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Information Technology Services

Copyright Compliance

HEOA Compliance Statement 
September 2014

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. Merrimack College has implemented the following plan to comply with the file sharing and copyright protection provisions of HEOA:

Annual Disclosure

The college sends a regular email (at least annually) to all students detailing institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including—

(i)                  A statement that explicitly informs its students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;

(ii)                A summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and

(iii)               A description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system

This information is available to prospective students upon request.

Deterrent Plan

The college plan to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the college’s network, without unduly interfering with educational and research use of the network, includes—

(i)                  A vigorous program of accepting and responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices

(ii)                An annual email to all users designed to educate and inform the community about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material

(iii)               Procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including disciplinary procedures

(iv)              An annual effectiveness review by the Designated Agent based on relevant assessment criteria

Legal Alternatives

The Designated Agent will periodically review the legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material and make them available below:

As of September 2013 the Designated Agent has found that legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material include, but are not limited to:

-          purchasing the material via brick and mortar outlets (e.g., Wal-Mart and Best Buy)

-          purchasing the material via online outlets like (e.g., walmart.com andbestbuy.com)

-          meta sources such as www.educause.edu/legalcontent

Given the relative ease of legally acquiring copyrighted material, the college does not deem it practical to provide a competing alternative.