Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy

Date of Implementation: February 2011

Date of Last Revision: February 2011

Reason for this Policy

Cambridge College has policies and codes of conduct that define responsible use of computers and networks for all members of its community. There are also federal, state and local laws governing many interactions that occur on the Internet. This policy addresses the specific requirements of a 1998 Federal law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. The DMCA addresses issues of copyright protection as it relates to electronic media.

Downloading or distributing whole copies of copyrighted material for personal use or entertainment without explicit permission from the copyright owner is against the law. As a provider of Internet access to its community, Cambridge College has specific obligations under DMCA. This policy describes the rules and processes proscribed by the DMCA, and how they are implemented at the College.

This policy is guided by the following objectives:

  1. DMCA requires formal notification of the College community of its obligations regarding
    electronic content that is protected by copyright

  2. Heightened community awareness to the seriousness of illegal file sharing and the penalties attached to infringement

  3. Broad awareness that any activity that is illegal is a violation of Cambridge College policy.

  4. Compliance with DMCA and HEOA requirements

Statement of Policy

When attached to the Cambridge College network, downloading or distribution of whole copies of copyrighted material for personal use or entertainment without explicit permission from the copyright owner is against the law, and therefore against College policy.

Cambridge College faculty, staff or students who do this can find themselves being personally sued if a subpoena or early settlement offer is served by the copyright holder. Anyone who does this may be prosecuted, fined and in some cases, incarcerated. Cambridge College complies with all court orders requiring names and information in the case of subpoenas or settlement letters demanding the identity of a specific user of the college network.

If you are a staff or faculty member, and the College receives an infringement complaint, an investigation will be performed. If it is determined that the complaint was valid, applicable personnel policies will apply.

If you are a student, and Cambridge College receives an infringement complaint about content on a machine owned or registered by you, the following procedures will apply:

  • You will be notified of the complaint by the Dean of Students, and be instructed on the requirements of the law. If the complaint is determined to be valid, you will be required to remove the content in question within 24 hours.

  • The second time a take down notice is received for a machine owned by you, you will again be notified of the complaint by the Dean of Students, and educated on the requirements of the law. Further disciplinary action, referenced in the Student Code of Conduct, will be taken.

  • The third time a take down notice is received for a machine owned by you, the College reserves the right to restrict your network access for a period of time determined by the College.

Doing Schoolwork with a Restricted Computer

Although your personal computer may be blocked from accessing the network because of copyright infringement, your Cambridge College computing accounts are not disabled. You are still able to access Cambridge College technology using other resources such as the computer labs on campus. While this may be an inconvenience, connecting your personal computer to the Cambridge College network is a privilege, not a right. Of course, any use you make of Cambridge College lab computers must also comply with the copyright law.

Your Responsibilities as a Computer User at Cambridge College

When you accept computing accounts at Cambridge College, you agree to use the College’s computing resources responsibly. A major part of responsible use is maintaining the security and confidentiality of your computer accounts and the information you store on them. You need to protect your computer accounts, passwords, and other types of authorization that are assigned to you alone. You should never share them with others. If you allow a friend to use your computer or to access your accounts, you can be held responsible for his or her actions on the network. If your friend uses your computer and downloads copyrighted material illegally, you can be held responsible because your computer is identified in the notice that is sent to the College from the copyright holder.

Individual Responsible for Revision and Implementation: Vice president for Finance and Administration and the Director of IT