Legal use of Copyrighted Material and File Sharing at Bloomsburg University

Legal use of Copyrighted Material and File Sharing at Bloomsburg University

As a result of the Federal Department of Education issuing new regulations detailing what institutions will be expected to do to comply with the requirements of Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), The Office of Technology (OT) at Bloomsburg University has taken the following steps to demonstrate good faith in doing due diligence to comply with the HEOA regulations. It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.

Following are the main HEOA requirements with brief explanations of the steps Bloomsburg University is taking:

1. Make an annual disclosure that informs students the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject students to criminal and civil penalties and that describes the steps BU will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyright materials.

ACTION: Annually at the start of each new academic year a message to students will go out from the Office of Technology informing students about university policy related to the use of copyrighted material and steps the University will take to enforce its policies.

It should be noted BU has implemented a specific policy and set of DMCA procedures that were developed by the CITO. This policy and set of procedures complies with the requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Our DMCA and other Copyright Complaints Procedure can be found at:

2. Certify we have developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyright material.

ACTION: Currently, BU Office of Technology has implemented a system aimed at bandwidth shaping specifically for BU network traffic. This software throttles back the network traffic from a particular user once that specific person’s network traffic reaches the threshold specified in our policy. While the Office of Technology monitors the volume of network traffic it is the policy of the University that OT not monitor the content of any traffic on the campus network.
The University’s policy also addresses the steps to be followed in responding to DMCA notices. Essentially, an initial notice triggers a contact from OT with the alleged offender off-campus network access being revoked and asking the individual to remove the offending material. Once the offending material is removed, off-campus network access is restored. A second (and any subsequent notices) will be referred to the Dean of Students for action.

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

ACTION: OT has assembled a resource page on legal media downloads and file sharing that contains links to sites where students may legally download music, video and images, and OT will point to the resource site at EDUCAUSE.

These steps will be reviewed annually by The Office of Technology in June and revised as necessary to remain in compliance. Based on the monitoring data OT collects relative to network traffic, as well as the volume of DMCA notices received, the review will assess the overall effectiveness of the University’s policy and procedures to promote the legal use of copyrighted materials. Any changes to the policy and/or procedures will take effect at the commencement of the following academic year.