Peer-To-Peer File Sharing

Purpose

The purpose of the Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Policy is to provide for annual disclosures to students regarding the University’s policies and sanctions related to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

Policy

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Lynn University must make an annual disclosure informing students that illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may lead to civil and/or criminal penalties. Also, the HEOA requires institutions to take steps to detect and punish users who illegally distribute copyrighted materials. In an effort to comply with these requirements, Lynn University prohibits the installation and use of peer-to-peer file-sharing programs (P2P) that violates copyright material on computers using the Lynn University network. Moreover, the installation or operation of any program or service that assists others in the use of copyright violations is likewise prohibited. Users will be considered in violation of this Policy if their internet traffic is identifiable as using a prohibited P2P programs or protocols.

Lynn University reserves the right to suspend or terminate network access to any campus user if the violation is deemed severe. Likewise, network access will be suspended if any user is impacting the operations of the network. Repeat or severe violations are also subject to appropriate corrective action and may be reported to appropriate authorities for criminal or civil prosecution, or, where appropriate, student code of conduct adjudication.

Definitions

Authorized User(s)-a user of Technology Resources including, but not limited to, employees, temporary employees, faculty, students, alumni, campus visitors, contractors, vendors, consultants and their related personnel, and other users authorized by the University to access its systems and networks.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (P.L. 105-304)—a 1998 amendment to the Copyright Act of 1976 that establishes certain limitations of copyright infringement liability for online service providers (OSPs), including colleges and universities, when certain requirements are met by the OSP. The Act contains a number of other provisions, including prohibitions on circumvention of technological protection measures among others.

DMCA Notice or Takedown Request—a warning or request issued from a copyright holder or a representative of the copyright holder. These copyright holders have identified computers on the University’s network as having potentially violated the DMCA and issue warnings regarding the particular infringement to the university.

Technology Resources—are assigned computer accounts, email services, and the shared University network(s), which includes resources, staff and facilities operated by the University, whether owned, leased, used under license or by agreement, including, but not limited to: telephones (including Electronic Devices) and telephone equipment, voice mail, SMS, desktop laptop computers, electronic devices, hardware, software, networks, computing laboratories, databases, files, information, software licenses, computing-related contracts, network bandwidth, usernames, passwords, documentation, disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, magnetic tapes, and other electronic media or storage devices. Email, chat, facsimiles, mail, any connection to the University's network(s) or use of any part of the University’s network(s) to access other networks, connections to the Internet that are intended to fulfill information processing and communications functions, communication services, hardware, including printers, scanners, facsimile machines, any off-campus computers and associated equipment provided for the purpose of University work or associated activities.

Peer-to-Peer—a network environment where participants share their resources (such as files, disk storage, or processing power) directly with their peers without having to go through an intermediary network host or server.

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Applications and Programs—programs or services that use peer-to-peer technology to share music, movies, software, or other digitally stored files.

Procedures/Guidelines

I. Disclosure to Campus Community
The university will make readily available on an annual basis to the campus community, including enrolled and prospective students, the University’s policies and sanctions related to peer-to-peer file sharing including: (i) a statement that explicitly informs individuals that unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing may subject the student to civil and criminal liabilities; (ii) a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and (iii) this Policy.

II. Notification of Violations
Authorized Users are requested to report any incident of possible misuse or violation of this Policy to the Department of Information Technology.

III. Enforcement

The Department of Information Technology is responsible for the appropriate enforcement of this Policy.

Alleged violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will be addressed via the University Copyright Policy.

During the course of any investigation of alleged unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, it may be necessary to temporarily suspend an Authorized User’s network or computing privileges, but only after determining there is at least a prima facie case against the individual. This is a necessary action taken to prevent further misuse and does not presume that the account holder initiated the misuse. Unsubstantiated reports will not result in the suspension of user account or network access unless sufficient evidence is provided to show that inappropriate activity occurred.


For more information about this policy, contact Information Technology.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018