Reviewed 1/18/07

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.
PURPOSE

II.
DEFINITIONS
 

A.
Administrative Unit
 

B.
University Computing Facilities and Network Facilities (UM-Net)
 

C.
Peer-to-Peer

III.
SCOPE

IV.
APPLICABLE POLICIES

V.
POLICY

VI.
EXCEPTION WITH APPROPRIATE AUTHORIZATION

VII.
SANCTIONS

I.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide information regarding the University’s position involving any peer-to-peer application that promotes copyright infringement or the illegal sharing of copyrighted files without permission of the owner or distributor.

II.  DEFINITIONS

        A.  Administrative Unit:

      The department, school/college, office, administrative or scientific unit with financial responsibility for the acquisition, operation and/or maintenance of a computing or network resource.

        B.  University Computing Facilities and Network Facilities

              (UM-Net):

      The University of Miami network and any other computing and data resources, including hardware and software, owned by the University whether or not such computing resources are connected to the University network.

        C.  Peer-to-Peer:

      A computer configured as either a server and/or a client designed to share files with one or more computers.  When computers are set up in a peer-to-peer model, the computers become connected as peers, and files on each system are subject to access by the other systems. When a University computer is set up for peer-to-peer operations with an outside computer, the University computer is sharing its files, and in some cases its entire hard drive. In most cases, the same computer has also agreed to accept files from an outside computer. Conversely, the outside system could copy individual files from the University computer’s shared drive, to the outside server, resulting in the potential for inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information.

III.  SCOPE

  This policy applies to all University employees, scientific and technical staff, faculty, guest investigators, visiting professors, administrative staff, and students, as well as to all other users of the University computing and network facilities, or those who have contracted for access to such facilities.

  For purposes of this document, peer-to-peer applications include file-sharing programs designed to share large files, such as music and movies, among client computers anonymously.  Although such applications can be used for legitimate purposes that do not violate copyright laws, they are often used to transmit copyrighted works without the permission of the owner or distributor and they make very heavy use of the University’s network resources to the possible detriment of others. It is against the University policy to download and/or distribute copyright-protected material.

IV.  APPLICABLE POLICIES

  Use of peer-to-peer applications on the UM-Net may constitute a violation of the following policies: Use of University Computing Facilities, A046 (http://www.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/0,1770,11424-3,00.html); Acceptable Use Of University Computing And Network Facilities,A060 (http://www.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/0,1770,12459-3,00.html) and Software Copyright Protection, A040 (http://www.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/0,1770,11421-3,00.html). In addition, users of the University’s network facilities are subject to all policies and procedures of the University, including but not limited to this policy and those referenced below.  Copies and updates of University of Miami policies are posted on the World Wide Web and are available at the following link: http://www.miami.edu/policies_procedures.  Users of University computing facilities are subject not only to University policies, but also to applicable local, state, and federal laws.  Legitimate applications that place excessive strain on the University network can also be curtailed.

V.  POLICY

  Open access to University computing and network facilities is a privilege granted by the University to authorized users and may be administratively suspended with or without notice when, in the University’s judgment, continued use of University resources may interfere with the work of others, place the University or others at risk, or violate federal, state or local laws or University policy.

  No use of illegal Peer-to-Peer file sharing applications as referenced in the Scope section above shall be allowed on any UM-Net computers, shall be used on the UM-Net or utilize any other University resources, except in accordance with Section VI below.

VI.  EXCEPTION WITH APPROPRIATE AUTHORIZATION

  Peer-to-Peer technologies have many legitimate uses. Exceptions for academic and/or University business reasons may be authorized only by the dean or department head, which shall provide prior written notice of such authorization to the Information Technology Security Department (security@miami.edu).

VII.  SANCTIONS

  Accounts and network access may be administratively suspended by the University with or without notice when, in the University’s judgment, continued use of the University’s resources may interfere with the work of others, place the University or others at risk, or violate University policy.  Any violation of this policy by a student may lead to disciplinary charges under the appropriate student disciplinary policy, which may include expulsion or suspension of student status.

  Faculty and staff violations will be addressed by their respective disciplinary policies and procedures.  All known and/or suspected violations must be reported to the applicable Network/Systems Administrator, who will make a report, as appropriate, to the Information Technology Security Department. The appropriate University administrative office will investigate all such allegations of misuse with the assistance of the Department of Information Technology, General Counsel, and the Department of Human Resources.

  Penalties for faculty/staff violators may include:

      *

      suspension or termination of access to computer and/or network resources
      *

      disabling all computer and/or network services
      *

      suspension or termination of employment
      *

      criminal and/or civil prosecution