Technological Support

AOMA’s Department of Information Technology supports all technology-related efforts, maintaining the computer infrastructure for the institution, and supporting academic and administrative programs. 

Tech support for students consists of anything from help with accessing the CAMS student portal to assistance with remedial computer skills.  IT can also provide help to students who are experiencing problems with their personal computers.

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Copyright Law

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine is committed to providing the best education in Chinese medicine and acupuncture in the country.  As an institution that places a high value on integrity, we vigorously support the tenets of copyright law.  We ask that students, faculty, and community members read the following and be aware that we, as an institution, comply with copyright law as it is outlined below.

What you need to know about sharing music, movies, and other material bound by copyright

There can be grave consequences for those who engage in illegal sharing of copyrighted material. This FAQ is meant to help you understand what is legal and what isn't.

  • What is Digital Rights Management and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
  • Is it really illegal to share music and movies from my computer?
  • Isn't it okay to share just within the AOMA community?
  • Is it legal to just download material, as long as I don't serve it?
  • Isn't sharing music protected as "fair use" under copyright law?
  • Will AOMA protect my identity or defend me if I am sued?
  • But sharing is good for the record companies -- their sales keep going up!
  • Are there legal online sources for copyrighted music and movies?
  • Where can I learn more?

What is Digital Rights Management and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed by Congress in 1998, makes it illegal to copy or share intellectual property--music, videos, games, software, and other materials--without permissions. AOMA adheres to the regulations and guidelines outline by the DMCA.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technologies used by publishers and copyright owners to control access to and usage of digital data. The DMCA makes it illegal to produce and distribute technology that circumvents these copy-protection methods.

Is it really illegal to share music and movies from my computer?

Yes, in most cases. More specifically, it is illegal unless you own the copyright on the work or have permission from the owner to distribute it. For the vast majority of material (e.g., anything that is for sale in stores or online) it is illegal to download or upload copies. There are a few exceptions:

  • You can legally distribute material that you have the rights to, e.g. material that you create and publish yourself.
  • If the owner (typically the creator) gives you permission to give away the material, e.g. CDs of your friend's band.
  • Streaming via iTunes is legal for music purchased from the iTunes music store.

Unauthorized downloading or uploading of copyrighted material can result in legal action against you, including lawsuits by the copyright holder or their agent (such as the RIAA). It is also a violation of AOMA's computer user agreement.

Is it okay to share just within the AOMA Community?

No. It's also not "safe" to break the law on campus; students at other universities have been sued for illegal sharing that was limited to their campus. They settled out of court.

Is it legal to just download material from peer-to-peer services, as long as I don't serve it?

There are legal ways to download copyrighted materials (for instance from Amazon.com, Zune Music Store, the iTunes Music Store, and many more that you can find with a quick web search). Each of these services has some kind of revenue: simple sales, monthly fees, or advertising.

But peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted material without the copyright holder's permission is illegal, whether you are serving it up or downloading it. A useful analogy is receiving stolen property. And in most cases, the software you use to download files automatically makes your machine into a server, so you may be serving files without even realizing it.

Isn't sharing music protected as "fair use" under copyright law?

The doctrine of fair use is an important one, especially in an academic setting. But the vast majority of online music sharing is done in ways that do not constitute fair use.

Will AOMA protect my identity or defend me if I am sued?

No. AOMA will comply with legal subpoenas.

But sharing is good for the record companies -- their sales keep going up!

That's a good point to raise if you are arguing to change the governing law. But it doesn't change the current legal setting.

What risks result from sharing music online?

Copyright holders can file lawsuits against you (a tactic that they are currently pursuing aggressively). The maximum penalty can be very large and most cases are settled out of court. They can also notify AOMA of infringements that are taking place on campus, and require us to intervene to stop them.

Are there legal online sources for copyrighted music and movies?

Yes; Educause maintains a list of legal download sites.

Where can I learn more?

For more information on the DMCA, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA.

The Consortium of College and University Media Centers and the Music Library Association both have sites that address copyright issues, including fair use, in college and library settings.

For some insight into how some copyright holders view these issues, visit the sites of the Recording Industry Association of America or the Motion Picture Association of America.

The United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress has good general information about copyright law.

There are many ideas on how current law or business practices could be changed to reduce the incentive to steal music and still reward the creators. Here's just one, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

AOMA HEOA Implementation Plan

AOMA HEOA Implementation Plan for Combating Illegal File Sharing

As an institution that prizes research and teaching, AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine strives to support students, faculty, and the community in their scholarly work.  To that end, AOMA provides a clear outline for compliance with copyright law.  We ask that community members read the following material and become knowledgeable regarding policy on illegal file sharing.

Compliance with the Peer-to-Peer Provisions of the HEOA

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Peer-to-Peer (P2P) provisions require universities to develop and implement "written plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution's network without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network." This document is AOMA's plan to satisfy this HEOA requirement.

Plan Outline

  • Introduction
  • Technology-Based Deterrents

DMCA Notice Response

  • Community Education and Annual Disclosure to Students

Mechanisms for Educating the Community

  • Legal Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing
  • Periodic Review of Plan and Assessment Criteria

Procedures

Assessment Criteria

I. Introduction

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine is committed to upholding U.S. copyright law. As an Internet Service Provider under the meaning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), AOMA does not monitor its networks for the purpose of discovering illegal activity. However, AOMA fosters a set of ongoing initiatives to ensure that copyright, particularly as it applies to digital assets, is respected within the campus community. The initiatives at AOMA relevant to the HEOA are described as follows in this plan.

