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UCSD HEOA Compliance


UC San Diego Plan for Combating Illegal File Sharing

The HEOA P2P provisions require universities to develop and implement “written plans to effectively 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.” This document is UC San Diego’s plan to satisfy this HEOA requirement.

Introduction

The University of California is committed to upholding U.S. copyright law. As an Internet Service Provider under the meaning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the University does not monitor its networks for the purpose of discovering illegal activity. However, the University pursues a set of ongoing initiatives to ensure that copyright, particularly as it applies to digital assets, is respected within the University community. These initiatives are described as follows in this implementation plan.

Technology-Based Deterrents

University of California campuses have developed various network management strategies to balance the many and competing demands placed on network resources without unduly interfering with the education and research use of the network. Under provisions of the DMCA and as a matter of University policy, the University does not routinely search for illegal activity that may occur over its networks. UC San Diego employs the following technology-based deterrents:

  • Traffic monitoring to identify the largest bandwidth users
  • A vigorous program of accepting and responding to DMCA notices
  • A commercial product designed to reduce or block illegal file sharing

A. Traffic Monitoring

Network administrators pay attention to network traffic as one method to manage the resource and ensure that bandwidth is available for academic, research, and administrative uses in alignment with the University's mission. In the process, administrators identify anomalies in traffic, such as spikes in usage, and follow up as appropriate.

B. DMCA Notice Response

UC San Diego implements an active program for responding to copyright infringement notices. The institution follows system-wide guidelines for complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In accordance with established procedures, UC San Diego has a DMCA agent and designated DMCA email account, which are on file with the US Copyright Office. When UC San Diego receives DMCA notices of alleged copyright violation, it ensures that the offending material is expeditiously removed from the network and the individual involved is appropriately addressed, as per the specifics of the case.

C. Non-Student Violations

DMCA violations received for non-students are forwarded to their department. Consequences for non-students will depend on the policies of their respective department and classification.

D. Student Violations

Individuals receiving a copyright violation notice for an alleged infringement are notified and network connections for all network devices belonging to the individual are blocked temporarily. The student must attend a presentation on file sharing and copyright law (updated quarterly) and bring in the computer identified in the notice for a security scan to make sure UCSD Minimum Network Connection Standards (PDF, see Exhibit B) are met before network connections are restored. Individuals are also provided with documentation about copyright law, file sharing and the consequences of repeat notices.

Individuals receiving a second copyright violation notice for an alleged infringement occurring after their connection was restored for the first violation are blocked again, are required to attend the copyright presentation again, are required to bring in their computer for another security scan, and are also required to meet with the manager of the Help Desk. They are also referred to their college Dean via Office of Student Conduct, and are required to comply with the disciplinary procedures as determined by the Dean's office.

Individuals receiving a third violation notice for an alleged infringement occurring after their connection was restored for the first and second violations are re-referred to their Dean and are no longer allowed to connect personal devices to any of the school's networks.

E. Network Access Control - SafeConnect

The residential network at UC San Diego uses Impulse Point’s SafeConnect solution as its network access control (NAC) solution. SafeConnect is configured to identify computers that are running file sharing software and notify the user of the risks of file sharing software and illegal file sharing. Most students choose to turn the software off as a result. Guest users, who are more anonymous and could therefore be a greater liability to the university, are notified and blocked from network access until the software is turned off.

Community Education and Annual Disclosure to Students

UC San Diego conducts an ongoing educational campaign to inform the UC community about UC San Diego's commitment to upholding copyright law, deterring copyright infringement, and following DMCA procedures. These activities include the following:

  • Orientation. Residential staff is trained annually regarding copyright violations and file sharing, which are also addressed during campus student orientation.
  • Account authentication. Illegal file sharing is addressed as part of the authentication process when residential students are given access to wired and wireless networks.
  • Acceptable use policy. Acceptable use policies define what activities are allowed or prohibited on the networks. Users must agree to these policies to gain access to the network.
  • Residence Hall activities. Residential staff make file sharing education a regular part of their jobs and implement creative ways to educate students.
  • Informational websites. An up-to-date website advises students, campus staff, and the public about the University's policies and legal alternatives available.
  • Media on campus. Media in the form of flyers and broadcasts on student-run television in the Residence Halls and visitor areas advise the community about the legalities of downloading copyrighted content. Weekly copyright presentations for alleged copyright offenders regarding liabilities, consequences, legal actions and alternatives are also available to the general campus.
  • Annual memo. An executive/administrator issues an annual memo to the community, including students, about illegal file sharing. Past memos can be found below:
  • Policy. The University of California Electronic Communications Policy (ECP) prohibits the use of University electronic communications resources for unlawful activities and requires adherence to applicable laws and University policies regarding copyright. 

Appropriate vs. Inappropriate Use of Copyrighted Material

A system-wide website provides information about copyright, including appropriate vs. inappropriate uses of copyright material. The information includes FAQs about copyright ownership and using copyrighted material and links to pertinent UC San Diego policies. 

Copyright law allows for the "fair use" of copyrighted materials for purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a complex subject. The following resources provide more information on fair use:

Legal Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing

UC San Diego's DMCA Agent is responsible for periodically reviewing and providing access to the UC community to legal options for obtaining electronic content, including movies and music. As part of its informational website, UCSD maintains a list of recommended legal alternatives, as well as providing a link to the list of legal alternatives maintained by EDUCAUSE.

Campus Procedures for Handling Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

UC San Diego implements an active program for responding to copyright infringement notices. The institution follows system-wide guidelines for complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In accordance with established procedures, UCSD has a DMCA agent and designated DMCA email account, which are on file with the US Copyright Office. When UC San Diego receives DMCA notices of an alleged copyright violation, it ensures that the offending material is expeditiously removed from the network and the individual involved is appropriately addressed, as per the specifics of the case. Repeat offenders are blocked from using the network for a period of time.

Periodic Review of Plan and Assessment Criteria

UC San Diego conducts an annual review of its plan for combating copyright infringement. No single criterion is used to determine whether or not the plan is effective. Rather, a range of factors are considered in the context of the changing, external environment. The assessment may include the following considerations:

  • Survey of user community: Are educational methods effective?
  • Periodic review and update of educational materials (Web, print, etc.): Evaluate user friendliness / clarity / organization / pertinence / effectiveness.
  • Review of recidivism: Are there are few or many repeat offenders (in comparable circumstances)? What are the causes?
  • Review of other institutions' practices: Determine if there are different approaches worth exploring and their appropriateness to the campus's environment and policies.
  • Review of the technological, social, and legal trends that may alter the number of complaints received.

Last review:

September 2014 Recidivism has not changed. Network upgrades included the addition of SafeConnect and the ability to notify and see the number of students running file sharing software, as well as the removal of our old Packetshaper. Reviewed our websites, as well as the websites of several other schools, including some of the “HEOA Role Model schools, and made minor modifications to our website to make sure it was current. We continue to review and update our Copyright Violation presentation on a regular basis. (CR)

Past reviews:

May 2013 Recidivism continues to decline; positive feedback from students on our file sharing education initiatives. Reviewed sites for other institutions and made minor updates to links and content. No other updates necessary. (CR)

May 2012 Decreased recidivism; positive feedback from students on our file sharing education initiatives. Reviewed sites for other institutions and made minor updates to links and content. No other updates necessary. (CR)

July 2011 Increased recidivism. Worked with the Office of Student Conduct to implement monetary fines for repeat violations in order to respond to rising recidivism. (CR)