Clark College Compliance with Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act
IntroductionThe Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, was enacted by Congress in 2008. It includes provisions that require colleges and universities that participate in certain federal programs, including financial aid, to take steps to curb the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. These provisions include requirements that:
- Institutions make an annual disclosure that informs the College community 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.
- 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.
Annual DisclosureClark College uses a variety of methods to inform our community about the law and Clark's response to copyright infringement claims:
- In order to use College computing resources, Clark College students and employees agree to abide by the Computing Resources Policy that includes a section on copyright compliance.
- Stories are placed in the student newspaper and posters are mounted in student computer labs and elsewhere to educate students on copyright law as it relates to illegal P2P file sharing.
- Students receive a Student Handbook that includes a summary statement on College policy related toP2P file sharing and points to further information on the College Web site.
- Every fall an email is sent to students addressing the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
- Student lab assistants are trained on the College position with respect to copyright issues.
- Clark College policies and procedures related to copyright, illegal file sharing, and related issues are published on Clark's Web site.
- Periodically, College employees receive email from the Director of Information Technology Services regarding copyright infringement and related issues.
Plans to "Effectively Combat" the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted MaterialClark College employs a Bluecoat Packet Shaper to manage Internet bandwidth. Network traffic is monitored on the basis of transport protocol. P2P protocols are either blocked or allocated a minimal amount of bandwidth unless a specific application of P2P file sharing is approved. When we discover a system using excessive bandwidth, we contact the user to ensure that the bandwidth consumption is for legal purposes and that the user is aware of the College's policies concerning illegal file sharing.
The College responds to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices according to policies published on our web site:
Offering Alternatives to Illegal File SharingThe Clark College Web site provides links to sites that provide options for obtaining music, videos, and other digital content in a legal manner. Members of the Clark community are encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content. These resources can be found at:
Reviewing EffectivenessPeriodically, we will survey a sample of students to assess the extent to which our anti-piracy messages are reaching them, the extent to which students are taking advantage of legal alternatives, and the impact of our technical efforts to combat illegal file sharing.