Information Technology

Reed College Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements


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.  These provisions include requirements that:
  • Institutions make an annual disclosure that informs students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes the steps that institutions will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
  • Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
  • Institutions, “to the extent practicable,” offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.
  • Institutions identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.  
This document outlines Reed’s plan to comply with these requirements.

Annual Disclosure

Consistent with our educational principles, we view education as the most important element in combating illegal sharing of copyrighted materials at Reed. We use a wide variety of methods to inform our community about the law and Reed’s response to copyright infringement claims:
  • In order to use college computing resources, all members of the Reed Community endorse a Computer User Agreement that includes a section on copyright compliance.
  • All entering students are required to take an educational copyright quiz in order to activate their Reed computer accounts.  The process includes feedback on wrong answers.
  • Stories are placed in the school newspaper and posters are mounted in student computer labs and elsewhere to discourage illegal file sharing.
  • Each year, students and faculty receive a Technology Survival Guide (TSG) that highlights copyright concerns and points to further information on our web site and other web sites.   In addition, the faculty TSG describes legal ways to use materials in teaching. 
  • Computing support staff, including student Help Desk workers, are regularly trained on the College position with respect to copyright issues.  Student workers provide an important channel for communicating with the student community.
  • The computing staff periodically briefs members of the Student Senate about copyright, illegal file sharing, and related issues.
  • Reed’s policies and procedures concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our response to infringement claims are published on Reed’s web site.

Plans to “Effectively Combat” the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

Reed employs an HP Tipping Point Intrusion Detection/Prevention system to block most BitTorrent and other P2P  traffic. An exception to this policy to allow for legal uses of P2P software may be granted to members of the Reed Community after they have reviewed the College's policies concerning illegal file sharing. 

Anyone with a legitimate academic or business need to use those protocols must request an exception as outlined on our website:

The College responds to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices according to policies published on our web site:

Offering Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing

The Reed web site provides links to sites that provide numerous options for obtaining music, videos, and other digital content in a legal manner. Members of the Reed community are encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content. The relevant page on the Reed web site is at:

Reviewing Effectiveness

Periodically we survey community members to assess the extent to which our anti-piracy messages are reaching them, the extent to which community members are taking advantage of legal alternatives, the impact of our technical efforts to combat illegal file sharing, and other aspects of our plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

Adopted November 2009; updated 11/15/2022