Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Compliance Policy


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:

  • 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.
  • Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
  • Institutions, “to the extent practicable,” offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.
  • Institutions identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.


This policy outlines York 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 York College. We use a wide variety of methods to inform our community about the law and York College’s response to copyright infringement claims:

    • In order to use college computing resources, all members of the York College Community endorse an Acceptable Use Policy that includes a section on copyright compliance.
    • Posters are being mounted in student computer labs and elsewhere to discourage illegal file sharing.
    • Computing support staff members, including student Help Desk workers, are regularly trained on the College position with respect to copyright issues. Student workers provide an important channel for communicating with the student community.
    • Language has been added to the Student Handbook outlining the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
    • The computing staff periodically briefs members of the Student Senate about copyright, illegal file sharing, and related issues.
    • York College’s policies and procedures concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our response to infringement claims are published on the LTS Help site.

Plans to “Effectively Combat” the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

We currently employ bandwidth-shaping technology to prioritize-network traffic. We limit the amount of bandwidth available to P2P applications but we do not filter such applications since much of the traffic is legal.

The College responds to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices according to the York College DMCA Compliance Policy.

Alternative to Illegal File Sharing

Educause maintains a comprehensive list of Legal Downloading Resources – http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent. The York College community is encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content.

Reviewing Effectiveness

York College will survey the campus annually to assess the extent to which our anti-piracy messages are reaching individuals in the campus community, the extent to which the campus is taking advantage of legal alternatives, 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.

Reviewing the Plan

The York College Library Technology Services policies team will meet annually to review the effectiveness of the copyright plan. Overall campus awareness, technology changes and frequency of take down notices will all be taken into account in a comprehensive assessment. If the metrics suggest that modification to the plan is needed a recommendation is made for review by the policy team and other affected parties.

Related Documents

York College Library Technology Services Acceptable Use Policy

York College DMCA Compliance Policy

Revised 6/12/2019