Policies & Security

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

What is DMCA?

The U.S. Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) on October 12, 1998. President Clinton signed the Act into law on October 28th. The DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, is designed to adjust copyright law to the realities of the digital age.

U.S. Copyright Law and the University of Pennsylvania's Acceptable Use Policy prohibits the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. If you share copyrighted material in violation of US law and Penn's policy, you may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

What to Do if You Receive a Notice

Many Higher Education institutions act as ISPs. A DMCA notice typically comes from a copyright holder, or their representatives, to Penn’s Information Security office alleging that a computer, usually identified by the IP address, is hosting and making available material that the user of the computer does not own the copyright to. The notice is a request to remove the copyrighted material and stop making the material available to others. The University passes that notice on to the owner of the computer. These notices are commonly called "take down" notices.

In addition to these notices some copyright holders have pursued legal action against those whom they think are making their material available online. Lawsuits and subpoenas have been used against computer owners and users.

What to do if your receive a take down notice from the MPAA

"…Take immediate action that can prevent serious legal and other consequences. These actions include:

1. Stop downloading or uploading without authorization any motion pictures or TV shows.

2. Permanently delete from your computer(s) all unauthorized copies you may have already made of these movies and TV shows.

An MPAA website, www.respectcopyrights.org, offers step-by-step instructions to ensure that your Internet account is not being used to violate the copyright laws. Also, the site can point you to an array of legal choices for enjoying movies and TV shows online…"