Annual Copyright Compliance Message to Students (2018)

The following message was sent to U-M students on September 27, 2018:

Subject: Important Information about Digital Copyright Compliance

Dear U-M Students:

In a creative, academic community such as ours, it is important to uphold the artistic rights of others, including those of copyright holders. At the same time, creativity and inquiry often require building on the work of others, and it is equally important to understand your rights as a user of copyrighted material. Federal law requires that we send an annual message to all students to help you understand your responsibilities and avoid potential legal problems related to copyright infringement.

These risks most often arise when you share third-party content through social media sites, such as YouTube, or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing technology, such as BitTorrent. Using these technologies is not in itself illegal, but what you share and how you share it may be. When you make copies of copyrighted works available or when you acquire unauthorized copies of copyrighted works, you may be infringing on someone else's rights.

Some P2P systems even hide that you are uploading or sharing data. We urge you to educate yourself about the appropriate use of these technologies and to refrain from unlawful uses.

Copyright compliance enforcement agencies aggressively pursue infringers. If you are infringing, even unknowingly, you can be subject to civil damages per work infringed, and even criminal fines and jail time.

If you are infringing, you are violating federal law, as well as violating the following university policies:

For more specifics, including steps you can take to avoid copyright infringement, and links to resources for legal options for downloading digital media, visit Copyright Compliance and Copyright Basics.


E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life

Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Sol Bermann
Interim Chief Information Security Officer and U-M DMCA Agent