Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
This page is intended to serve as a resource for the CSUN community to better understand the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and how the University responds to instances that are detected on its network. CSUN takes copyright issues very seriously. If you download a song or a movie, a computer game, or a software application in violation of its copyright, you are stealing. If you share copyrighted materials with others, you are helping them steal as well.
What is the DMCA?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1998 to combat the theft of electronic media such as software, games, photography, videos, or music over the internet. The DMCA is a complex act designed to manage digital copyright infringement and liability in many ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Imposes rules prohibiting the circumvention of technological protection measures in place on copyrighted materials.
- Imposes rules prohibiting the production and distribution of any technology (hardware or software) whose main purpose is to circumvent copyright protection mechanisms.
- Sets limitations on copyright infringement liability for internet service providers (such as CSUN).
According to the DMCA, if CSUN (the internet service provider) acts expeditiously to remove or disable access to infringing material identified in a formal notice from the copyright holder (or its agent), the University will not be held liable for copyright infringement of that material. Although CSUN does not typically monitor for these violations, once notified, we are bound by DMCA to act swiftly to stop illegal sharing or posting on the CSUN network.
The designated agent for the CSUN campus to receive notification of claimed infringement under Title II of the DMCA is:
Senior Director Information Systems and Information Security Officer
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge CA, 91330
DMCA PROCESSES: TAKE-DOWN AND NOTICE
The DMCA-defined processes involve the following steps on the part of the University:
- The University will evaluate the notice to be sure it substantially conforms to the statutory requirements: The notice must have all of the following:
- A physical or digital signature of the owner of an exclusive copyright right (i.e., the copyright owner himself or the owner's exclusive licensee of the right(s) to reproduce, distribute, display, perform or create derivatives) or the owner's authorized agent;
- A description of the works claimed to be infringed;
- A description of the allegedly infringing works, sufficient to enable the agent to find them;
- Sufficient information to enable the agent to contact the complainer;
- A statement that the complainer believes in good faith that the use of the material is not authorized by the owner, the owner's agent or the law; and
- A statement that the information in the notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complainer is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of one or more exclusive copyright rights.
If the notice substantially conforms, the University will notify the page owner of the allegation of infringement and will secure voluntary take-down of the work or disable access.
If the notice fails substantially to conform, but the problems are all with requirements 1, 5 or 6 above, the University will contact the copyright owner and try to get the necessary information. The University may do this by supplying the complainer with a copy of or a reference to Section 512 (c) (3) (A) (for notices alleging that content infringes) or Section 512 (d) (3) (for notices that allege that information location tools such as links contribute to infringement of a work).
If the complainer sends the rest of the information, the University will notify the page owner of the allegation of infringement and secure voluntary take-down of the work or disable access to the work.
If the complainer does not respond, or if the notice is nonconforming with respect to requirements 2, 3 or 4, the University may ignore the notice, but will retain it along with a copy of any correspondence attempting to obtain more information to demonstrate that the University did not receive a conforming notice and did what is required to try to get one.
Can the University protect the personal identities of alleged illegal file sharers at CSUN from industry representatives?
The University cannot protect individuals who, knowingly or not, distribute copyrighted material without an appropriate license or authorization. Typically, when the copyright holder or its agent or representative sends a DMCA copyright complaint to CSUN, they don't ask us to identify the specific person whose computer hosted the alleged infringement; they just want it stopped. If they do make such a request via a court order (e.g., subpoena), though, the University has no choice but to comply. Individual students have been sued for copyright violations in cases like these.
If You Have Received Notice of a DMCA Copyright Complaint
If you have received a notice of a DMCA copyright violation, this indicates that a copyright owner or owner's agent has notified CSUN that you are violating their copyright by downloading, sharing, or copying media. CSUN does not monitor for these violations, however we will launch an internal investigation to track the source of the alleged violation (for example, your computer). Because you have received this notice, you have been identified as the source of the violation and must take down the offending media.
How Will I Recognize the DMCA Notice?
The sender will be "iso <at> csun.edu". The email will notify you of the alleged copyright infringement. A copy of this message is also shared with other campus departments as needed for recording purposes.
What Do I Do Next?
To satisfy the requirements of the DMCA and CSUN policy, if you receive a DMCA take-down notice (AKA copyright complaint), please follow these instructions:
- You must delete the file(s), song, movie, etc., unless it was obtained legally. If you got it by illegal download, copying from someone else's DVD, etc., then delete it.
- We strongly recommend you remove or disable the file sharing software on your computer (also called "torrent" software).
- You must REPLY within two business days to the email we sent you with this statement: "I have ceased the unauthorized sharing of copyrighted material from my computer." If you believe the notification was forwarded to you in error, please consult the "Counter-Notification" section below. Note: Please reply to the email we send you, not to the copyright holder or agent.
- If you don't reply back within two (2) business day, your computer's CSUN network access will be blocked. Please be aware that regardless of what CSUN does, the copyright holder may still pursue additional legal remedies.
While it is possible you were unaware that the activity is illegal - or that someone else has used security vulnerabilities on your computer to conduct illegal activity without your knowledge - you are still responsible for how your computer is used on the CSUN network. If you need guidance on how to secure your machine against hackers and other threats, visit our Information Security website.
If you are certain that you are legally using the material the copyright owner says you are infringing upon, or that the copyright owner has misidentified the material, you can file a counter-notice - after you remove the specified material from your computer or network access to your computer (network device) has been disabled.
Reporting DMCA Violations or Questions
- For more information or to report copyright violations, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act Summary from the US Copyright Office (.pdf)
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act (.pdf)
- CSUN's Incident Response Process (.pdf)
- CSUN DMCA Registration
- CSUN Copyright Policy
- CSUN's Choice of Response to Allegations of Digital Copyright Infringement