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Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Sharing Policy & Guide

Information Technology Services provides guidelines and restricts the use of P2P applications and protocols, such as BitTorrent, etc. Denison has implemented technical controls which allow us to prioritize traffic based on type so that we never examine the content of the traffic, thereby ensuring individual privacy. However, all community members must respect all applicable copyright laws.

Most of the freeware versions of P2P applications contain adware and spyware, which you should remove. Spyware/adware cause pop-up advertisements and can keep you from connecting to the internet. Students that use P2P services will experience higher than normal levels of malicious software activity on their system. Pay services can be better, but still cause similar problems. Information Technology Services recommends that you do not install any P2P file/music sharing applications.

If you do, however, you must follow these requirements:

  • Choose your application wisely. Check for spyware or viruses after installing.
  • Read all available documentation and help files provided with your application.
  • Configure the application to use a reasonable amount of resources (i.e. no more than 10 simultaneous downloads, limit bandwidth and limit or disable uploads).
  • Disable all super-node or hub settings.
  • Close the application when you are not using it. Some of these applications create useless connections even when you are not actively using it.
  • Abide by all copyright laws.

Penalties for Violation of University P2P Policy

Denison Information Technology Services (ITS) department receives electronic notices alleging copyright infringement. Notices are received from a variety of sources including but not limited to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America, Sony BMG, HBO, CBS, NBC and other organizations, affiliates and agencies representing the interests of copyright holders.

ITS takes action with each allegation as follows:

  • ITS staff investigate the allegation using the IP address, IP port, and the date and time conveyed in the notice. Once verified, the information is matched to login and activity records to determine the identity of the user. All relevant information regarding the allegation is recorded in an ITS maintained database.
  • A Warning letter from the Director of ITS is sent to the user by email and printed and deposited in the user’s postal mailbox along with a copy of the original allegation correspondence. The Warning letter contains information about potential consequences and an offer for technical assistance to cease all peer-to-peer file sharing activity.
  • The second Warning notice received by a student must be acknowledged with signature and returned to the ITS Help Desk within 7 days.  If a signed copy of the second notice is not returned to the ITS Help Desk, network service for the student’s personal devices will be suspended.
  • Upon the third Warning notice a student receives, network service for the student’s personal devices will be suspended for a period of 30 days.

ITS will not reveal the identity of an alleged copyright infringer to the requesting authority but if, in the future, it is presented a subpoena, ITS may be required to reveal a user’s identity and turn over discovery information regarding the alleged user’s network activity.

Efforts to Educate Students on Issues of P2P File Sharing

  • Freshman June and August Orientation sessions
  • September Student Affairs Hand of Honor Campaign
  • Fall Security Fair
  • Denison Publications
  • ITS Student Quick Start Guide
  • Denison Student Handbook
  • First‐Year Student Notebooks
  • ITS Website
  • Student Affairs Website

Procedures to Review the Effectiveness of the Plan to Combat P2P

File Sharing Activities

Periodically, Denison ITS will review the P2P database records. An analysis of various data and metrics including types of allegations, originator, student type and status, and quantity of first, second, and third offenses will be conducted. At least once a year, a meeting to examine the data will occur with Directors from Information Technology Services, the Library, the Community Rights and Standards Office, and the Vice President for Student Affairs. Observations will be made and educational efforts or other deterrents will be considered as needed.

Banned Applications & Protocols

In order to provide equitable network services to all our users, the ITS department reserves the right to block abusive or dangerous file sharing protocols. Systems attempting to use a banned application may be blocked from all network access until the offending program is removed. 

What is blocked?

BitTorrent network traffic is not permitted through Denison's Internet firewall.

What is BitTorrent?

A peer-to-peer protocol commonly used in the practice of sharing copyrighted music, video, and other files across the Internet.

Why?

Denison regularly receives cease-and-desist notices from agencies representing DMCA, RIAA, MPAA, Sony, HBO and others. The administrative effort required to process notifications and to curtail student behavior related to illegal file sharing is costly. Additionally, BitTorrent is one of the top 5 Internet bandwidth consumers on the campus network. This contributes to slower overall network performance.

Penalties for Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Legal Alternative Resources for Music, Video, and other media

Other Relevant Information: