Ten ways to combat illegal file sharing

4. Address all legal issues, and not just HEOA compliance; for example, individual privacy issues, net neutrality, academic freedom, and so on.

5. Assess the effectiveness of whatever technologies you use, such as the cost, impact on the network, impact on campus policies, how much they measurably reduce illegal file sharing, how many offenders resume illegal file sharing, and so on.

6. Know the impact of your network architecture, such as bandwidth needs, asymmetric routing, integration with other network resources, and Network Address Translation and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.

7. Know what technologies are available, such as deep packet inspection, bandwidth shaping, blocking devices, homegrown solutions, and copyright detection products.

8. Measure overall effectiveness by tracking the reduction in DMCA notices, the reduction in file-sharing activity, and the reduction in P2P bandwidth usage.

9. Know that it’s not enough simply to respond to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) copyright infringement notices. Institutions should try to be proactive, not just reactive, and they should prepare to set clear rules, enforce these rules, and include educational components in their plan.

10. Calculate a budget for executing your plan, including both a capital and operating budget. Identify potential shrinkages in the future, and determine the potential cost of any legal mandates and risks.

Central Washington University (CWU) is one institution that took steps to comply with HEOA before the mandate was even created.

In 2002, CWU began receiving Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) notices and decided to establish a partnership between IT, housing, and student affairs to develop a plan of action.

Meris Stansbury

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