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Ouachita Baptist University Copyright Policy

Introduction

Unauthorized copying or use of computer software, movies, music, or intellectual material here after referred to as digital material, is a violation of federal law and University policies. Ouachita will not knowingly encourage, condone or support the illegal acquisitions, possession, or distribution of copyright protected digital material in any form. Specifically, if the University becomes aware of persons utilizing the Campus network for such purposes, that person(s) could have their network access restricted and/or be referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action as a violation of the University’s Code of Computing Practice. If you are in doubt about whether you own a legal copy of your digital material, you may contact the Information Technology Services Department for assistance.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act

Ouachita has always had policies in place regarding copyright infringement. Those policies have been reviewed and updated over the years as new technologies have emerged. On August 14, 2008, President George Bush signed into law the Higher Education Opportunity Act. This act is intended to help control illegal file sharing on University campuses. It placed three requirements on all U.S. colleges and Universities.

  • An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and the University’s policies related to violating copyright law.
  • A plan to "effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by network users, including "the use of one or more technology-based deterrents".
  • A plan to offer alternatives to illegal downloading.

1. What is a copyright?

A copyright is a form of legal protection provided by United States law (Title 17 U.S. Code) that protects an owner's right to control the reproduction, distribution, performance, display and transmission of a copyrighted work.

Any activity that violates these protections, such as downloading and/or sharing copyrighted works without the owner's explicit permission, is in violation of United State law and is not an acceptable use of Ouachita Baptist University’s network resources.

Examples of copyrighted material include but are not limited to:

  • Books, articles and other writings
  • Songs and other musical works
  • Movies and Television productions
  • Pictures, graphics and drawings
  • Computer software
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Sculptural and architectural works

A good rule to follow is, “if you are downloading something for free that you would normally pay for, there is a good chance it is illegal.”

Ouachita will not knowingly encourage, condone or support the illegal acquisitions, possession, or distribution of copyright protected digital material in any form. Specifically, if the University becomes aware of persons utilizing the Campus network for such purposes, that person(s) could have their network access restricted and/or be referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action as a violation of the University’s Code of Computing Practice.

2. Ouachita’s efforts to combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material

The most common sources of copyright violation notices are peer-to-peer (P2P) programs such as Limewire, Ares, Frostwire, etc. and torrent sites such as “The Pirate Bay”. It is important to understand that the vast majority of files shared using these services are done so in violation of copyright law. Though P2P programs and torrents are not illegal, these programs can be used in illegal ways. It is everyone's responsibility to use them legally and responsibly.

Ouachita has technology available to monitor bandwidth usage that will help reduce or in some instances block the use of illegal file sharing programs. It is important to note that even with this technology in place it is still possible to gain access to a site that contains illegal material. It is solely the responsibility of each individual to make sure any material they are uploading or downloading is legal. If you are in doubt about whether you own a legal copy of your digital material, you may contact the Information Technology Services Department for assistance.

3. Legal alternatives

EDUCAUSE is a higher education advocacy group. As a service to the higher education community, EDUCAUSE maintains a comprehensive list of links to legal download sites. These links may be found at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/Browse/LegalDownloading/33381