COMPLIANCE WITH COPYRIGHT LAWS AND THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT
Marymount California University has a legal obligation to stop illegal file sharing and strongly promotes compliance with copyright law. Personal computers used to illegally download multimedia are not anonymous and can be identified by copyright holders in order to pursue legal action.
Familiarize yourself with MCU’s copyright policy and associated penalties, and explore legal sources of accessing copyright protected media.
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also access costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
Information for Copyright Owners
If you are a copyright owner and are concerned that material viewed on our website may violate your rights under United States copyright law, under the DMCA, please contact MCU’s designated agent for claimed infringement under Title II, Kathleen Ruiz, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer, at (310) 303-7334 or KRuiz@marymountcalifornia.edu. Please provide the following information:
- Electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
- Description of the copyrighted work that your claim has been infringed upon;
- Description of where the alleged infringing material is located on the site;
- your address, telephone number and e-mail address;
- Statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
- Statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
MCU Copyright Policy
Much of the material available on the Internet is protected under United States copyright laws. These materials may take the form of written works, musical compositions, motion pictures (including clips), artistic works, photographs or any other creation. United States copyright laws provide, among other things, that the owner of a copyrighted work has the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work and distribute copies of such work to others. Therefore, any person other than the copyright owner who copies, uploads, downloads, swaps or engages in similar activities with respect to a copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner is committing a federal crime.
The unauthorized reproduction and use of copyrighted works has become increasingly common in recent years, however, the general practice of obtaining any copyrighted music, motion picture or other work, without the express written permission of the copyright owner is illegal and a violation of the MCU Computer, Network and Electronic Media Usage Policy. Any user who is discovered copying, downloading, uploading, distributing, displaying, publishing or otherwise using or accessing copyrighted materials without permission will be subject to the sanctions set forth in the MCU Computer, Network and Electronic Media Usage Policy.
Marymount California University believes very strongly in promoting compliance with United States copyright laws and protecting the intellectual property interests of copyright owners. We are committed to educating our students, faculty, and staff as to the importance of copyright compliance and the penalties associated with committing copyright infringement. All students, faculty, and staff of Marymount California University are responsible for reviewing, understanding and complying with United States copyright laws. Information on such laws is available from the U.S. Copyright Office at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1a.html.
Marymount California University is also in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). The following policies and procedures have been adopted to ensure that Marymount California University remains in compliance with the DMCA:
- We will promptly investigate any complaints properly made pursuant to the DMCA by copyright owners regarding allegedly infringing activity by any student, faculty member or staff member of MCU.
- We will notify the allegedly infringing user of the complaint by forwarding the complaint to the user and discussing the matter in person with the user. We will inform the user that such allegations, if true, constitute a violation of United States copyright laws.
- If we believe that the activity violates any applicable law, we will expeditiously take down or block access to any infringing material and/or require the student, faculty member or staff member to (i) permanently delete any infringing material from his or her computer hard drive and any other place in which such infringing material resides, and (ii) confirm in writing that such deletion has occurred.<,/
- We will temporarily block the user’s access to the Internet.
- Upon the second occurrence by a user of any activity or activities that MCU believes violates any applicable law, we will permanently block such user’s access to the Internet.
- In addition, in order for MCU to remain in compliance with the DMCA, its faculty or adjunct faculty members may not require, recommend, or make available online course materials that infringe on a copyright owner’s interest.
If an allegedly infringing user wishes to dispute the copyright owner’s claim, the user must, within 72 hours, respond to Marymount California University with a statement containing the following information:
- Name, address, and phone number of the allegedly infringing user
- Identification of the material in dispute
- Statement that the allegedly infringing user has a good faith belief that either (i) the material is not, and never was, in the user’s possession or located on any property owned or used by the user, or (ii) the material was mistakenly identified as infringing on the copyright
- A physical or electronic signature of the allegedly infringing user.
Upon receiving this statement, we will immediately forward it to the copyright owner who submitted the complaint, and we will consider the matter resolved unless we hear otherwise from the copyright owner. We will attempt to resolve all disputes within 10 days after receiving the complaint.
Additional information regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act may be found at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1a.html.