Ethical Computing

As a campus community, commitment to social responsibility & ethical conduct is expected of every member. Students are being held accountable for their online behavior in the same manner in which they are held accountable for non-virtual behavior

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act External Link (DMCA) of 1998 is a federal law that is designed to protect copyright holders from online theft, that is, from the unlawful reproduction or distribution of their works. The DMCA covers music, movies, text and anything that is copyrighted.

Annual Disclosure

Do you download music, movies or books online?  If so, make sure you're doing it legally or there can be serious consequences!

What is the Law?  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) is a federal law that protects the authors of intellectual works such as books, movies and music.  Some people think that you may copy and share copyrighted materials so long as you are not selling the duplications.  This is not true.  Copying and distributing someone else's work may violate an author's rights even when you are not selling the copies.

What about peer-to-peer file sharing programs?  S&T policy requires the use of a self-service web application (see below) to authorize peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent and LimeWire on the University's network.  This decision was made with consultation from student groups and University administrators in order to protect users from unknowing use of peer-to-peer file sharing.  Students attempting to circumvent the blocks violate University policy.

What should I do?  To comply with the law and to protect yourself from possible litigation, we strongly encourage you to remove illegally-obtained copyrighted material from your computer, and to stop downloading copyrighted material illegally if you do so now.  For a list of legal alternatives and known legitimate download services visit:

If you have any questions, please contact:
P2P Request Application:

BAYU Notice - Be Aware You are Uploading

Examples of DMCA Violations - DMCA Flyer Information

You could violate federal copyright law if:

* Somebody e-mails copyrighted material to you and, in turn, you forward it
* You make an MP3 copy of a song from a CD that you bought (purchasers are expressly permitted to do so) but
   subsequently make the MP3 file(s) available on the Internet using a file-sharing network.
* You join a file-sharing network and download unauthorized copies of copyrighted material you want from the computers of
   other network members.
* To gain access to copyrighted material on the computers of other network members, you pay a fee to join a file-sharing
   network that is not authorized to distribute or make copies of the copyrighted material. You then download unauthorized
* You transfer copyrighted material using an instant messaging service.
* You have a computer with a CD burner that you use to burn copies of music you have downloaded onto writable CDs which
  you then distribute to your friends.

A simple rule of thumb to help you identify which materials are protected by copyright and which are not: If you would typically pay for it, then it is probably protected.

DMCA Copyright Policies at Missouri S&T

If you are using Missouri S&T's computer network, including dial-up service, the University is your registered Internet Service Provider (ISP). Sharing of all copyrighted materials as defined by the Missouri S&T Acceptable Use Policy and federal law must be stopped. The DMCA requires ISPs to take down or block access to copyrighted materials in a timely fashion when notified that their customers are sharing copyrighted files.

Complaints typically arrive directly from software, music and motion picture associations, copyright holders and law firms. Information Technology Services disables network access for the devices registered to the individual identified. IT will contact the student if Missouri S&T is notified of a violation of copyright law to inform him or her about the complaint.

If you are informed by IT of illegal file sharing or downloading, you will be required to meet with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who will discuss which of the sanctions below are applicable:

First Offense:
1) 14 calendar days revoked network access for all registered systems
2) Student must pass "Safe and Legal Computing" Blackboard course
3) Peer-to-Peer uses are reduced by 40

Second Offense
1) 28 days revoked network access for all registered systems
2) Research and reflection papers assigned
3) Community Responsibility hours
4) $100 Processing Fee
5) Revoked access to submit requests for Peer-to-Peer authorization for remainder of enrollment at Missouri S&T

Third or greater Offense
1) 4 months revoked network access for all registered systems
2) Disciplinary probation for two semesters
3) Discretionary Sanctions
4) $200 Processing Fee

Graduate students should be aware that there are very specific rules that are applicable to them under the Digital Millennium Copy Act. The institution can lose DMCA protection if, within the preceding 3-year period, it has received more than two notifications of claimed infringement by a faculty member or graduate student in teaching or research.  For more information, please reference: 

Legal Repercussions for DMCA Violation

In addition to University penalties, DMCA violations may carry heavy civil and criminal penalties. For example, civil penalties include damages and legal fees. The minimum fine is $750 per downloaded file. Criminal penalties, even for first-time offenders, can be stiff: up to $250,000 in fines and five years in prison. Unless served with a subpoena as required under the DMCA, the University does not release the names of (or any personal information about) subscribers in the process of servicing a DMCA notice.

File-Sharing Programs: A Frequent Culprit in DMCA Violations

In many of the cases violators claim to be unaware that they were distributing copyrighted works across the Missouri S&T network. Students should be aware that due to the design of file-sharing programs such as Kazaa, BitTorrent and others, these programs can automatically make your computer act like a server, causing copyrighted materials to be made available from your computer without your knowledge. In an effort to reduce the number of DMCA violations at Missouri S&T, access to all Peer-To-Peer file-sharing applications are being revoked by default campus wide. Students may request Peer-To-Peer access on a limited basis by accessing

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 the File Transfer Protocol (ftp). 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:

Often times 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

Consequences of violating Peer-To-Peer policies can be found at .

Contact the Office of the Dean of Students