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COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT POLICY

HEOA Of 2008 Requirements

Institutions Must:

  • Make an annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that the unlawful distribution of copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject them to civil and criminal liabilities.
  • Make available and supply students a summary of the penalties for violating federal copyright laws and a description of the institution’s policies related to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that may be taken against violators using the institution’s computer system and network.
  • Develop plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material over campus networks (including through the use of technology-based deterrents).
  • To the extent practicable, offer alternatives to illegal downloading of peer-to-peer copyrighted material.

Texas Southern’s Annual Disclosure, Plan and Legal Alternatives:

Annual Disclosure
Texas Southern University respects the intellectual property rights of others and holds its students, faculty and staff to the highest level of integrity. As such, the University strictly prohibits the unauthorized distribution of any copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing and illegal downloading. Individuals that participate in such activity via Texas Southern’s computer system and network may subject themselves to civil and criminal liabilities as well as discipline as outlined in University policies. Texas Southern University’s Computer Use Policy and Disciplinary Sanctions Texas Southern University’s Computer Use Policy, adopted by the Board of Regents on August 8, 2003, permits the use of the University’s computer resources in accordance with University policies as well as any applicable federal, state and local laws. The University strictly prohibits illegal activities on its computer systems and network. All users consent to monitoring for certain purposes and if monitoring reveals evidence of criminal activity or misuse of state resources, this evidence will be referred to the appropriate legal and law enforcement agencies. The University reserves the right to limit, restrict, or deny access to users who engage in illegal activities. Further, users may be subject to disciplinary sanctions which include, but not limited to, reprimand, suspension and involuntary dismissal.

Students and prospective students may obtain a copy of the University’s Computer Use Policy, the Student Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct from the University’s website: http://www.tsu.edu

Federal Penalties for Copyright Infringement
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 http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq.


Detection and Prevention Plan (Including Technological Deterrents)

Educational Deterrents
Provide a “Notice to Students, Faculty & 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.

Post the “Notice to Students” and other educational materials on the IT Security web site and keep the site content up-to-date.

The IT Security Department will develop and publicize a comprehensive list of legal sources of copyrighted music and video materials, sources suitable for use as alternatives to illegal file sharing.

Include the “Notice to Students, Faculty & Staff” in the Student Code of Conduct providing copyright infringement deterrence information.

Present the “Notice to Students, Faculty & Staff” in the New Student Orientation and include a Disclosure Statement on University website and in University Syllabi and Student Handbook.

Annual review of plan by University work group of faculty, staff and students to determine effectiveness of the plan.

Policy Enforcement Deterrent
Create, maintain and enforce a clause in the campus computer use policy prohibiting the unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted digital materials (including software, music, video, graphics, etc.).

Document, publicize, and adhere to campus procedures for addressing notices and other communications pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Maintain a historical record of policy violators for use in applying progressive discipline to repeat offenders.

Technology Based Deterrent
To the extent practicable, configure the University’s intrusion prevention and firewall 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, eDonkey, etc.).

Utilize Network Access Control and Wireless Network Control systems to prevent offending computers from accessing the campus network until such time as any allegedly infringing materials are removed or otherwise made unavailable from those systems.

Legal Alternatives for Acquiring Copyrighted Materials
Texas Southern University encourages members of its family to utilize legitimate sources for obtaining digital information. Please visit http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent to find legal alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted material.