II. Technology-Based Deterrents

Under provisions of the DMCA and as a matter of AOMA policy, the institution does not routinely search for illegal activity that may occur over its networks. AOMA does, however, employ a vigorous program of accepting and responding to DMCA notices

  • DMCA Notice Response
  • AOMA implements an active program for responding to copyright infringement allegations. The institution follows system-wide guidelines for complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In accordance with established procedures, AOMA has a DMCA agent and designated DMCA e-mail account, which are on file with the US Copyright Office. When AOMA receives DMCA notices of alleged copyright infringement, it ensures that the offending material is expeditiously removed from the network and the individual involved is appropriately addressed, as per the specifics of the case. Repeat offenders are blocked from using the network for a period of time.

III. Community Education and Annual Disclosure to Students

AOMA conducts an ongoing educational campaign to inform the AOMA community-- especially students--about AOMA's commitment to upholding copyright law, deterring copyright infringement, and maintaining compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. These educational activities include the following:

  • Mechanisms for Educating the Community
  • Orientation: Illegal file sharing is addressed during student orientation sessions.
  • Acceptable use policy: Acceptable use policies define what activities are allowed or prohibited on the networks.
  • Common area activities: Fliers and posters are routinely posted containing advisories against copyright infringement.
  • Informational Web sites: Web sites, such https://www.aoma.edu/current-students/academic-support/copyright-law, advise students, campus staff, and the public about the AOMA's policies in this area.
  • Policy: AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine's Computer Use policy prohibits the use of AOMA's electronic communications resources for unlawful activities and requires adherence to applicable laws and AOMA policies regarding copyright.

IV. Legal Alternatives to Illegal File sharing

AOMA's Vice President of Operations is responsible for periodically reviewing and providing the AOMA community with access to legal options for obtaining electronic content, including movies and music. Currently, AOMA refers the campus community to the list of legal alternatives maintained by EDUCAUSE at http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

V. Periodic Review of Plan and Assessment Criteria

AOMA will conduct an initial review of its plan for combating copyright infringement. Subsequent reviews will be conducted on biennial basis. No single criterion is used to determine whether or not the plan is effective; a range of factors are considered in the context of the changing external environment. The assessment may include the following considerations:

  • Periodic review and update of educational materials (Web, print, etc.) for user friendliness / clarity / organization / pertinence / accuracy.
  • Review of recidivism--whether there are few or many repeat offenders (in comparable circumstances)--and its causes.
  • Review of other institutions' practices to determine if there are different approaches that merit further consideration and that are appropriate to the campus's environment and policies.
  • Review of the technical, social, and legal trends that may alter the number of complaints received.
AOMA Response to Claims of Copyright Infringement

AOMA Response to Claims of Copyright Infringement and RIAA Pre-Litigation Letters

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine is an institution dedicated to learning and to research.  As such, we maintain strict standards of accountability and integrity in our scholarship and research.  The following is an outline of AOMA’s compliance with copyright law.

When AOMA receives a copyright infringement claim involving music, video, software, or other digital materials, it takes the following steps under the 1998 federal statute known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA:

  • we check network usage logs and registration information to examine the system alleged to be involved in copyright infringement and we identify the person using it;
  • we suspend the system’s Internet access;
  • we notify the copyright holder (or agent) that we are handling the infringement claim under the guidelines of the DMCA;
  • we DO NOT disclose the user's identity;
  • we inform the user that and infringement claim as been made and ask if the user has downloaded or shared the copyrighted material in question without permission.

First-Time Offenses

If the user acknowledges using the copyrighted material without permission, we:

  • require the user to read the Computer Policy and to review information about the DMCA statute and copyright regulations;
  • require the user to submit a statement: (a) confirming the copyright infringement, (b) acknowledging violation of the Computer User Agreement, and (c) promising not to repeat this behavior;
  • deny the user's system access to the Internet for five days;
  • inform the claimant that the matter has been resolved.

If the user denies using the copyrighted material without permission, we:

  • require the user to submit a statement denying the copyright infringement claim;
  • inform the claimant that the claim has been denied;
  • under the DMCA, the claimant may pursue a subpoena to obtain the identity of the system user and may file a lawsuit against the user.

Second-Time Offenses

If the user acknowledges a second instance of using copyrighted material without permission, we:

  • require the user to re-read the Computer User Agreement and to review information about the DMCA statute and copyright regulations;
  • require the user to submit a statement: (a) confirming the second case of copyright infringement, (b) acknowledging violation of the Computer User Agreement and his/her promise not to repeat this behavior, and (c) recognizing that any further violations will result in an Honor Case and other actions as the institution may deem appropriate;
  • deny the user’s system access to the campus network for five days and to the Internet for a period not to exceed the balance of the semester;
  • inform the Dean of Students of the actions taken;
  • inform the claimant that the matter has been resolved.

RIAA Pre-Litigation Letters

In February 2007, the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) announced a new strategy for dealing with suspected instances of copyright infringement. The RIAA is sending "settlement letters" to universities indicating their intention to sue users of systems engaged in illegal file sharing and asking universities to forward those letters to users. Hundreds of these letters have been sent already. A sample settlement letter can be found at:

http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD4832.pdf

The letters inform users that they can avoid lawsuits by immediately contacting the RIAA and paying settlement fees. If users decline to do this, subpoenas will be sought to require universities to disclose users' identities. Lawsuits will then be filed. Users may, at that time, avoid a lawsuit by paying settlement fees larger than the original settlement amount. If users again decline, lawsuits will be pursued to obtain damages and recover RIAA legal fees.

In the event that AOMA receives a settlement letter, the University will:

  • treat the letter as a DMCA copyright infringement claim and respond as per the DMCA response guidelines;
  • forward the pre-litigation letter to the system user;
  • AOMA will not disclose the identity of a system user unless presented with a subpoena or other legally valid writ.

For IT-related help, contact the IT Director, Mario Castillo, by phone (512) 492-3005 or by email at tech.support@aoma.edu.