The U.S. Senate today passed an amendment to a higher education bill that requires all universities, for the first time, to provide information to the Department of Education regarding their efforts to stem digital piracy on their computer networks.

The amendment to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act requires all universities to provide information to the Department of Education describing:

* Education efforts for students on the potential civil and criminal consequences for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material;
* Steps they are taking to prevent and detect unauthorized distribution of
copyrighted materials on university networks; and
* Campus policies on unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions against individuals who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on university computer systems.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., led the fight for the amendment.

The House is expected to consider the legislation this fall.