Policies and Guidelines

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

In summary, the Act stipulates that each institution must:

Use Technology-Based Deterrents

The University of Houston uses several technologies to track down copyright violations. Historically, UH has employed packet-shaping and bandwidth monitoring to detect and limit illegal file sharing systems. Currently, we review and correlate logs collected to assist in finding violators. Once detected, the violator is informed of his infraction and notified of his responsibility to cease and desist. In the Fall of 2010, the University of Houston will implement a new technology tool (Red Lambda Integrity software) to aid in this effort.

Have Policies In Place

The University of Houston prints and distributes its Student Handbook yearly to all faculty, staff and students. Included in the handbook is the University's policy on copyright laws. This section refers to the University of Houston System Administrative Memoranda (SAM) Number: 07.A.04, Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This is the official policy for the University of Houston System. To better inform students as to the consequences of infractions, a change in language is planned for the next edition of the Student Handbook.

Conduct Educational Programs

The University offers the Computer Security Awareness Training for Students (CSATS) program. This program is designed to ensure that students are aware of computer security issues, including illegally downloading music. The program also provides information about how to download music and other copyrighted information safely and legally without violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Handout materials for students include a listing of sites where students can legally download music and other copyrighted material.

Have a Procedure for Handling Reports of Copyright Infringement Including Disciplinary Procedures.

All reports of illegal file sharing and/or copyright infringement are investigated by the University's information security group. If warranted, the Dean of Students Office, or the Human Resources Department is engaged in taking disciplinary action.

Have Procedures in Place to Periodically Review the Effectiveness of the Approaches Being Used

The effectiveness of this program is reviewed monthly by the University Information Technology Information Security Group. This is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for that group. In addition, monthly reports are made to the State of Texas Department of Information Resources, and the outcome of this program is included in the Annual Information Security Report, which is reviewed by the senior leadership of the University.

Have Legal Alternatives for Students to Use

The University of Houston not only provides a list of legal alternatives in our policy and education programs, but also provides convenient access through our iTunesU service.