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HEOA Requirements

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) details three requirements by Higher Education institutions regarding copyrighted materials: 

  1.  An annual disclosure regarding copyright policy and law;

WVSOM adheres to this requirement by posting to the public web site the Acceptable Use Policy GA-31 Section 13.11 regarding unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing and Copyright Policy E-40 .  The WVSOM Information Technology Department provides information on both policies during student orientation each year.  Additionally, the Library Director directs patrons on appropriate copyright compliance.

WVSOM requires that all campus constituents comply with federal copyright law.  Institutional Policy E-40 specifically addresses this.  WVSOM has provided Copyright Guidelines that summarize United States Copyright laws and provides guidance for the standardized use of copyrighted works by WVSOM faculty, students, staff, and administrators in a manner compliant with Title 17 U.S. Code, the United States Copyright Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, and the TEACH Act.  

For more information, please see the web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.

  1.  A plan to "effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials" by users of its network, including "the use of one or more technology-based deterrents" (Bandwidth shaping, traffic monitoring, Digital Millennium Copyright Act response process to takedown notices, blocking of illegal file sharing);

Unauthorized use of copyright protected material may include but is not limited to:  software, written word, graphic images, music or audio files, movies, and other digitized material.   The IT Department combats unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials on the WVSOM network by

  • Daily monitoring of all network login attempts, network authorization, authentication, and traffic generated to and from local servers.  Such monitoring includes use of bandwidth, as well as traffic shaping and prioritizing network events most critical to the WVSOM institution.
  • The use of packet shaping and firewall technologies for inspecting, classifying, blocking, shaping, and discarding network activities such as illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file downloading.  Network administrators continually observe and monitor network traffic; web site, application, and database log files are kept for review.
  • Any network protocol or service which infringes on the WVSOM network is banned (i.e., intentional route poisoning, illegal peer-to-peer file sharing, individualized domains, and non-authorized servers).  Hosts that are using or offering this type of service will be removed from the network immediately.
  • Per the Acceptable Use Policy GA-31, disciplinary action regarding misuse of the network will result in the loss of network privileges, and may result in other administrative action.  The WVSOM Information Technology Department conducts ongoing audits to collect networking information.  This information is used to analyze the state of the network and any abuses that may be occurring.  It provides the basis for discontinuing the offending network behavior.
  1. A plan to “offer alternatives to illegal downloading”; WVSOM offers these methods:

WVSOM’s Library web page where terms of licensing for resources and royalty-free materials are posted for use by the WVSOM community.

WVSOM encourages the use of legitimate download services by directing network users to legal alternatives that may be accessed from the EDUCAUSE website at http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Response Process

WVSOM’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act process can be utilized to report and respond to any possible violation or infringement of copyright law.  WVSOM has registered its designated agent with the U.S. Copyright Office for the DMCA process.  In coordination with WVSOM’s agent and the Office of General Counsel, a response to the copyright allegations will be reviewed in accordance with the law.  Allegations submitted for review must include:

  • Digital or physical signature of the exclusive copyright owner or designated licensee or authorized agent of owner;
  • Description of infringed works;
  • Description of alleged infringing works;
  • Complainer’s statement that notification of alleged infringement is accurate, under penalty of perjury;
  • Complainer’s statement that he/she is authorized by the owner to act regarding one or more exclusive copyright rights; and
  • Appropriate complainer information that can be used by the DMCA agent for contact.

After the review, the DMCA agent acting on behalf of WVSOM will seek the appropriate resolution and resolve the matter with the complainant.  During the process the web pages that are being reviewed will be taken down until the web master has been instructed regarding the permanent resolution to the complaint.

WVSOM will assess the effectiveness of compliance to DMCA and the HEOA through the annual reviews of the DMCA process to resolve complaints and the statistical analysis of software/hardware related deterrents used by the Information Technology Department’s network infrastructure.