Copyright Infringement

University of Louisville's Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements

The University of Louisville is committed to sharing extensive knowledge and information. The University is also committed to taking steps to protecting our technology resources from misuse, including violations of the federal Copyright laws. All students, faculty, and staff should understand and abide by these laws. One of these laws is the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), H.R. 4137, that was signed into federal law in August 2008 and went into effect on July 1, 2010.  It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. They include requirements that:

  • Institutions make annual disclosure that informs students that illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes the steps the institution will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
  • Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to effectively combat the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
  • Institutions to the extent practicable offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.
  • Institutions identify practices for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

Annual Disclosure

Keeping in line with our education mission, we view education as an important tool in combating illegal downloading and sharing of illegal copyrighted materials.  We use a wide variety of methods to inform the community of the laws and consequences of illegal downloads and UofL's response to copyright infringement claims:

  • All users of UofL's computing and technology resources must endorse all policies and standards surrounding appropriate use.  Two of these policies include requirements for copyright compliance, acceptable use and intellectual property.
  • Annual disclosure to all account holders will be posted on UofL Today.
  • Additionally students will receive a direct email regarding copyright infringement issues at the beginning of Fall and Spring semester each academic year.

Plans to Effectively Combat the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials

  • The University has produced a video explaining copyright issues surrounding music and movie downloads.
  • All copyright violation notification are dealt with immediately and seriously.
  • Information on illegal distribution of copyrighted material is included in the Student Handbook and the Code of Student Conduct
  • Ongoing education and awareness.  Information Technology Enterprise Security staff routinely speak at student events such as orientations.  We will be glad to speak to any student groups, academic or administrative unit that wish to become more educated in the pitfalls of illegal file sharing and legal consequences.  Contact us to discuss scheduling and content.

Alternatives to Illegal Downloads

  • Educause maintains a comprehensive list of Legal Downloading Resources.  Members of the university community are encouraged to take advantage of these legal sources of digital content.

Reviewing Effectiveness

We are always reviewing our effectiveness in security and compliance, copyright infringements are no exception.  We will continue these efforts and increase efforts whenever and where ever needed to ensure compliance.