Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Compliance Plan

Purpose

The regulations for implementing the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 include provisions designed to reduce the illegal sharing of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer file sharing. This plan describes how Willamette University will comply with the four relevant provisions of the act:

  • Informing and educating the community about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material
  • Using technology-based deterrents to illegal file sharing
  • Implementing procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material
  • Implementing procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plan

Plan

Annual Disclosure and Education

Educating the Willamette community is the cornerstone of Willamette’s plan to combat illegal sharing of copyrighted materials. We use a variety of methods to inform faculty, students and staff about the law and the University’s response to claims of copyright infringement:

  • All faculty, staff and students must agree to the University Responsible Use Policy that contains a section on copyright compliance before they are granted access to University computing resources.
  • Anyone who wishes to connect a non-University owned computer to the campus network (wired or wireless) must agree to the University Peer-to-Peer File Sharing policy as part of the registration process. Students must re-register every year.
  • Posters designed to highlight the issues surrounding illegal file sharing are mounted in the computer labs and residence halls.
  • Computing support staff, including Help Desk student assistants, are trained about the University policies regarding the use of copyrighted material. Student workers are encouraged to take advantage of “teachable moments” when they are assisting students at the Help Desk.
  • An annual mailing is sent to students regarding illegal peer-to-peer file sharing
  • University policies and procedures concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the response to infringement claims and a summary of civil and criminal penalties for violation of federal copyright laws are published on the University web site.
  • The Willamette web site provides links to sites that community members can use to legally obtain music, videos and other digital content. This site also provides a link to the Educause “Legal Sources of Online Content” web site.

Plans to Effectively Combat Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

When Willamette University’s total bandwidth consumed exceeds a defined threshold, the bandwidth available to the individuals with the highest utilization is automatically reduced. This will likely limit the amount of bandwidth consumed by peer-to-peer traffic.

Implementing Procedures for Handling Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

Willamette responds to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices according to policies published here.

Reviewing the Plan

The volume of DMCA notices will provide an indication of the effectiveness of this plan. WITS leadership will review these statistics periodically.

Individual elements of the plan, such as the legal alternatives web site, will be maintained by the User Services group and the Help Desk student assistants.