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Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)


The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008. Final regulations were issued October 29, 2009 which included three general requirements:

  • An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law
  • 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"
  • A plan to "offer alternatives to illegal downloading"

This document outlines Longwood's plan to comply with these requirements.


Annual Disclosure

Listed below are the a variety of methods we use to inform our community about the law and Longwood's response to copyright infringement claims:

  • In order to use University IT Resources and Systems, all members of the Longwood Community endorse an Acceptable Use Policy which includes a section on copyright compliance.
  • During orientation, first year students are presented with information on Longwood IT Resources and Systems, which include an introduction to our Acceptable Use Policy as well as specifics on copyright infringement and peer-to-peer file sharing.
  • Each year, faculty and staff receive Security Awareness Training which includes information about downloading music and peer-to-peer file sharing.
  • Longwood's procedures concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our response to infringement claims are published on Longwood's website.
  • Stories are placed in the Information Security Newsletter and flyers are posted in student computer labs and elsewhere to discourage illegal file sharing.


Plans to "Effectively Combat" the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

Longwood University blocks all inbound ports to client computers on campus at the Internet firewall. This prevents computers from acting as servers or super nodes in peer to peer networks. As of 2016, Longwood University will start blocking specific protocols utilized in to infringe copyrighted materials.

The University responds to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices according to procedures published on our website.


Offering Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing

EDUCAUSE maintains a list of all known legitimate download services. Their list is available at: http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent


Reviewing Effectiveness

Our Policy, Awareness and Training Coordinator reviews our plan annually to assess effectiveness and consider improvements. Starting in the fall of 2010, we will measure the frequency of the DMCA incidents as an indicator of effectiveness.



More information about copyright & legal issues



Response Procedures for Claims of Copyright Infringement under Digital Millennium Copyright Act

When Longwood receives a copyright infringement claim involving music, video, software, or other digital materials, it takes the following steps under the 1998 federal statute known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA:

  1. we check network usage logs and registration information to identify the device and user alleged to be involved in copyright infringement;
  2. we notify the user that a complaint has been received and:
    1. for students:

      1. the student and the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity both receive a copy of the original compliant.
      2. the office of Student Conduct and Integrity track complaints to determine if the "threshold for egregious behavior is reached" and take appropriate action:
        • meet with the student
        • fine the student $25.00 administrative fee
        • suspend student network access
        • file Honor charges
      3. More information is available in the Student Handbook.

    2. for employees or other authorized users, the user must meet with the Information Security Officer.

  3. if appropriate authorization cannot be produced, the user is responsible for removing any and all file(s) referenced in the compliant.



Any reoccurrence will result in further disciplinary action