Linfield College Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements
H.R 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), is a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. 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 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.
Consistent with our educational principles, we view education as the most important element in combating illegal sharing of copyrighted materials at Linfield. We use a wide variety of methods to inform our community about the law and Linfield’s response to copyright infringement claims:
- In order to use college computing resources, all members of the Linfield Community will endorse a Computer User Agreement that includes a section on copyright compliance.
- Posters are being mounted in student computer labs and elsewhere to discourage illegal file sharing.
- Computing support staff, including student Help Desk workers, are regularly trained on the College position with respect to copyright issues. Student workers provide an important channel for communicating with the student community.
- Linfield's policies and procedures concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our response to infringement claims are published on Linfield’s web site.
- Periodically, all College employees will receive email from the President or other officers regarding copyright infringement and related issues.
- Language has been added to the Student Handbook outlining the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
Plans to “Effectively Combat” the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
We currently employ bandwidth-shaping technology to prioritize network traffic. We limit the amount of bandwidth available to P2P applications but we do not filter such applications since much of the traffic is legal.
We are investigating BAYU, a software utility developed by the University of Michigan program, that flags uploads in progress and sends an automated educational email to the suspected source. Such users would be reminded that P2P file sharing is illegal and against Linfield’s acceptable use policies. If we observe continued high bandwidth consumption we will contact such users to ensure that their bandwidth consumption is the result of legal purposes only.
As a member of the Linfield Community, you have many resources to help protect your privacy, your personal computer, and your good standing at Linfield.
Respect for copyright and intellectual property are important aspects of academic integrity. You can learn how to use other people's materials appropriately at the Linfield Libraries Copyright Policy Web site.
Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing
Educause maintains a comprehensive list of Legal Downloading Resources . Members of the Linfield community are encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content.
Compared to our peers, Linfield receives remarkably few (averaging less than two per year) peer to peer file sharing takedown notices. We will continue to monitor these notices to watch for unexpected increases that would require additional measures.