The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)


This page outlines Bryant University’s plan to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) relating to digital copyright infringement and peer-to-peer (P2P) File Sharing by users of the institution's network. The HEOA requires higher education institutions to:

  • Make an annual disclosure to students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted material may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes the steps the institution will take to detect and remediate the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials;
  • Certify that the university has developed plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material including the use of one or more technology-based deterrents;
  • Offer legal alternatives to illegal file sharing to the extent practical;
  • Identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plan to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.


Applies to all users of Bryant University's network.

Annual Disclosure and Community Awareness

  1. Bryant University provides an annual notice to all students;
  2. Bryant University provides information on use of technology resources in its Acceptable Use Policy;
  3. Bryant University sends periodic copyright awareness reinforcements to the Bryant community;
  4. Bryant University provides information and updates on HEOA P2P file sharing requirements on its Information Security web page as an informational resource.

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing (Technological Deterrents)

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing applications are used to connect a computer directly to other computers to transfer files between the systems. Frequently such applications are used to transfer copyrighted materials such as music and movies. In order to comply with University DMCA Guidelines, Peer-to-Peer applications are restricted (blocked) on the Bryant network.

Examples of P2P applications include BitTorrent, Gnutella, Limewire, eMule and Ares Galaxy. Of these applications, BitTorrent has value in the research community. If your work requires the use of BitTorrent, an exception may be made for your system. A request for an exemption may be made by contacting:
Faculty/Staff: Helpdesk x6111 or via email at
Students: Laptop Central x6550 or via email at

Procedures for Handling Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

When DMCA violations are received by the registered DMCA agent, the Information Security Office is informed and initiates the university’s response. Network records determine the responsible party (registered MAC address/NetID). The responsible party is contacted with the information regarding the offense. Instructions are given to remove the offending material. The responsible party has 24-hours to acknowledge receipt of the offense and provide verification the material has been removed. Failure to comply results in the escalation of these incidents by the Office of Student Affairs and suspension of the offender’s network access privilege.

Legal Alternatives for Downloading

Bryant University provides information on alternate acceptable means of acquiring media via the EDUCAUSE Legal Sources of Online Content page.

Periodic Review and Assessment of Plan

The number of alleged DMCA violations are reviewed annually by the Office of Information Security to determine if changes in procedures or educational materials are needed. Technical deterrents are reviewed annually by the Office of Information Security to determine if the technical deterrents remain effective in complying with HEOA regulations. New technologies, as they become available, are reviewed for potential deployment by the university’s Office of Information Security.