Brown University's Higher Education Opportunity Act Compliance Statement and its Program Regarding the Use of its Network for Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
Brown University, in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, has in place plans to effectively combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, and offers to its community alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property.
A. Plans to Combat the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material through the Use of Brown's Network
Brown University has in place programs to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution's network, without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network. These programs include the following:
- Technological Deterrents. The University uses the following technological- based deterrents to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution's network – bandwidth shaping, peer-to-peer protocols, firewall rules to block known websites that are used for downloading of unauthorized copyrighted material, and accepting and responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices.
- Educating the Community. The University utilizes appropriate mailings and distribution of documents (e.g., inclusion of information in the student handbook, educating incoming students through campus-wide email notifications to the community) to inform students, staff, and faculty about appropriate and inappropriate uses of copyrighted materials. These educational efforts will include information that informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material may subject a student to civil and criminal liabilities, a summary of penalties for violation of Federal copyrights laws; and a description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material using Brown's network.
- Institutional Policies and Procedures. The University has numerous policies/procedures in place for combating and handling the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, including the following: Copyright Infringement Policy, Acceptable Use Policy, and the Code of Student Conduct.
- Program Review. The University, no less than annually, through the use of relevant assessment criteria shall review the effectiveness of its program to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, which shall also include reviewing legal alternatives available for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material. Relevant assessment criteria could include items such as reviewing whether the institution is following best practices, before and after comparisons of bandwidth used for peer-to-peer applications, low recidivism rates, and reductions in the number of legitimate electronic infringement notices received from rights holders. This review shall be conducted by the University's Director of Information Technology Security with assistance from other University staff as may be appropriate.
B. Legal Alternatives for Downloading
The University, through its department of Computing and Information Services, makes available information about legal alternatives for accessing and downloading copyrighted material. A comprehensive list of legal sources of online content is maintained by EDUCAUSE and is the recommended source for these alternatives.
C. Related Policies, Statements and Guidelines
Questions or comments to: ITPolicy@brown.edu
Published: August 31, 2010
Last Reviewed: July, 2015