Knowing how to comply with HEOA might take more than a simple read-through of the law.

Knowing how to comply with HEOA might take more than a simple read-through of the law.

As colleges and universities prepare to meet a new federal directive to curb illegal file sharing, one expert has a list of 10 suggestions for educational technology officials.

In a recent webinar hosted by Audible Magic, a company that sells content protection technology to schools, participants learned that as of July 1, 2010, colleges and universities must comply with the peer-to-peer (P2P) provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), a federal regulation that aims to stem illegal file sharing.

“This is an important issue,” said Jay Friedman, vice president of marketing for Audible Magic, “because [according to a report by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts], in just the last year, the number of lawsuits filed by the U.S. Copyright Group alone has jumped. In 2009, there were 2,000 lawsuits filed. In just the few months in 2010, 14,000 have been filed.”

Friedman explained that “the burden is really on the institution to be HEOA compliant, because this new regulation requires annual disclosure to students, requires the use of one or more tech-based deterrents, and states that institutions must ‘effectively combat unauthorized P2P use with measurable results.'”

But knowing how to comply with HEOA might take more than a simple read-through of the law’s very vague definition.