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P2P – Illegal File Sharing Guidelines

TCNJ and the Higher Education Opportunity Act

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On October 29, 2009, the Department of Education issued final regulations related to Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks.  The three primary requirements are:

1. An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law

The best way you can help TCNJ comply with these final regulations and assist us in combatting copyright abuse on campus is to become informed about file-sharing. Become familiar with the College’s Computing Access Agreement found at http://it.pages.tcnj.edu/security/network-access-control-nac/computer-access-agreement/

Another great source for information relating to p2p and file sharing is EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.  The Educause series of “7 Things you should know about….” includes a comprehensive overview of P2P. To find out more about the 7 things you should know about P2P, read http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EST0901.pdf

Unauthorized distribution of copyright material may result in civil and criminal penalties.  More information about copyright violations and associated fines can be found at in Chapter 5 – Copyright Law of the United States of America. Refer to section 506 – Criminal Offenses for penalties.  In addition to these penalties, students may also be cut off from federal student aid funds.

2.  Develop a plan to effectively combat copyright abuse on the campus network using one or more technology based deterrents.

TCNJ has a written plan in place to effectively combat copyright abuse on our network.  Part of that plan includes:

Identifiable peer to peer file sharing traffic is presently throttled with our traffic shaping device to a very small percentage of our total bandwidth. Throttling to zero would cause some of the peer to peer applications to choose alternative ports for their transfers and make identification harder.  This discourages the use of these applications because the severely limited bandwidth renders them unusable.

3.  Offer legal alternatives to illegal downloading.

A comprehensive list of legal downloading alternatives may be found at Educause – Legal Downloading sites

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions – P2P and Illegal File Sharing

Last Revised:  June 14, 2010

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