Higher Education Opportunity Act Compliance

Wellesley College Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements

Downloading, copying and sharing material, such as music, movies, games, and applications, for which the copyright holder has not given you rights is both against the law and Wellesley College's Acceptable Use Policy.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), also referred to as H.R. 4137, was signed into law on August 14, 2008.  It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.  Specifically, the HEOA requires institutions to:

  1. Make an annual disclosure to students informing them about copyright violations, possible civil and criminal penalties for copyright infringement and College policies related to violating copyright law
  2. Develop and implement a plan to effectively combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of Wellesley's network, including the use of one or more technology based deterrents
  3. Provide a plan to offer alternatives to illegal downloading


Annual Disclosure

Wellesley College uses the following methods to inform the College community about the law and responses to copyright infringement claims:

  • A letter from the Dean of Students and the Chief Information Officer is emailed to all students annually notifying them of their rights and responsibilities under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).
  • Information and guidelines on copyright laws, including the College's response to DMCA takedown notices and alternatives to illegal file-sharing, are provided on the Library & Technology Services website.
  • In order to use College information technology resources, all members of the Wellesley College community must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy.

Plans to effectively combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials

The College employs a vigorous program of accepting and responding to DMCA notices. The College deploys systems to identify and notify individual users/computers of any potential DMCA violations reported to the College by copyright holders.  If the College receives notice about a copyright violation, the College will attempt to locate the computer, disable its network access, and contact its owner. The individual will be required to remove the copyrighted material and sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the notice.  Upon receipt of a second notice the individual will be required to additionally meet with the Chief Information Officer. If the individual receives a third notice, the CIO will bring an honor code charge against the individual for disciplinary action. See the Copyright Policy for more information.

Legal Alternatives

Information about legal sites and other copyright information can be found at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) websitehttp://www.campusdownloading.com.

In addition, EDUCAUSE maintains a comprehensive list of Legal Downloading Resources at their website http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

Reviewing Effectiveness

This plan will be reviewed on an annual basis by Library & Technology Services for effectiveness and appropriateness.  Updates to the plan will be made as necessary.

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