What is DMCA? DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. It is a federal law that Congress enacted to protect copyright holders from the unlawful reproduction or distribution of their works. It was enacted to protect copyright holders such as musicians, artists, movie companies etc.. The purpose of DMCA is two-fold: it limits the liability of service providers whose users are infringing upon the copyright of others, and defines the procedures necessary to report such infringement.
Who is the Copyright Owner? The copyright holder is the person who retains the copyright. They have the right to control how their works are published, distributed, and sold, and the right to be paid for the use of their work. A number of copyright infringement lawsuits and subpoenas have been filed by major companies and their respective industry associations.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, Kent State University is required to take steps to promptly remove or disable access to any copyrighted material that is being shared illegally from within its network.
How do I find out who is the copyright holder? You ask the copyright holder for it! If you know the copyright owner, you may contact them directly. If you are not sure about the ownership of the copyrighted material you can request the information from the Copyright Office.
The United States Copyright Office maintains information on copyright holders. To request information regarding copyright holder, send in a request form along with a small fee, and they send you information regarding the copyright holder. The form is available at their website http://www.copyright.gov/.
Where do DMCA notifications come from? DMCA violation notifications come from a variety of copyright holders. The most common are the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG), and Business Software Alliance (BSA).
How do you know if you are violating federal copyright law? You could be violating federal copyright law if:
So LimeWire, BitTorrent or any other P2P software is illegal? No. The highest court ruling says that just because something has the potential to be used illegally, does not make it illegal..
The illegal behavior when using P2P software is downloading copyrighted music, movies, books, software or games that you do not own and then sharing it with all your friends! So when you download and share copyrighted material, without the express permission from the copyright holders this is where it becomes copyright infringement.
Be Careful, Be Smart
There are P2P programs such as LimeWire, AresWarez, Mp3 Rocket and many others that will allow you to purchase a version of their software. Do not be fooled into thinking that because you purchased the software that the the copyright material you access using the program is legal
It is still illegal to download or share copyrighted material, whether you purchase filesharing programs or use the free version. Purchasing filesharing programs does not change the fact that you do not have the rights to download music, movies, software and/or share the copyrighted material without the express written permission from the copyright holder(s).
Make sure to read carefully the software agreement on the filesharing program you purchase in order to make sure that the company that distributes the program has the right to also distribute copyrighted material.
What is the penalty for downloading or sharing from P2P networks if subpoenaed ?
Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner's exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution. Anyone found to have infringed a copyrighted work may be liable for statutory damages up to $30,000 for each work infringed and, if willful infringement is proven by the copyright owner, that amount may be increased up to $150,000 for each work infringed. The penalty for movie infringements can be up to $250,000 per movie file. In addition, an infringer of a work may also be liable for the attorney's fees incurred by the copyright owner to enforce his or her rights.
If my computer is found to have copyrighted materials, what steps can the copyright holder take against me?
At this time Kent State University falls under "Safe Harbor", which protects the student, faculty and staff by complying with the DMCA's request to remove the infringing material, stop access to the infringing material, and educate the violators.
BUT KEEP IN MIND the following...
We can only protect you to an extent, if a subpoena is served on the University then we will be required to give the name of the person that received the infringement notice.
Copyright owners can file civil suits to recover damages and costs. In many cases, statutory damages of up to $30,000, or up to $150,000 for willful infringement, may be awarded even if there is no proof of actual damages. In addition, in certain cases of willful infringement, the government can file criminal charges, which can result in substantial fines and imprisonment.
Use of an academic network does not confer immunity from copyright law, nor can Kent State University protect its students, faculty, or staff from criminal investigations or lawsuits relating to their personal actions.
What are the DMCA Safe Harbor Provisions? Safe Harbor is located in Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), It basically exempts Kent State University from being sued due to claims of copyright infringement resulting from users on the network. Safe harbor provisions were made to shelter Internet Service Providers (ISP's) from the infringing activities of their customers. Currently the University qualifies for the safe harbor exemption. This means that the student/employee is the one liable for monetary damages, if they are found to be the infringing individual. The University does not at this time give up the name of the individual that is infringing. To maintain Safe Harbor, the Office of Security and Access Management notifies the infringing user and stops the infringement. Kent State University is actually trying to protect the students and employees from being sued. If subpoenaed, the University will turn over the name of the infringing user at that time.
How do I avoid DMCA violations and risks, and still have my music? Since files distributed over P2P networks are primarily copyrighted works, you are taking a risk of receiving a DMCA notification of copyright infringement for downloading material from these networks.
To avoid these risks, there are currently many "authorized" services on the Internet that allow you to purchase copyrighted works online, whether music, ebooks, or motion pictures. By purchasing works through authorized services,you can avoid the risks of infringement liability. This also will help to limit your exposure to other potential risks, such as viruses, unexpected material, or spyware, which are abundant in file-sharing networks.
