Higher Education Opportunity Act

Missouri S&T Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act

H.R 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act, 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 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 materials.
  • 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.

Annual Disclosure

At the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters, the entire campus will be notified via email information related to copyright policy and law, including a summary of civil and criminal penalties.  Additionally, any time a student uses the Peer-to-Peer authorization request on campus, they are reminded of the laws and consequences.

  S&T's plan to effectively combat unauthorized distribution using technology-based deterrents:

  • S&T’s firewall blocks all Peer-to-Peer protocols by default. If you are a principal investigator and need an exception, please contact security@mst.edu.
  • S&T vigorously investigates and responds to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices.  See more about Ethical Computing.

Alternatives to Illegal Downloading

There are typically alternate methods in which users may obtain files.  Some of the most common alternatives include use of the http or https protocol (web browser) and File Transfer Protocol.  Both methods are typically quicker and more efficient on the network than Peer-to-Peer.  As alternative methods, these offer the advantage of not mimicking a server, which is a violation of the Missouri S&T Computing & Network Acceptable Use Policy.

The following are a few examples of legal alternatives to obtaining files:

Oftentimes there are alternative protocols for gaming applications that can be substituted for the use of Peer-to-Peer protocols.  Students may contact IT Security to report gaming issues.  For additional information regarding alternative methods, please contact IT Security at security@mst.edu.

For a more detailed listing of legal sources of online content, see https://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

Periodic Review

The campus will continuously monitor the effectiveness of the controls and make additional reasonable and appropriate measures if necessary.