Filed under Administrative Policies, Student Resource Policies

It is illegal to host or distribute copyrighted materials without permission. This includes images, software, MP3 music files, video files, etc.

  • Copyright holders, particularly from the music industry are very aggressively tracking down, identifying and prosecuting those who are sharing MP3 files.
  • ABTU regularly receives notifications that network addresses traceable to our university are involved in the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials.

In cooperation with federal and state laws, ABTU has the ability to terminate user access to network services until the files in question are removed or the activity ceases.


Legal use of Copyrighted Material and File Sharing at ABTU

As a result of the Federal Department of Education issuing new regulations detailing what institutions will be expected to do to comply with the requirements of Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), The Office of Technology (OT) at ABTU has taken the following steps to demonstrate good faith in doing due diligence to comply with the HEOA regulations. It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.

Following are the main HEOA requirements with brief explanations of the steps ABTU taking:

1. Make an annual disclosure that informs students the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject students to criminal and civil penalties and that describes the steps ABTU will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyright materials.

ACTION: Annually at the start of each new academic year a message to students will go out from the Office of Technology informing students about university policy related to the use of copyrighted material and steps the University will take to enforce its policies.

It should be noted ABTU has implemented a specific policy and set of DMCA procedures that were developed by the CITO. This policy and set of procedures complies with the requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

2. Certify we have developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyright material.

ACTION: ABTU addresses the steps to be followed in responding to DMCA notices. Essentially, an initial notice triggers a contact from OT with the alleged offender off-campus network access being revoked and asking the individual to remove the offending material. Once the offending material is removed, off-campus network access is restored. A second (and any subsequent notices) will be referred to the Dean for disciplinary action.

3. “To the extent practicable,” offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.

ACTION: OT has assembled a resource page on legal media downloads and file sharing that contains links to sites where students may legally download music, video and images, and OT will point to the resource site at EDUCAUSE.

These steps will be reviewed annually by The Office of Technology annually and revised as necessary to remain in compliance. Based on the monitoring data OT collects relative to network traffic, as well as the volume of DMCA notices received, the review will assess the overall effectiveness of the University’s policy and procedures to promote the legal use of copyrighted materials. Any changes to the policy and/or procedures will take effect at the commencement of the following academic year.



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