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Expanded Copyright (self-paced course)

Self-paced course for faculty and staff to learn the aspects of copyright law that affect higher education. It's intense - if you want something lighter, please go to the Intro to Copyright videos on Learnscape.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Learning Objectives for this Module

After going through this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain that the DMCA makes it illegal to break copy protection or crack/hack/bypass passwords to access copyrighted material, even if you own the copy or what you want to do with that material is legal.
  • Explain that the DMCA treats the college as an Internet Service Provider, and obligates the college to help with certain aspects of copyright enforcement, or else the college would be liable for copyright infringement committed by its users. 
  • Explain that copyright infringement that is not corrected as soon as it is detected can result in criminal penalties (fines, jail time), civil penalties (lawsuits), and administrative discipline. 
  • Understand what conditions or situations could cause a DMCA take down notice to be issued.
  • Describe what happens (step by step) when a DMCA take down notice is issued and the college (as an institution and as individuals within the institution) take action in response to it.
  • Explain what a DMCA counter-notice is and evaluate under what conditions it might be advisable to submit a counter-notice versus comply with the take-down notice.
  • Understand that if one complies with a DMCA take-down notice promptly, the allegedly infringing material is removed and no legal action will be taken. 
  • Understand that if one does not comply with a DMCA take-down notice, or if one issues a counter-notice, legal action (civil and possibly criminal) will probably be taken against the faculty or staff members who are alleged to have infringed. 
  • Understand that a DMCA take-down notice always first results in the allegedly infringing course or web site being taken down by ITS, and the course or web site owner is not notified first. 
  • Understand that the best option is to prevent DMCA take-down notices from being issued in the first place, by ensuring that all copyrighted content is being used legally, and that we have any relevant documentation ready at hand.