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Skidmore College Plan to Combat the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
Note: This document is developed as part of Skidmore College’s efforts to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and 34 CFR Sec. 668.14(b)(30).
Skidmore College recognizes the importance of the legal protection that copyrights provide, both for the Skidmore faculty, staff and students who generate creative works and for those other individuals and entities whose creative works are seen, heard or otherwise used by those in the college community. The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including through peer-to-peer file sharing, is prohibited by Skidmore College policy and may violate civil or criminal law. To combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the Skidmore College network, the college has taken, and plans to continue taking, a number of steps. The college believes that this approach, which it will review periodically, will help to minimize the frequency with which the college network is used for unauthorized distribution.
I. Community Education and Information
Skidmore College believes that informing and educating its community about issues relating to copyrights and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate use of copyrighted material is the best way to limit unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. The college will continue its efforts to disseminate information and expand awareness. Some ways the college will disseminate this information include the following:
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Infringement Notification.
The College’s Copyright Infringement Notification Statement notifies copyright owners that Skidmore College has a registered agent to receive statutory notices about infringements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
College Policies Relating to Copyrighted Material: The college has several policies and institutional documents, which are available to all members of the community and published in various college bulletins or handbooks, that discuss copyright law in general and, in some instances, peer-to-peer file sharing specifically. Among them are:
Code of Ethics Policy:
The college’s Code of Ethics Policy describes the acceptable uses of college computer and information systems, network and other information technology resources. The policy states: “Computer facilities will not be used for activities that are in violation of campus, local, state or federal rules. This includes cheating, plagiarism, theft, vandalism, pornography, copyright. This policy is also included in the Student Handbook.
The college’s Copyright Policy includes information for members of the academic community on copyright basics, using copyrighted materials, obtaining and giving permissions and a set of appendices that together provide a wealth of information about the importance of copyrights and how to work with copyrighted materials.
College Community Notification Email
At the start of the fall semester, the college sends an email message to all students, faculty and staff regarding the risks of peer-to-peer file sharing.
II. Procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including disciplinary procedures
When violations are discovered, Information Technology will contact the user logged in to the offending computer at the time of the violation and demand that the offending content be removed. Subsequently, if the user is named in any additional complaints, they will be referred to their respective disciplinary representatives for further review and action.
For faculty: The dean of the faculty
For staff: The Office of Human Resources
For students: The student conduct officer
III. Technology-Based Deterrents
Response to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices.
Skidmore College employs, and plans to continue, a program of accepting and responding
to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices. The college’s DMCA and notification
procedures are available at
Packet Shaping. The college uses bandwidth rate-limiting technology, which has the effect of discouraging unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
IV. Legal Alternatives To Download/Acquire Copyrighted Material
In addition to its efforts to educate and inform the college community about issues relating to copyrighted material and its procedures for handling allegations that copyrighted material has been distributed in an unauthorized manner, the college provides information about legal means of downloading and acquiring copyrighted material. The college provides links to EDUCAUSE’s Legal Sources of Online Content page, which is at:
The college will update information on legal alternatives as appropriate.
V. Procedures for Periodic Review of the Effectiveness of This Plan
The college shall review this plan to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the Skidmore College network as necessary and appropriate given developments in technology, law, regulation and policy, but shall conduct a formal review of the plan no less than every two years. The review shall be led by the director of strategic planning and communication for information technology, who shall consult with the chief technology officer and others as necessary and shall include an evaluation of current best practices at similarly situated institutions of higher education.
This notice program, in conjunction with the college’s education and information distribution program, satisfies the requirement in 34 CFR Sec. 668.14(b)(30) that an institution use “one or more technology-based deterrents” to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. See, e.g., June 4, 2010 “Dear Colleague” Letter from Daniel T. Madzelan, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education (DCL: GEN-10-08),