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Digital Copyright and P2P File Sharing

Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Compliance

This page outlines CCSU’s plan to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).

Downloading, copying and sharing material including, but not limited to copyrighted music, movies, and software, for which the copyright holder has not given you rights is both against the law and University Policy.

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

  • 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 certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to "effectively combat" the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material including "the use of one or more technology-based deterrents";
  • Institutions offer alternatives to illegal file sharing to the extent practical;
  • Institutions identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

Annual Disclosure

Central uses a wide variety of methods to inform students about copyright laws:

Combat Plan

Central uses several technology-based deterrents to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials:

  • Central utilizes Traffic/Packet Shaping (Bluecoat PacketShaper PS1000) technology that allows the campus to prioritize network traffic and limit bandwidth based on need or policy. 
  • Central currently blocks all known P2P traffic.
  • Central’s policies concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our response to infringement claims are published on the University's web site. If the University receives a complaint that a user is redistributing copyrighted material, that user's Internet connection will be blocked until the complaint is resolved and the case will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for appropriate action. If the University receives multiple complaints about a single user their Internet access will be blocked and subject to permanent removal.

Alternative Online Sources for Copyrighted Materials

There are many legal sources for copyrighted material such as music and movies. They have a wide range of business models; some are free and some charge a nominal fee. The Motion Picture Association of America maintains an up-to-date and comprehensive compendia of legal sources. Cornell University also maintains a list of legal sources for online music and videos.  In addition, licensed resources are available to the campus community at Elihu Burritt Library.

Reviewing Effectiveness

Beginning in 2011-12 and periodically thereafter, we will survey community members to assess the extent to which our anti-piracy messages are reaching them. We will analyze the impact of our technical efforts to combat illegal file sharing, and other aspects of our plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.


CCSU HEOA Compliance Plan

Notification of RIAA and Copyrighted Materials


Taken, in part, from Educause with permission

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