Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials – Action Plan

The following plan of action outlines the college’s efforts to combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, and is published in part as a response to the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008:

  1. The college regularly reviews legal and technical developments and the effectiveness of its programs related to copyright compliance and revises college policy and practice in these areas, including the Bates College Copyright Policy. See: http://www.bates.edu/ils/policies/access-use/copyright/
  2. On an annual basis, and at other times when circumstances require it, the chief information officer reminds all members of the Bates community of their responsibilities not to share copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright owner. This reminder includes the information that sharing copyrighted materials without permission is a violation of college policy and federal law, provides links to sources of information on removing peer-to-peer file sharing software from computers, and provides links to legal sources of content as alternatives to peer-to-peer file sharing. See: http://www.bates.edu/ils/policies/access-use/peer-to-peer-file-sharing-advisory/
  3. The chief information officer regularly reminds all members of the Bates community regarding the requirement that “public performance” of film and video materials will require explicit performance rights from the copyright owner or his or her agent. See: http://www.bates.edu/ils/policies/access-use/performance-rights-advisory/
  4. The college provides comprehensive guidance to students, faculty and staff regarding alternatives for supplying materials to students in support of the curriculum. This guidance is published on the Web and revised as needed, and is incorporated into educational programs for students, faculty and staff involved in curricular work. See: http://www.bates.edu/ils/policies/access-use/copyright-guidelines/
  5. The network administration team of the college employs a variety of technological devices, including bandwidth shaping and load limiting, and other measures as they become available, to limit an individual’s ability to overuse the college’s internet connection. These technologies are under constant evaluation for their effectiveness. Information about this program is available to the campus community:
    http://www.bates.edu/ils/policies/access-use/fair-access-to-network-resources/
  6. The consequences of illegal use of the college’s computing resources are outlined in the college’s Computer Use Policy, which is published in the student, faculty and employee handbook and distributed to everyone who uses the College’s computing systems. See: http://www.bates.edu/ils/policies/access-use/computer-use-policy/
  7. The college acts on every official complaint received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act from a copyright owner. Such complaints are sent to network administrators who contact users and ask them to remove the material in question and, if a file sharing program is identified, cease illegal sharing of files. Users are required to respond. If there is no response, the college exercises options for next steps that could include denying the user access to the network, on-campus conduct proceedings, or other measures. If a user becomes a “repeat offender” (i.e. the college receives more than one DMCA complaint about the user) the college will escalate its response and pursue increasingly severe consequences. While the college pursues these actions with users against whom copyright infringement complaints have been received, the names of these users will be released outside the college only in response to a valid subpoena or warrant.
  8. The college puts Title 17 disclaimers on all library copy machines and similar disclaimers in other appropriate locations.

December 15, 2011