Policy ACAF-IT-016


Responsible University Administrator:Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Officer:Chief Information Officer
Origination Date:N/A
Current Revision Date:02/19/13
Next Review Date:02/19/17
End of Policy Date:N/A
Policy Number:ACAF-IT-016



PDF Version


Policy Statement

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..."

Reason for Policy/Purpose

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. 

Who Needs to Know This Policy

All users of the Southern Miss networks. 

Website Address for this Policy










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.
  • 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.




2.1  All users, regardless of affiliation, are required to acknowledge acceptance of the P2P and Acceptable Use policies before accessing Southern Miss network resources.


2.2  Annually, a message will be sent to all “usm.edu” email addresses providing the URL for the Acceptable Use and P2P policies.


2.3  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.


2.4  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.




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


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


3.3  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.


3.4  It is important 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 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.




4.1 Please read the disclaimer in the “RELATED INFORMATION” section before proceeding to external links:


 Apple iTunes


 Amazon MP3http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=163856011
 Google Playhttps://play.google.com
  Video   URL
Apple iTunes http://www.apple.com/itunes/
Amazon Video on Demand http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Video/b?ie=UTF8&node=2858778011
Google Play https://play.google.com




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




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.








Related Information



Neither the University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) nor iTech are responsible for the content of any off-site pages that are referenced by or that reference the Southern Miss InfoSec Web Site.


Neither Southern Miss nor iTech are responsible for any defamatory, offensive, misleading, or illegal conduct of other users, links, or third parties, and the risk of injury from the foregoing rests entirely with the user.


Links from the Southern Miss InfoSec Web Site to other sites, or from other sites to the Southern Miss InfoSec Web Site, do not constitute an endorsement by Southern Miss or iTech.


It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from other sites. All information provided by the Southern Miss InfoSec Web Site is made available to provide immediate access for the convenience of faculty, staff, and students of Southern Miss. While iTech believes the information is reliable, human or mechanical error remains a possibility. Therefore, Southern Miss and iTech do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or correct sequencing of information. Neither Southern Miss, iTech, nor any sources of the information shall be responsible for errors or omissions, or for the use of, or results obtained from the use of, the information.


Reference to any specific commercial products, processes, or services by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Southern Miss, iTech or its affiliates.



Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes

  1. 11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.
  2. 02/19/13: Formatted for template. Policy section renumbered. Minor editing of punctuation and usage throughout.