Legal use of Copyrighted Material and File Sharing at Pomona College
As a result of the issuing of regulations by the Department of Education detailing the specifics of what institutions will be expected to do in order to comply with the requirements of Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Information Technology Services (ITS) at Pomona College has taken the following steps in order to demonstrate good faith in doing due diligence to comply with the HEOA regulations. The technological issues in HEOA all relate to issues surrounding the distribution of copyrighted materials. Following are the three main requirements with a brief explanation following each one stating what action steps Pomona College is taking:
1. Make an annual disclosure that informs students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject students to criminal and civil penalties and that describes the steps Pomona will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyright materials.
ACTION: Annually at the start of each new academic year a joint message to students will go out from the Dean of Students and the CIO informing students about college policy related to the use of copyrighted material and the steps the College will take to enforce its policies. It should be noted that in addition to the consortial policies for Appropriate Use of Computing and Network Services and Copyright Policies, Pomona has implemented a specific policy and set of DMCA procedures that were jointly developed by the CIO and the Dean of Students with input from the Dean of the College. This policy and set of procedures complies with the requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
2. Certify that we have developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyright material.
ACTION: Currently, CINE, the entity managing the Internet connection for the Claremont University Consortium, is doing some bandwidth shaping. Pomona ITS has also implemented an additional system aimed at bandwidth shaping specifically for Pomona network traffic. This software throttles back the network traffic from a particular user once that specific person’s network traffic reaches the threshold specified in our policy. ITS monitors network traffic based on the Claremont Intercollegiate Traffic Report that ITS receives from CINE. The data from this report is used to monitor outbound traffic and the current policy states that when an individual user’s outbound traffic exceeds 2 Gigabytes for 3 consecutive days, that individual is contacted by ITS regarding the nature of the individual’s excessive use of network resources. Currently, the policy does not apply to inbound traffic, but ITS continues to monitor inbound traffic in order to access the need for the policy to be expanded to inbound traffic as well. While ITS monitors the volume of network traffic it is the explicit policy of the College that ITS not monitor the content of any traffic on the campus network.
The College’s policy also addresses the steps to be followed in responding to DMCA notices. Essentially, an initial notice triggers a contact from ITS with the alleged offender asking the individual to remove the offending material. A second (and any subsequent notices) will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for action.
3. “To the extent practicable,” offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.
ACTION: ITS 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 ITS intends to point to the resource site at EDUCAUSE once it is available.
These steps will be reviewed annually by ITS and the Dean of Students Office in June and revised as necessary to remain in compliance. Based on the monitoring data that ITS collects relative to network traffic as well as the volume of DMCA notices received, the review will assess the overall effectiveness of the College’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.