Higher Education Opportunity Act

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), is a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. These provisions include requirements that:
 
  1. Institutions make an annual disclosure that informs students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes the steps that institutions will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
  2. Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
  3. Institutions, “to the extent practicable,” offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.
  4. Institutions identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. 

Policy:

  1. All users are bound to the College Computer User Agreement Policy which authorizes the College to take action if a user violates policy including illegal or other prohibited activities.
  2. Illegal sharing of software or media may result in the loss of network privileges or further disciplinary action by the College.
  3. Any subsequent violations of this nature will be referred to Student Affairs for disciplinary action that could result in suspension.

Procedures:

  1. Email the following to students and employees each semester:

This is a reminder that the College respects the copyrights held by the owners of intellectual property such as sound recordings and videos. Many of our own faculty, students and alumni hold copyrights to articles, books, music, art and other forms of creative works. They and other authors and artists have, among other things, the fundamental right to determine how their works are copied and distributed.

If you are acquiring or distributing copyrighted materials through file-sharing applications you may be in violation of copyright law. There are ethical as well as legal issues surrounding such file sharing, and we urge you to honor the rights of the owners of these works.

  1. Proactively follow-up on all RIAA or Media notices of violations. This may include contacting the student and the Student Affairs department, as well as recommending further disciplinary actions as per the file sharing policies set forth by the College.
  2. Employ bandwidth shaping and content-filtering technology to deter illegal peer-to-peer sharing.
  3. Offer information about legal alternatives for downloading copyrighted materials.
  4. Annually review file-sharing and copyright policies, procedures and technologies.

  5. Approved: 5-10-2010