Copyright and P2P File Sharing

This is an outline of Manchester Community College’s plan to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. Specifically, HEOA requires institutions to:

  • 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;
  • certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material including “the use of one or more technology-based deterrents”;
  • offer alternatives to illegal file sharing to the extent practical;
  • identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

Annual disclosure

MCC uses the following methods to inform students about copyright laws:

  • MCC’s website
  • MCC’s Student Handbook

Technical Controls

MCC uses several technology-based deterrents to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials:

  • MCC blocks all currently known P2P traffic at our firewall.
  • CSCU’s system office utilizes a Traffic/Packet Shaping device that allows for a smooth flow of content to and from the Internet with the ability to prioritize traffic based on need or policy. Traffic-shaping technology also allows for the blocking or containment of unwanted traffic such as P2P applications.

Alternative Online Sources for Copyrighted Materials

There are many legal sources for copyrighted material such as music and movies. They have a wide range of business models; some are free and some charge a nominal fee. The Motion Picture Association of America maintains an up-to-date and comprehensive compendia of legal sources. Cornell University also maintains a list of legal sources of online music and videos. The MCC library provides our community with information and access to additional resources.