2023-2024 Catalog

HEOA Peer to Peer File Sharing Requirements and Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Purpose: H.R. 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), is a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing. This Guideline outlines FRCC's plan to comply with these requirements.

Scope: All members of the FRCC Community including students, faculty and staff are subject to the terms and conditions of this Guideline.

A. HEOA has stipulated a number of provisions designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. These provisions include requirements that:

   1. 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.

   2. Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed a plan to "effectively combat" the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. The plan must include the use of technology-based deterrents.

   3. Institutions, "to the extent practicable," offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.

   4. Institutions identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

B. Annual Disclosure
Consistent with our educational principles, we view education as the most important element in combating illegal sharing of copyrighted materials at FRCC. We use a wide variety of methods to inform our community about the law and FRCC's response to copyright infringement claims:

   1. In order to use college computing resources, all members of the FRCC Community must comply with the CCCS Policy SP3-125f.

   2. FRCC's Compliance with HEOA Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Guidelines is published annually by the Registrar in the College catalog. Published information includes links to alternative downloading sites.

   3. Each year, FRCC sends out an email to all students, faculty and staff regarding illegal distribution of copyrighted materials and the importance of adhering to appropriate copyright laws.

   4. Computing support staff is regularly trained on the College position with respect to copyright issues.

C. Plan

   1. FRCC utilizes Audible Magic's CopySense Compliance Service, employing the CopySense Appliance to provide network-based peer-to-peer content identification and graduated response services to identify unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works. The solution:

      a. Identifies unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works;

      b. Allows legitimate P2P (Peer-to-Peer) activity to continue unfettered;

      c. Provides real-time detection and communication with students to help build better digital citizens;

      d. Provides a warning message with legal alternatives when it detects illegal downloading.

   2. The network appliance and servers hosted at Audible Magic facilities are used to detect unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works. Audible Magic's patented fingerprint technology uses metadata filters and/or uniform file identifiers of previously identified copyrighted content for detection.

   3. Audible Magic manages and maintains a global registry of fingerprints of copyrighted works, which are used to match content shared over peer-to-peer file sharing. Audible Magic works with copyright owners to submit fingerprints of copyrighted content for inclusion in the global registry.

   4. The network appliance includes a dashboard to administer FRCC's graduated response rules and use policies.

   5. Audible Magic hosts a graduated response website for customer configuration of the graduated response system.

D. Violations of Guidelines
Copyright violations on FRCC networks will result in: 1) unsuccessful download of material; 2) warning message; 3) education about legal alternatives; and 4) loss of internet access.

   1. First offense:

      a. The user will be required to review FRCC's HEOA Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Guidelines, which will be presented in a pop-up window on the computer screen;

      b. The user will be required to acknowledge that he/she will adhere to the guidelines and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) by selecting the "I Will Comply" button in the pop-up window; and,

      c. Internet access to the offending device will be suspended for 15 minutes.

   2. Subsequent offenses:

      a. The user will have his/her network access immediately suspended, and a message will advise the user to contact Information Technology Services (ITS) in person;

      b. The violator will need to appear in person, and identify himself/herself to a permanent ITS representative (not a student worker);

      c. The ITS Helpdesk will initiate an incident report, which identifies the student;

      d. The ITS Helpdesk will identify the specific activity that triggered the violation and include this information in the incident report;

      e. The ITS Helpdesk will send the incident report to the campus Dean of Student Services;

      f. The office of the Dean of Student Services will inform the ITS Helpdesk when internet access can be restored;

      g. The Dean of Student Services will pursue disciplinary action if more than one such incident report is created for the same student, or if the specific activity that triggered the violation warrants disciplinary action.

E. Offering Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing

   1. When illegal downloading is detected by the CopySense appliance, a warning message with legal alternatives to illegal downloading is presented to the offender.

   2. In addition, FRCC publishes links to a website which describes legal alternatives for downloading copyrighted materials (http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent).

F. Reviewing Effectiveness

   1. At the end of each fiscal year, the Director of Information Technology will review the DMCA cases and the plan. The plan and policies will then be reviewed to strengthen any gaps or areas of concern.

   2. The Director of Financial Aid annually certifies, by virtue of submitting the FRCC federal student financial aid report, that FRCC is meeting its obligations with regard to illegal file sharing.