Copyright Compliance

I Received a DMCA Notice: Now What?

Publishers who suspect a violation of copyright send a notification of claimed infringement to the university's Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA) agent. The notification generally specifies the Internet address of the device suspected to be in violation. The university identifies the uniqname registered to that address and sends the DMCA notice on to you.

U-M encourages all students, faculty, and staff to engage in safe and legally compliant sharing of copyrighted materials. Downloading or sharing copyrighted material (such as music and videos) can be illegal if done without the permission of the copyright owner whether you profit from it or not.

About the Law

If you are infringing copyright, even unwittingly, you can be subject to civil damages of between $750 and $150,000 per work infringed and even criminal fines of up to $250,000 and jail time.

You are responsible for any digital copyright violations associated with your computer and network access if you give others permission to use them.

Copyright Compliance at U-M

U-M provides the following information in compliance with the law:

In addition to civil and criminal penalties, illegal downloading or file sharing is a violation of the following U-M policies. Repeated violations may result in sanctions imposed by the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

Learn more about copyright compliance and how to report issues and concerns, and your right to use copyrighted material without permission under certain circumstances, from the U-M Library Copyright Office's Copyright Basics.

Hazards of Using P2P File-Sharing Software

  • Your files are shared automatically. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing software (such as BitTorrent) not only receives files, but automatically allows others to access them.
  • Auto start-up. P2P programs may start up automatically when you turn on your computer, letting others access your files without your knowledge or consent. You are responsible for the file sharing activities of your computer, even when you are unaware of the activity.
  • Security risks. P2P technology may make your computer vulnerable to malicious software or viruses.

Test Yourself and Take Action