UMES HEOA Compliance Plan
Disclosure will be sent via email to all students. The content is as follows:
To all UMES students,
Per the new Higher Education Opportunity Act all universities must inform its students of the laws and possible penalties for distributing copyrighted material.
“What does this mean for me as a student at UMES?”
Companies that have copyrights to songs, movies, TV shows, or other materials monitor the internet to see who is downloading this material without purchasing it. Usually this is done using programs like Limewire, Frostwire, Bitcomet,and iMesh just to name a few. If a record company, for example, sees that one of its artist’s songs was downloaded using the UMES network they will send a copyright violation notice to UMES asking that the material be removed. If the song was on your PC you will be contacted by the IT department and asked to remove it along the program used to download it. That is for the first offence. If it happens a second time you will face a penalty which may include temporary suspension of internet access.
“What can I do to avoid any penalties?”
We recommend that you uninstall any program used for downloading and sharing music and movies during your stay at UMES.
“Is there anything I can download legally?”
Of course, here is a link to a long list of websites where you can listen to music and watch video with no worries. http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent
Is it really that serious?
Yes it is. University policy strictly prohibits any illegal activity on the UMES network. Every student signs an agreement stating that they will comply with this policy. Furthermore, because copyright violation is a federal offence the owner of the material has a right to take any offender to court and sue for damages. Just take a look at this copy of the laws and penalties for copyright infringement:
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
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 www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.
Plan to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials:
UMES uses two technology based deterrents. One product uses bandwidth shaping (BlueCoat PacketShaper) to identify and drop peer to peer traffic. The other is an IPS used as a secondary layer to block incoming and outgoing P2P traffic.
Upon receipt of a copyright violation notice the offending student will receive a warning and must remove the offending material. A second copyright notice will result in the loss of internet privileges.
Alternatives to illegal downloading:
The University will provide a link to the the Educause website list of websites that provide legal content.