UCONN Higher Education and 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 The University 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 University Acceptable Use Policy found at Individual Responsibilities with Respect to Appropriate Use of IT Resources

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 atChapter 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.

UConn has a written plan in place to effectively combat copyright abuse on our network.  Part of that plan includes:

  • The University has and will continue to implement technical controls that prevent access to unauthorized peer to peer (p2p) protocols, the most common way to distribute copyrighted materials. These systems will be periodically updated to reflect improvements in such technical controls.
  • The University recognizes that p2p has legitimate uses and has implemented a system that enables these protocols to be utilized when authorized. This system records the individuals that access p2p networks and this information can be referenced against copyright complaints.
  • The University follows detailed processes for the handling of confirmed copyright violation complaints.
    • The first violation results in the loss of network access privileges and requires violators to read and acknowledge acceptable use policies after each violation.
    • The second violation results in a loss of network access. Access is not t restored until the student meets with the Vice President for Student Affairs.
    • The third violation results in the permanent loss of network access and other penalties as determined by the Office of Community Standards within the Division of Student Affairs after disciplinary hearing.

The University regularly reviews its policies, procedures and controls to ensure the system is functioning as expected.

3.  Offer legal alternatives to illegal downloading.

A comprehensive list of legal downloading alternatives may be found at Educause – Legal Downloading sites

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions – P2P and Illegal File Sharing