HEOA Compliance Plan

  1. Purpose

    The Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008 (HEOA) [Student Assistance General Provisions 34 CFR Section 668] contains provisions that requires The University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) implement a plan to "...effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution's network, without unduly interfering with educational and research use of the network." To that end, the plan must include:

    • "The use of one or more technology-based deterrents"
    • "Mechanisms for educating and informing its community about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material..."
    • "Procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including disciplinary procedures..."
    • "Procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans..."
    • "To the extent practicable, offer legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material..."

    This plan has been developed in order bring Southern Miss into compliance with the HEOA requirements to mitigate copyright infringement by users of the Southern Miss networks. This plan compliments and reinforces the Southern Miss Peer to Peer File Sharing and Copyright Infringement and Acceptable Use policies, both which specifically prohibit the use of Southern Miss resources for the illegal acquisition and distribution of copyrighted materials.


  3. Technology Based Deterrent

    Southern Miss has deployed Audible Magic's CopySense Appliance (CSA), designed to mitigate illegal Peer to Peer (P2P) activity. The CSA attempts to:

    • Allow legal P2P traffic.
    • Cap all P2P bandwidth to preserve network usage for business and educational use.
    • Detect and block P2P traffic containing copyrighted material registered by copyright owners with Audible Magic.
    • Detect and block P2P traffic containing suspected copyrighted material.
    • Redirect web traffic of users engaging in illegal P2P activity to a website with information related to copyright and a summary of the P2P policy.

  5. User Education

    • All users, regardless of affiliation, are required to acknowledge acceptance of the P2P and Acceptable Use policies before accessing Southern Miss network resources.
    • Annually, a message will be sent to all 'usm.edu' email addresses providing the URI for the Acceptable Use and P2P policies.
    • Brochures detailing specific issues and items related to copyright infringement, along with the URI for the Acceptable Use and P2P policies will be published and made available for free at various locations across campus. This brochure may be mailed, on request, to prospective students and their parents.
    • Southern Miss Network users actively engaging in illegal P2P activity will have their Internet Activity disrupted and http traffic redirected to a website with information related to copyright and a summary of the P2P policy.

  7. Policy, Procedures, and Penalties

    Procedures for handling P2P policy violations are addressed in the Peer to Peer File Sharing and Copyright Infringement Policy.

    Procedures for the handling of violations of the Acceptable Use policy are addressed in the Acceptable Use Policy.

    Procedures for handling appeals of sanctions against wireless accounts for prohibited P2P activity are outlined in the P2P policy. Appeals for all other penalties arising from violation of university policies are handled per the handbook governing that individual, if that individual is student, faculty, or staff; or per contract or other legal agreement, if that individual is not affiliated with Southern Miss.

    It is important to for individuals to know:

    • 17 U.S.C. Sec 504 specifies that an person infringing on copyright may be obligated to repay up to $30,000 dollars per work in a civil action, or up to $150,000 per work if it is proven that the copyright infringement was willful.
    • 18 U.S.C. Sec 2319 makes it a federal crime to infringe copyright when it can be proven that the violation was committed willingly with attempt to profit. A person convicted of copyright infringement can face up to 10 years of imprisonment, depending on the specifics of the case.

  9. Review

    Annually, the Acceptable Use and P2P policies will be reviewed by the Office of the CIO for their effectiveness in addressing copyright violations. The following metrics will be captured and analyzed:

    • Number of copyright related questions and comments directed to the Help Desk.
    • Number of P2P related DMCA complaints received.
    • Number of transfers disrupted by the CSA.
    • Number of users sanctioned by the CSA.

  11. Legal Services to Download Copyrighted Material

    Please read the disclaimer before proceeding to external links.

    Apple iTunesApple iTunes
    Amazon MP3Amazon Video on Demand

    The Office of the CIO will review sources for legal media annually for availability and relevance.