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File Sharing

FAQ - File Sharing

File Sharing

What is CWI required to do under the DMCA and HEOA?

Under the DMCA all Internet Service Providers aka Online Service Providers are required to:

  1. Register a designated agent with the U.S. Copyright Office to receive notification of claims of copyright infringement.
  2. Promptly respond to any properly formatted notification of claim of copyright infringement also known as a DMCA takedown notice.
  3. Develop and maintain procedures for handling complaints of copyright infringement that occur on CWI’s network. The procedures must include:
    1. A procedure for terminating accounts of repeat infringers
    2. A procedure to accommodate and not interfere with standard measures used by copyright owners to identify and protect their works.
  4. Post the procedures on the college’s website
  5. Undertake an educational program to ensure that the campus community understands copyright law and promotes compliance with it.

For more information on the DMCA as it pertains to Colleges and Universities please refer to the Educause DMCA FAQ located here:


Under the HEOA All colleges and universities in the United States are required to develop a plan to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by the users of its network without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network. The plan must include the following:

  1. The use of 1 or more technology-based deterrents
  2. An educational component regarding appropriate and inappropriate use of copyrighted materials
  3. A description of the institution’s procedures for handling copyright infringement; and
  4. A required periodic review of the plan.

For more information on the HEOA as it pertains to Colleges and Universities please refer to the Educause HEOA Role Models web page located here:


What is fair use of copyrighted materials?

Fair use is a provision of U.S. copyright law which defines the legal but limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the owner. Acceptable forms of fair use are for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship and research. If you have a questions about whether or not your use of copyrighted works falls under fair use please consult CWI’s copyright decision document.


What is file sharing?

File sharing is when you share (download or upload) electronic data files over a network connection, whether the network is secure or unsecure, public or private. File sharing is not illegal if you have permission from the copyright owner to share the files. It is illegal if you share copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright owner.

What is P2P software?

Peer-to-peer (P2P) software allows “peers” (individual computer systems) to connect to each other over  the internet to share files. Examples of mainstream P2P software programs include BitTorrent, Limewire, Ares and AresWarez, Kazaa, Azureus, DC++ and Morpheus.

What is the Electronic Technology Usage Policy?

The Electronic Technology Usage Policy identifies the standards of use that all users (Faculty, Staff, Students and Guests) must agree to before using the shared computing resources of College of Western Idaho.

What is the MPAA?

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is a trade association of the American motion picture, home video and television industries. The MPAA serves as an advocate for strong protection of the creative works produced and distributed by the industry and fights copyright theft around the world.

What is the RIAA?

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade association of the U.S. recording industry (or its member record companies). The RIAA serves to foster a business and legal climate for its members through protection of intellectual property rights and the First Amendment rights of artists as well as through monitoring and reviewing state and federal laws, regulations and policies.