HEOA P2P Compliance

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) contains provisions for the regulation of peer-to-peer (P2P) applications when used in ways that infringe on the copyrights of commercial works.  Several sections of the HEOA deal with the unauthorized file sharing on campus networks, imposing three general requirements on all U.S. colleges and universities:

  • An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law.
    • A statement that explicitly informs its students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;
    • A summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and
    • A description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information technology system.
  • A plan to "effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials" by users of its network, including "the use of one or more technology-based deterrents".
    • Bandwidth shaping
    • Traffic monitoring to identify the largest bandwidth users
    • A vigorous program of accepting and responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices
    • A variety of commercial products designed to reduce or block illegal file sharing
  • A plan to "offer alternatives to illegal downloading".

Ways in which Weber State University (WSU) is complying with these provisions (for the complete plan, click on the HEOA P2P Compliance Plan link):

  • Weber State University provides a direct individual annual disclosure to all students, faculty, and staff regarding copyright infringement and peer-to-peer file sharing.  This information will also be included in institutional information upon request to prospective and enrolled students.
  • WSU uses several technology-based deterrents to reduce or block illegal file sharing:
    • Bandwidth shaping on the unauthenticated wireless network
    • Traffic monitoring on all University networks
    • Content filtering on the unathenticated wireless
    • Network access control on the University Housing wired network
    • A program of accepting and responding to DMCA notices
  • WSU suggests alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property:
    • These are included in the annual disclosure and can also be found on the links available on this site.