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 willtake 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.
This document outlines Earlham’s plan to comply with these requirements.
Education and Annual Disclosure
Earlham College uses the following methods to educate and inform our community about the law including:
- Earlham College's Academic Policies include a Copyright Policy which states: "You, as a member of the Earlham community, are expected to comply with US Copyright Law and to respect the intellectual property rights of others as per Copyright Law of the United States and Earlham Principles and Practices."
- Earlham's Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy prohibits the use of college owned equipment for the purpose of illegally replicating copyright protected digital media.
- Periodic email are sent to the campus community regarding copyright laws.
- Information regarding HEOA P2P File Sharing Requirements are published in the annual student handbook.
Plans for Combating the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
Earlham utilizes a SonicWall SuperMassive 9400 network security appliance to help manage and secure the network. This provides ITS the means to allow legitimate P2P traffic through on college owned computing equipment while blocking P2P traffic on all personally owned computers and devices attached to the college network.
Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing
The web page listed below provides links to sites that provide numerous options for obtaining music, videos, and other digital content in a legal manner. Members of the Earlham community are encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content.
Educause Legal Sources of Online Content
The decision to block P2P traffic was made in late December of 2012 after reviewing the methods in deployment at that time. Since blocking began Earlham has received a minimal number of DMCA notices which were addressed successfully utilizing the process identified above. Earlham will continue to periodically review our procedures and make adjustments as necessary.