Are there any legitimate providers of copyrighted material?
There are Internet-based services that provide legitimate access to copyrighted material. They have contracted with the copyright holders to allow them to provide the material at a discounted or per piece price. Many of the services are also based on monthly subscriptions. It is the responsibility of the user to identify the legitimacy of a service. As a good guideline to follow, here are a few legitimate services: iTunes, Rhapsody.
The following links provide a list of Legal Sources for Online Music and Movies:
Can I get into trouble for sharing files if I don't know my computer is doing it?
Kent State University does not look for computers sharing files in violation of copyright law. Some organizations such as the RIAA, MPAA , MediaForce, Universal Studios, and others, however, do. If they find that your computer is distributing files to which they (or someone that they represent) owns the copyright then you could get into serious trouble. Currently, the various organizations will request that Kent State University make the illegal file sharing stop. To do this, the Office of Security and Access Management will typically disable the machine's network access. Students should be familiar with the issues and penalties for copyright violations.
Kent State University expects students to take reasonable precautions to secure their personal computers, and will be held responsible for misconduct that occurs from others' use or misuse of their systems.
If you receive a copyright violation notice and suspect that your computer has been compromised, please contact the Office of Security and Access Management (330) 672-5566 or ResNet office in Tri-Towers.
Does Kent State University monitor the network for students that are file-sharing?
No, Kent State is not a policing organization! The University does not actively monitor computing behavior.
If Kent State University does not monitor the network for file sharing, then how do we get tagged with a DMCA notification?
Organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Entertainment Software Association (ESA), and others monitor file sharing systems on the Internet. When they discover an instance of illegal file sharing that is originating from within Kent State 's network, they will send an official notice to the University. Upon receipt of this notice, the University must take action to stop copyright infringement from occurring on its network.
I pay thousands of dollars every year to attend Kent State University. How can you deny me network access when it is needed for my courses?
Your tuition money is not applied solely for network access. There are public labs on campus which are here for your use. Kent State University provides network access to students so that they may pursue their academic endeavors. We do not have any obligation to provide students with network access so that they can violate copyright laws, and provide servers to illegally distribute copyrighted materials. Internet access is provided as a convenience, and to allow research to be done. If you misuse your access privileges by downloading materials illegally and are caught because of it, you will lose the privilege to access the Internet for a period of time, until the copyright infringement notice has been resolved.
What if a friend set up the file sharing and downloaded the files onto my machine without my knowledge? You are responsible for what your machine is used for. Do not allow anyone to user your username/account as you are responsible for what happens under that username. You should always set up accounts for your users, and disallow guests, visitors, or strangers to access your machine without your permission and knowledge. If you have set up accounts on the machine, you are still at least partially responsible for what those users do because it is your machine.
Wait a minute I bought my music from ITUNES, and I own the CD.
Copyright infringement is the distribution of copyrighted materials without the express written consent of the copyright holder. Just because you paid for the material does not mean you have the right to distribute it in any form.
If you do not have permission from the specific copyright holder to distribute/give away the file, and you share it with your family/friends or the world...then you are guilty of copyright infringement.
Remember that buying a song, cd or movie, does not give you permission to distribute copies amongst your friends!
What is Kent State's Response to Copyright Violations?
Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") limits the liability of Internet Service Providers ("ISP") for certain infringements. This means that the DMCA provides limited liability for Kent State University, as it is an ISP for the students, faculty and staff. In order for us to take advantage of some of the DMCA provisions, we must take steps now and other steps later, to respond to notices we might receive that allege that someone to whom we provide Internet service has infringed the rights of a copyright owner.
Requirements of the DMCA:
The DMCA requires that the University provide information to students, faculty and staff accurately describing and urging compliance with copyright law.
The DMCA also requires that the University has procedures in place that will inform the students, faculty and staff of our policy about repeat infringement.
What does a DMCA notification look like?
Unless served with a subpoena as required under the DMCA, the University does not release the names of (or any personal information about) the offender when sending a DMCA notice. The University falls under Safe Harbor , and it is trying to protect the individuals identity from being divulged to the DMCA.
You Receive a DMCA Notice, what do you do?
Remember: If you didn't pay for it, you shouldn't have it on your computer.
What is the procedure for the Office of Security and Compliance when receiving a DMCA notification?
DMCA Procedure for Resident Students
Third (and future) offenses
Student may file a counter notification in response to any given notice, at which point their network connection will be restored.
ResNet office in Tri-Towers can verify that a student's computer has been cleansed of offending material(s) and that file sharing software is either disabled or removed.
This page is maintained by the Office of Security and Access Management