Institutional Research

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

UMHB’s Plan for Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act’s Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements

Introduction

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted material through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. These provisions include requirements that:

Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.

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 publicize alternatives to illegal file sharing.

This document outlines UMHB's plan to comply with these requirements.

Plans to “Effectively Combat” the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material:
UMHB currently employs 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.

Annual Disclosure:
The UMHB Student Handbook includes the Policy Regarding University Information Systems Usage which notifies students of the university's prohibition of copying or distributing copyright protected material. In addition to receiving the handbook each year, students must acknowlege acceptance of the Policy Regarding University Information Systems Usage whenever they register a device on the university's wireless network.

Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing:
UMHB does not block access from campus to legitimate sources of copyrighted material. Although we cannot maintain an up-to-date list of alternatives, we recommend that students use the Educause list at http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.