Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA)

This website outlines Eastern Michigan University's (EMU) plan to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). 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 "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

1. Annual Disclosure

EMU uses a wide variety of methods to inform students about copyright laws:

  • The EMU Board Policy website provides information and guidelines regarding copyright laws and fair use to the campus community.
  • All students are required to adhere to the practices stated in The EMU Acceptable Use Policy. All residential students must also accept the terms stated in ResNet Rules. Both policies include a section on copyright compliance and are included in the Student Handbook and posted on the University's website.
  • Each year the Division of Information Technology sends out an email to all students regarding copyright laws and campus policies related to violating copyright laws.

2. Devise a plan to "effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials" by users of its network

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

  • EMU currently blocks all known P2P traffic using intrusion detection system signatures (IDS).
  • EMU's policies and procedures regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and response to infringement claims are published on the University's web site. If the University receives a complaint that a user is redistributing copyrighted material, that user's internet connection is blocked until the complaint is resolved. If the University receives multiple complaints about a single user, he/she is referred to the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility for appropriate action.

3. Alternative online sources for copyrighted materials

There are many legal sources for copyrighted materials such as music and movies. There is 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 list of legal sources.

Cornell University also maintains a list of legal sources for online music and videos.

4. Reviewing Effectiveness

The Division of Information Technology will ensure that the annual email notification is delivered to the inbox of every registered student. We will analyze the impact of our technical efforts to combat illegal file sharing and other aspects of our plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

5. Additional Resources

The following EMU websites have additional information about the proper use of copyrights:

Industry information on the proper use of copyright is available at:

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