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Copyright Compliance Plan

Copyright Compliance Plan

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (“HEOA”), signed into law as Public Law 110-315, included several provisions designed to stem unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. To comply with these provisions, Davenport University performs the following:

  • Provide an annual disclosure to students informing them of federal copyright laws and explaining institutional policies and sanctions related to violations of copyright law;
  • Develop and implement a written plan to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution’s network; and
  • Periodically review the effectiveness of the plan and, to the extent practical, offer legal alternatives for acquiring copyrighted material.

Policies and Sanctions
Davenport’s Information Technology Use policy states that “Information technology resources may NOT be used for any illegal activity.” This includes unlawful copyright infringement. Davenport University will investigate reported copyright infringement and take appropriate action, possibly including suspension of a user’s network access, termination, or suspension.

Legal Alternatives
HEOA requires that Davenport University offer, to the extent practical, legal alternatives for acquiring copyrighted material. Davenport University periodically reviews and updates a list of available legal alternatives. Click here for more information.

In addition to providing a list of sites where movies and music can be legally downloaded, Davenport also promotes the responsible sharing of various other types of copyrighted materials, through our Library, which makes numerous books and journals available to students both in print and electronically.

Technology Based Deterrents
HEOA further requires the implementation of technology based deterrents to stem the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. Davenport employs technical controls including packet shaping, network segmentation, firewalls, and registration of devices to limit the ability of illegal peer to peer file sharing on campus. Davenport also continues our vigorous program for accepting and responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices.

Reviewing Effectiveness
Davenport University periodically reviews its plan to combat copyright infringement. The plan is reviewed on an annual basis for effectiveness and appropriateness. The Information Technology Services department will determine the effectiveness of the current plan through a variety of different measures, including but not limited to: monitoring trends in the number of DMCA complaints being received by Davenport University and access patterns of awareness materials.

Civil and Criminal Liability
Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the student to civil and criminal liability.

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.   
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.   
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.   
For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at