In 2008 Congress passed H.R. 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (“HEOA” or the “Act”), a massive piece of legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, and the President has signed the HEOA into law.

This legislation imposes an array of new federal regulatory and reporting requirements for colleges and universities. Two of these provisions are designed to reduce illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks. McPherson College and all other institutions must take their obligations under the Act seriously and make a good faith effort to comply — as they would with any new federal law.

Under the Act, institutions are required 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 must take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.

The Act also requires McPherson College and other institutions to certify to the Secretary of Education that we have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.

These preventive measures are in addition to those corrective measures required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.