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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. A plan to "offer alternatives to illegal downloading".