Office of the General Counsel > Educational Resources > Copyright & DMCA Response Plan
Pursuant to the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), DePaul has a comprehensive DMCA Response Plan. The plan outlines the University's vigorous efforts to combat illegal downloading and peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted materials over DePaul's computer network. It memorializes and expands upon the University's established procedures for deterring and eliminating illegal downloading and file sharing of music, movies, and other copyrighted material.
DePaul takes copyright infringement seriously – and so should you.
Click below to view the OGC's new online course on copyright, which covers basic principles of copyright law such as registration, infringement, and fair use.
In the United States, the protection of music, writings, and art dates back to the drafting of the Constitution. While many people associate copyrights only with copying, they actually afford a much wider range of protections. Copyrights provide authors, composers, and artists with a bundle of exclusive rights to their works. These rights include: the right to reproduce (copy), the right to distribute, the right to make derivative works, the right to perform the work publicly, the right to display the work publicly, and the right to produce recordings.
Copyrights extend to all original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression (17 U.S.C. § 102). Copyrights attach to such works regardless of their format. Musical works and motion pictures that have been converted to electronic format receive the same copyright protections as the original recordings.
Any violation of any of the exclusive rights of a copyright owner constitutes copyright infringement. Uploading or downloading an electronic file containing music or a motion picture without the copyright owner’s permission interferes with the copyright owner’s rights to reproduce and distribute his/her work. In other words, unauthorized peer-2-peer file sharing is copyright infringement.
Illegal downloading may constitute a violation of one or more University policies, including the Acceptable Use Policy/Network Security, the Copyright and Fair Use Policy, and the Code of Student Responsibility. In addition to any actions taken internally by the University, copyright infringers may be subject to the civil and criminal penalties described below.
Copyright owners are entitled to legal remedies from infringers, including:
Statutory damages range from $750.00 to $30,000.00 per work in instances of accidental or non-intentional infringement. In cases of willful infringement, when an infringer knew that his or her actions were illegal, courts may award damages of up to $150,000.00 per work. This means that downloading just ten songs without permission could result in damages of up to $1,500,000.00! In addition, certain forms of copyright infringement, including the electronic distribution of works being prepared for commercial distribution without the copyright owners permission, are considered felony crimes and carry criminal penalties of up to ten (10) years in prison (17 USC § 506(a), 18 USC § 2319).
Copyright 101 - an Online Training Course (NEW!)
Members of the University community who are interested in learning more about copyrights are strongly encouraged to view this 20-minute educational video created by the Office of the General Counsel, which covers the basics of copyright protection, infringement, and fair use. Click here to view.
Pursuant to 34 CFR § 668.43(a)(10),
the Dean of Students Office sends an annual notification to all enrolled
students that includes the following: (a) a reminder that unauthorized
distribution of copyright material may subject students to civil and criminal
liabilities, a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright
laws, a description of the institution’s policies with respect to peer-to-peer
file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students
who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted
materials using the institution’s computer networks..
The Dean of Students Office
speaks to every Premiere DePaul session held throughout the summer. The consequences of illegal downloading, both
internal at DePaul and external through litigation, are discussed.
Individual Floor Meetings –
Every floor on campus has a meeting with the Resident Assistant (RA). The Assistant Dean gives the RA information
to share with her/his residents about illegal downloading.
Every new full-time employee is educated
during an in-person new employee orientation program by CSRT staff about the
DMCA and the university’s policies against illegal downloading. Educational
materials regarding illegal downloading are also included in the University’s
online orientation program, which focuses primarily on new part-time employees.
Code of Conduct
The University’s Code of
Conduct for employees highlights University policies related to illegal downloading
and copyright infringement within the Acceptable Use of Technology section. The
Code of Conduct is presented at New Employee Orientation and is reviewed
annually during General Compliance Training.
General Compliance Training, an
annual requirement for all faculty, staff and student employees, frequently
includes scenarios and test questions that address copyright and illegal
downloading issues relevant to all DePaul employees.
Management Standards Training
On an annual basis, a System Access
and Security training class is offered at Management Standards Training for
managers. This training session covers DePaul Information Security policies and
provides information about consequences of illegal downloading.
Please visit Educause for a list of sites that provide access to lega music, movies, and other copyrighted content online:
Want to learn more about copyrights?View the OGC's new online training course, Copyright 101!