Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

Introduction

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 includes a requirement that institutions develop and implement a plan to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of material, the copyright in and to which may be owned by a third party, by users of the institution’s network without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network. For more information see “Department of Education, final rules” under additional resources at the end of this page. (see Final Rules 34 CFR Parts 600, 668, 675, et al. Federal Register 74(208):55901-55939).

The plan must include:

  1. The use of 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.

Use of Technology-Based Deterrents

College of Western Idaho uses a number of technical means to monitor Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing on its network. Information that is maintained includes records of P2P file sharing sessions of all Faculty, Staff and Students.  This information includes source and destination information, usernames, files being transferred, and information on the P2P application being used.  When P2P traffic is observed on the network the file being transferred is identified and compared against an extensive database of known content (Movies, TV shows, Music, Software, etc.) that is subject to a claim of copyright protection.  If the content is identified as being protected, the web browser of the computer in question will be redirected to an Anti-Piracy Information page where the end user will be informed that they are uploading or downloading protected material.  The Anti-Piracy notice will provide the end user with examples of the works infringed and inform them of legal means to download such content. The end user will also be asked to comply with the college’s Acceptable Use policy by clicking on a button in the anti-piracy message. 

The first notice will be informational; after the first notice restrictions on the end users internet access will be put in place.  On a second offense, the end user will lose internet connectivity for 4 Hours; for the third offense, 24 hours; and for the fourth offense, the remainder of the semester.

Sanction notices are based on a point system and may not necessarily be generated after every violation but every violation will be logged and awarded a point value.  All points awarded will apply to the next level of violation.

The use of encrypted P2P applications may obfuscate the contents of a P2P file sharing session and because of this the use of encrypted P2P on CWI’s network is forbidden.  Using encrypted P2P applications will generate points toward sanctions for every P2P session regardless of content and the possibility exists that the end user could be sanctioned for downloading LEGAL content.

Continued violations of the college’s Electronic Technology Usage Procedure will be forwarded to the Dean of Enrollment and Student Services for student violations and to Human Resources for faculty and staff violations so that the appropriate disciplinary action may be applied in accordance with the student handbook or CWI Policy and Procedure Manual.

Educational Plan for Electronic Copyright Protection

The Department of Information Technology, in cooperation with the Communications and Marketing department, will provide yearly notification to students, staff and faculty of the college’s intellectual property procedures.  Additional information regarding appropriate use of copyrighted materials will be distributed to faculty, staff, and students as they are developed.

The Department of Information Technology, in cooperation with the Communications and Marketing Department, will develop pages for CWI’s website that describe the college’s stance on intellectual property rights, P2P file sharing, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and the Digital Millennium Copy right act (DMCA).  The pages developed and published will include a link(s) to how to obtain content authored by a third party material legally.

Description of Institution's Procedures for Handling Copyright Infringement

In the event that an individual at College of Western Idaho is found to have committed copyright infringement, the individual will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with their respective Handbook (Student, Employee or Faculty).  If a complaint is issued to the college the following procedures will be followed:

Complaints involving students:

A representative of the AVP of Enrollment and Student Services will meet with the student whose computer contains the information that is the subject of the complaint.  The student will be informed of the College’s Copyright, Computer Use, and DMCA/HEOA policies and asked to produce proof that they have explicit permission or license to use the material in the manner described in the complaint.

If the student does not produce the proper documentation, the student will be instructed to remove the specific material and other similar material from his or her computer.  When the student complies with this request, the student will sign a document acknowledging removal of the copyrighted material.

If the student does not comply with the request, access to the College’s computer technology infrastructure may be blocked and the issue will be referred to the AVP of Enrollment and Student Services for appropriate disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Complaints involving employees:

A representative of the Human Resources Department will meet with the employee whose computer contains the information that is the subject of the complaint.  The employee will be informed of the College’s Copyright, Computer Use, and DMCA/HEOA rules and asked to produce proof that they have explicit permission or license to use the material in the manner described in the complaint.

If the employee does not produce the proper documentation, the employee will be instructed to remove the specific material and other similar material from his or her computer.  When the employee complies with this request, the employee will sign a document acknowledging removal of the copyrighted material.

If the employee refuses or does not comply with the designated agent’s request, the employee’s access to or from the employee’s College’s account or computer may be blocked and the action will be referred to the Director of Human Resources and the employees supervisor for appropriate disciplinary action as outlined in either the employee or faculty handbooks.

Periodic Review

This plan will be reviewed annually.

Additional Resources

Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials (U.S. Copyright Office)

Department of Education, Final Rules (HEOA)