identify and repel network attacks, viruses, worms, and other malware.  However, many P2P networks are used almost exclusively for illegal file sharing and are also favorite channels for spreading malware due to their popularity and pervasiveness. To mitigate these threats, the University employs various methods to block illegitimate P2P network traffic at the perimeter of its network.  For example, the University employs traffic/packet shaping which allows the campus to ensure smooth flow of content to and from the Internet with the ability to prioritize traffic based on need or policy. Traffic-shaping technology also allows for dynamic partitioning. Dynamic partitioning gives the network administrator the ability to determine large bandwidth users and abusers.  Note, however, that these methods are not 100% effective; all P2P traffic is not blocked at all times. Campus users should assume that P2P file sharing activity on the campus network is visible to the RIAA and other content owners that monitor the Internet for copyright infringement activity.

Copyright Enforcement Activities

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other content owners are aggressively trying to stop unauthorized downloading, copying, and sharing of music and video by college communities. They monitor the Internet continually to identify Internet Protocol (IP) addresses involved in these activities, but they require assistance from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to communicate with an alleged infringer.  They generally seek the ISP’s help in communicating DMCA takedown notices, preservation requests, pre-litigation settlement letters, and subpoenas (in connection with law suits).  These four communications operate independently and do not necessarily progress from one to another. For example, nothing prevents the initial communication from being a subpoena that seeks the identity of a user connected at a specific IP address at a specific day and time.

DMCA Takedown Notices

When a content owner determines that an IP address has been used to violate its copyright, it sends a Takedown Notice to the applicable Internet Service Provider (ISP) describing the IP address, date, time, and material involved in the alleged infringement. The notice requests that the ISP remove or disable access to the listed material under the terms of the DMCA.

When Schreiner University receives such a Takedown Notice, it reviews its network activity records to independently validate the legitimacy of the complaint.  If the complaint appears valid, the University suspends the offending computer’s network access until the infringing material is removed.  First offenders regain network access once proof of removal is provided and an acknowledgement is signed.  Repeat student offenders are referred to the Dean of Students; repeat employee offenders are referred to the University President. Additional sanctions very by situation and may include termination of enrollment or employment from the University.

The University also notifies the sender of the Notice that a) appropriate removal actions have been taken, or b) the allegation could not be validated through network activity records. The University does not provide any user identifying information to the sender of the Notice unless the Notice is accompanied or followed by a lawfully issued subpoena. Likewise, the University does not forward a copy of the Takedown Notice itself to the alleged infringer.

Preservation Requests

Preservation Requests are used to notify the ISP that a subpoena may be served on it seeking identifying information about a network user who has allegedly infringed a content owner’s copyrighted material. Like the Takedown Notice, the Preservation Request identifies an alleged infringer’s IP address at the time of the alleged infringement. The Preservation Request asks the ISP to preserve the identifying information for the user connected via that IP address at that time.

Schreiner University first determines if the information provided in the Request may be sufficient to implicate a specific user. If not, the University notifies the requesting party of its inability to comply. If a specific user is implicated, the University preserves the information as requested and forwards the Request to that user via email. The cover email explains the nature of the Request, encourages the user to preserve evidence relating to the claims in the Request, and informs them that they may wish to obtain legal advice before taking any other action. Once again, Schreiner University will not release a user’s identifying information in response to a Preservation Request unless and until the Request is accompanied or followed by a lawfully issued subpoena.

Pre-Litigation Settlement Letters

Prior to abandoning the “sue the customer” strategy, the RIAA’s outside legal counsel sent what were known as “Pre-Litigation Settlement Letters” to many universities and other ISP’s.  The Settlement Letter was generally sent to the ISP with a request that it be forwarded to the user of an IP address. The Letter alleged that the user of that IP address had violated copyright laws and presented an opportunity to settle the claim as early as possible at a “significantly reduced amount” compared to the judgment that a court might impose at the end of a lawsuit.  The Letter also informed the user to preserve evidence relating to the claims and instructed the user to retain, and not delete, any peer-to-peer programs.

Should the RIAA or another copyright owner resurrect lawsuits and settlement letters, Schreiner University’s practice is, and has always been, to forward a Settlement Letter along with an explanation to the alleged infringer if the University’s network activity logs can establish the identity of the person at the specified IP address with a reasonable degree of certainty. Because network log data can be unavailable or inconclusive, the University cannot guarantee that all Settlement Letters will be forwarded to alleged infringers. Individuals should not expect to receive such a letter prior to being sued for copyright infringement.  Based on the wording in recent Settlement Letters, recipients must settle within twenty (20) days of the date of the Settlement Letter or face a lawsuit.  Recipients are encouraged to seek legal counsel before taking any action.

Lawsuits and Subpoenas

In cases where no settlement is reached, the RIAA and member companies had been filing lawsuits in Federal District Courts. The suits alleged that unnamed users have infringed copyrights by downloading certain information and, for some, distributing the information to others over the Internet.  After filing these “John Doe” lawsuits identifying only IP addresses, the companies served subpoenas on universities seeking the identity of the users associated with those IP addresses.

If and when Schreiner University receives such a subpoena, the University first ensures that the subpoena is valid and lawful. If so, and if the information sought in the subpoenas exists, the University is legally required to provide the desired information. While complying with the subpoena, the University notifies the individuals being identified in the subpoena response. The University has heard but cannot confirm that companies first used the subpoenaed information to try to settle the matter with the identified individuals, and if a settlement was not reached, the companies would amend the lawsuits to name the individual students and proceed in court.

Campus users accused of any copyright violations are encouraged to consult with Schreiner University’s Office of Human Resources and their personal legal counsel. 

Other questions about this message should be directed to:

Information Technology Help Desk, 830-792-7344 (helpdesk@schreiner.edu)

Portions of this document are based on policy and procedure statements of Texas State University and are used with permission.

Original Text Approved by Schreiner University’s Executive Administrative Council, 2010-11

Many artists offer free downloads of their music or clips from their videos on their websites.  Note, however, that while it’s OK for you to distribute the site links, it’s generally not OK to distribute or make the music itself available to others through your own site.

A list of popular, legal, fee-based and free alternatives is available to you at: educause.edu/legalcontent

Important Note: Before signing up for any digital music or video service, carefully read the site’s privacy policy and/or terms of use statement to be sure that the service is authorized to distribute the material that it makes available to you. Both free and fee-based software may utilize unauthorized distribution channels for copyrighted material, such as the Gnutella file sharing network. Buying a license to file sharing software does NOT necessarily give you legal access to the music it makes available, and it almost never allows you to further distribute that music. The following excerpt from Music, Etc.’s privacy policy is a good example of what to look for to determine if your fee does or does not include any rights to the music itself.

  • The Music, Etc.™ download system (the “Service”) allows Music, Etc.™ members (“Members”) to access and download content (including, without limitation, music files, movies, games, software and/or pictures) generally available for downloading over the Internet via the Gnutella Network(collectively, the “Download Content”), through use of our proprietary Download Software. Music, Etc. ™ provides the Service and associated Download Software only and is in no way involved in the provision of, and makes no representation as to the legality of, Download Content. The Service and Download Software are made available to our Members, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

 

Resources for More Information

Copyright Law

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (October1998)
Full text of the Act located on file with the Library of Congress

No Electronic Theft Act (LaMacchia Bill)
Full text of the Act located on file with the Library of Congress

Copyright Act of 1976, as Amended (1994)
Located on file with the Cornell University Law School

Fair Use

The Center for Social Media at American University provides Codes of Best Practices for Fair Use here.

Portions of this page are based on web documentation produced by Texas State University and are used with permission.

Privacy Policy