Federal regulations permit us to choose either a process-based assessment or an outcomes-based assessment of our plan to effectively combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. Because Shepherd University used bandwidth shaping and traffic monitoring for a long period of time prior to the new Federal regulations in 2009, an outcomes-based assessment (measuring the reduction in copyright infringement notices, for example) would not be as reliable. Our annual assessment is process-based. We compare ourselves to our peer institutions to determine if our plans are similar in scope. When available, industry best practices will also be used.
Our current assessment concludes that our plans are effective. Of the four suggested technical means to combat illegal downloading, Shepherd University uses two (bandwidth shaping and traffic monitoring). Six Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices have been received in the past. All came immediately following the replacement of our bandwidth shaping tool. During that brief period of time, no shaping took place because of needing to let it analyze our traffic. After its replacement was completed, we have received no further copyright infringement notices. A review of our peer institutions’ published copyright policies show that our plans are similar to others.