Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, October 11, 2010

University to issue message about peer-to-peer
file sharing

This week, the university will send to all faculty, staff, and students a short e-mail message about peer-to-peer file sharing and copyright infringement.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA, 2008), which went into effect July 1, requires, among other things, that postsecondary institutions give annual notice to their communities about copyright infringement and unlawful file sharing.

The HEOA mandates that the annual notice specifically include:

• A warning that infringement could lead to criminal and civil penalties.

• A summary of those penalties.

• Information about the institution’s policies that prohibit copyright infringement.

“The HEOA makes all federal funding to an institution contingent on its good-faith compliance with the HEOA, which is why the university is sending this message to all its constituents” says Jack Bernard, assistant general counsel. “This notice is just a federal requirement and it is not making any assertions whatsoever about the individuals who receive it.”

Because this is an annual requirement, faculty, staff and students can expect to get a similar message every year.