Copyrighted Material & File Sharing

Legal use of Copyrighted Material and File Sharing at Northwestern Michigan College

As a result of the issuing of regulations by the Department of Education detailing the specifics of what institutions will be expected to do in order to comply with the requirements of Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Learning Resources & Technologies (LRT) at Northwestern Michigan College has taken the following steps in order to demonstrate good faith in doing due diligence to comply with the HEOA regulations. The technological issues in HEOA all relate to issues surrounding the distribution of copyrighted materials. Following are the three main requirements with a brief explanation following each one stating what action steps Northwestern Michigan College is taking:

  1. Make an annual disclosure that informs students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject students to criminal and civil penalties and that describes the steps NMC will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyright materials.
    ACTION: Annually at the start of each new academic year a joint message to students will go out from the Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services and the Executive Director of LRT informing students about college policy related to the use of copyrighted material and the steps the College will take to enforce its policies.
  2. Certify that we have developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyright material.
    ACTION: Northwestern Michigan College has implemented a system aimed at bandwidth shaping specifically for NMC network traffic. This software throttles back the network traffic from a particular user once that specific person’s network traffic reaches the threshold specified in our policy. Systems & LAN Management (SLM) monitors network traffic. While SLM monitors the volume of network traffic, it is the explicit policy of the College that SLM not monitor the content of any traffic on the campus network.
  3. “To the extent practicable,” offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.
    ACTION: NMC directs students to the resource site at EDUCAUSE for legal sources of online content.

These steps will be reviewed annually by SLM and the Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services' Office in June and revised as necessary to remain in compliance. Based on the monitoring data that SLM collects relative to network traffic and the volume of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices received, the review will assess the overall effectiveness of the College’s policy and procedures to promote the legal use of copyrighted materials. Any changes to the policy and/or procedures will take effect at the commencement of the following academic year.