FileSharing DropboxUAB IT’s SPARK initiative, which has generated more than 60 ideas since its inception last month, inspired an easy win for campus: an increase in the size limit for files uploaded to the UAB Dropbox.

The UAB Dropbox will now accept single file uploads as large as 4 Gb, doubling the previous size allowed.

Ed Harris, assistant director of systems and server support for UAB IT, said he was inspired to increase the limit by a comment on SPARK from Dan Willson, senior systems analyst for the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.

The easy fix is the kind of win for UAB that Curtis A. Carver Jr., vice president for information technology, was hoping for with the new SPARK site — along with bold new ideas in technology.

“We invite everyone in the UAB community to share your ideas with us,” he said. “We’re looking for at least 100 technology-related wins for UAB, and those ideas can be small or large.”

Dropbox allows campus users to share documents that are larger than the size limit allowed by campus e-mail.

The UAB Dropbox averages about 10,000 uses per year, mainly to transfer spreadsheets and other office documents.

Digital Copyright Compliance / HEOA Compliance

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.  UAB's policy concerning such copyright and licensing violations can be found in the Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources document. The specific, applicable example of a violation from that policy document is:

"Copyright and licensing violations including, but not limited to, providing or obtaining illegal copies of software or digital media (movies, videos, music, etc.) for which legal permission to distribute or possess has not been granted." 

Detection and Response

In an effort to comply with HEOA and effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of materials by users of the UAB network, UAB blocks many peer-to-peer protocols primarily associated with copyright infringement.  When UAB IT receives a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notification indicating unauthorized copying of material, UAB IT disables the associated network port and/or wireless connection and notifies the affected user or department. In order to re-enable the network port UAB requires violators to meet with an IT Help Desk representative to discuss the offense and the impact of the violation. Violators are required to bring their system to the Help Desk to ensure that all relevant file sharing software and infringing content has been removed

On subsequent infringement notices, students are referred to the Office of Non-academic Student Conduct.  Network access is blocked until we get approval from the Office of Non-academic Student Conduct. Employees are referred to their appropriate departmental management for handling. 

Alternative (Legal) Online Sources for Copyrighted Materials

Many legal sources exist for copyrighted material such as movies and music - some are free and others are for-fee. UAB's Mervyn H. Sterne Library maintains a website of Legal Media Downloads with links to many of the sites.  They are provided only as a resource and no endorsement is intended for any of the listed sites.

Links to Related Policies