Compliance with HEOA Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) is a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. 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:
- Institutions make an annual disclosure that informs students that illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes steps the institution takes to detect and punish illegal distribution activities.
- Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to "effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
- Institutions, “to the extent practicable,”offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.
- Institutions identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.
This document outlines Cal Poly’s plans to comply with these requirements.
Cal Poly views education as the most important element in combating illegal sharing of copyrighted materials by students. It uses a wide variety of methods to inform the campus community about the law and Cal Poly's response to copyright infringement claims:
- All users must acknowledge and agree to abide by Cal Poly's Information Technology Resources Responsible Use Policy which covers illegal distribution of copyrighted materials and inappropriate use of the network. All users must reaffirm this policy every time they change their Cal Poly password.
- Students who live on campus must sign a University Housing Student Computing & Room/Apartment Condition Inventory Agreement which prohibits copyright infringement and unauthorized use of servers and networks, including using peer-to-peer software to illegally share copyrighted music, video, software and other digital content.
- Residence hall students are notified of campus and housing policies on P2P file sharing, copyright infringement and responsible network use in handbooks and on the ResNET website.
- Every fall, Cal Poly will send an email to all students regarding illegal distribution of copyrighted materials and peer-to-peer software. This notice will be posted on the Web and linked to from the current students section of the Cal Poly home page.
- Computing support staff , including student ResNET and ITS Service Desk workers, are regularly trained on Cal Poly's position with respect to copyright issues. Student workers provide an important channel for communicating with the student community.
- ITS periodically briefs relevant governance bodies (such as the Student Campus Computing Committee and ASI Board of Directors) and the campus community (through Open Forums, articles in campus publications, etc.) on policy related topics..
- Cal Poly's policies and procedures concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its response to infringement claims are published on the Web.
Plans to “Effectively Combat” the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
Consistent with the HEOA regulations, Cal Poly maintains a vigorous program of accepting and responding to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices. In addition, Cal Poly currently uses a technology deterrent to shape bandwidth on the Residence Hall networks. This appliance is configured to place a high priority on educational uses of the network. Finally, Cal Poly employs tools to monitor network traffic. If a system is found to be using excessive bandwidth, the owner will be contacted to confirm that the bandwidth consumption is for valid university purposes and that the user is aware of campus policies.
Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing
Cal Poly's DMCA procedures and copyright infringement violation notice include a link to the list of legal alternatives for obtaining music, videos, and other digital content maintained by Educause. The link will be included in the annual notice to students and other Cal Poly web locations as appropriate.
These steps will be reviewed annually and revised as necessary to remain in compliance. The review will assess the overall effectiveness of Cal Poly's plan based on the number of DMCA notices received relative to the number of infringement capable devices, number of repeat offenders per year, results of traffic shaping and monitoring, and feedback from users. Any changes will take effect at the commencement of the following academic year.