The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008. Proposed regulations for implementing the act were issued by the Department of Education on August 21, 2009. Enforcement of the HEOA provisions formally started on July 1, 2010, and all colleges and universities were expected to be in compliance.
Several sections of the HEOA deal with unauthorized file sharing on campus networks. The HEOA imposes three general requirements on all U.S. colleges and universities.
- An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law must be made available.
- 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" must be in place and active.
- Institutions must have in place a plan to "offer an alternative(s) to illegal downloading."
NDSU Controls to Effectively Combat Copyright Infringement
Annual copyright notice, policies, and published documents relating to copyright law and copyright infringement:
NDSU has developed and published an Annual Copyright Notice. This notice is sent out Fall and Spring semesters via e-mail to all students. Other relevant links pertaining to copyright law include:
NDSU Policy 158 - Acceptable Use of Electronic Communication Devices
NDSU Policy 190 - Intellectual Property
Technology-based Deterrents Used by NDSU
NDSU follows a vigorous formal, documented, and established procedure of accepting and responding to DMCA notices. Internet bandwidth is monitored in residence life buildings, in campus classroom, and administrative offices. Certain limits are established, and if those limits are exceeded, and it is known a peer-to-peer program was used, the computer is blocked from the network. The MAC address is used as an identifier. The machine must be declared compliant before it can be added back to the network. The person who used/owns the computer must visit with an IT Security Officer.
Mechanisms Used to Educate the NDSU Community
- When community members (faculty, students, and staff) activate their IT services, they must accept that they will follow the acceptable use policy that has language pertaining to copyright infringement and how it relates to NDSU policy and law.
- NDSU employees and faculty are educated during new employee and new faculty orientation sessions.
- Incoming students new-to-NDSU are educated during orientation sessions.
- Training and awareness presentations are available upon request for copyright and fair use.
- Various colleges and departments have intellectual property committees that provide adjudication and resolution for students who plagiarize or violate copyright law and policy.
- Those who have violated copyright and fair use policy must visit with IT Security for verification that the material and applications used in the violation are removed from their device. In addition, they may have to appear before a member of Student Life in a sanction hearing. Sanctions may include but are not limited to writing reflective papers, research papers, letters of warning, and possibly termination of their university career.
- Unsecured wireless and personal wireless routers are not allowed on the campus proper and in residence life.
- All wireless access to the network must be authenticated and secure.
- NDSU policies and handbooks that are specific to or mention copyright and fair use include:
NDSU Policy 158 Acceptable Use of Electronic Communication Devices
NDSU Policy 190 Intellectual Property
NDSU Student Code of Behavior
Procedures used for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials
NDSU follows the procedure established by the North Dakota University System DMCA agent for take down notices and other outside copyright infringement complaints.
Periodic review of plan, criteria used to determine plan's effectiveness
NDSU response procedures are continually reviewed for effectiveness and relevance. We use insights from personal conversations with students, frequency of recidivism, developments in peer-to-peer software, etc.
Providing information to the campus community
NDSU has developed a statement regarding copyright and copyright law in general. Information is provided to the campus community in various forms including the URLs and policies already listed in this document. A copyright task force has been created for disseminating information and developing direction, interpretation, policy, and procedure for copyright and fair use. A message is sent at the beginning of fall and spring semesters to all students explaining the institution's policy related to copyright infringement and that copyright infringement may subject them to civil and criminal penalties. Included in the e-mail is the link to annual copyright notice. The e-mail includes a summary of the penalties for violating federal copyright law, as well as a description of the institution's actions that are taken. Information is posted to the campus community when there are changes related to copyright law and fair use. EDUCAUSE listserv posts are followed and used for questions and information related copyright law and fair use.