Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements


H.R 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), is a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. These provisions include requirements that:

  1. 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.
  2. Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
  3. Institutions, to the extent practicable, offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.

This document outlines Bethel College's plan to comply with these requirements

Annual Disclosure

Consistent with our educational principles, we view education as the most important element in combating illegal sharing of copyrighted materials at Bethel College. We use a wide variety of methods to inform our community about the law and Bethel’s response to copyright infringement claims:

  • In order to use college computing resources, all members of the Bethel College community endorse a Acceptable Use Policy that includes a section on copyright compliance.
  • Incoming students are informed about the law and Bethel's position on copyright infringement during orientation sessions.
  • Information & Media Services staff, including student Help Desk workers, are regularly trained on the College's position with respect to copyright issues.  Student workers provide an important channel for communicating with the student community.
  • Information & Services staff periodically briefs members of the Student Senate about copyright, illegal file sharing, and related issues.
  • Periodically, all College employees receive email from the President or other officers regarding copyright infringement and related issues.

Plans to Effectively Combat the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

Bethel College has deployed a  NetEqualizer  to shape bandwidth. We also have the ability to limit the number of simultaneous traffic flows from our residence hall and wireless networks. When we discover a system using excessive bandwidth, we contact the owner to ensure that the bandwidth consumption is for legal purposes and that the user is aware of the College's policies concerning illegal file sharing.

Offering Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing

Bethel College provides links to sites that provide numerous options for obtaining music, videos, and other digital content in a legal manner. Members of the Bethel College community are encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content. Some of these sources can be found  here

Revised August 2010