March 12, 2003
(This addendum supplements the Faulkner University Statement of Ethics in the Use of Computing Resources Policy)
Faulkner University Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Intellectual Copyright Policy
In an effort to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Public Law 105 - 304), Faulkner University has created an addendum to the Statement of Ethics in the Use of Computing Resources policy.
The purpose of this addendum is to educate the users (faculty, staff, and students of Faulkner University) of the applicable laws and possible sanctions of the United States of America as they are related to infringement of copyrighted material and intellectual copyrights as stated in Public Law 105-304, and any other applicable laws and international treaties.
Definition of copyrighted material
Materials or "works" that fall under copyright law protection are basically defined as: text, images, music, movies, or other performances that have been created by an entity, and has been fixed in a copy (on paper, example; sheet music), or phonorecord (on media, example; CD, cassettes, or LPs).
A "work" that has been created is automatically copyrighted upon it's creation. It is not necessary to register a "work" with any official office, add a symbol, or otherwise report or request a copyright from any federal or state office or service.
A copyrighted material cannot be copied or stored (unless a license, or permission has been granted by the copyright owner), on any type of media, including but not limited to, a hard disk, removable media (such as floppy disks, ZiP disks, and CD-Rs), a network storage location, or on physical media (paper print-outs) by anyone other than the copyright owner, or an authorized agent of the copyright owner.
What does this mean? Basically, you can't copy, view, listen to, save, or alter in any way a copyrighted material. For example, Federal Law prohibits you from downloading and saving an MP3 music file from a file sharing service such as Kazaa, or a web site. While there are legitimate vendors of MP3s and other audio/visual files, where you pay to download the files, and the artist or company that owns the copyright receives a royalty, most MP3s are illegal. A recent report from The Harvard School of Law states that as much as 90% of MP3s are not legitimate, and have been created without the consent of the copyright owner.
The DMCA and Intellectual property laws do not just apply to MP3s. Text works such as "E-books," motion video such as MPEGs, and multimedia works such as the MGM lion for example, among other types or "works," are all covered under copyright laws. The laws also protect (but are not limited to) programs, video games, programming languages, and designs. It is also illegal to possess or traffic programs or code, commonly knows as "hacks" or "cracks," that will disable copy protection built into an electronic or analog medium. An example of this is a "hack" that will bypass security measures in a program, or copy protection on a CD.
What are my responsibilities?
Faulkner University, by definition in the DMCA law, is a Service Provider. Faculty, staff, and students of Faulkner University are responsible for their own actions. Faulkner University's policies are provided to its users for their information, but do not directly reflect the actual laws of the United States. It is the user's responsibility to know the laws of the United States and it protectorates. Faulkner faculty, staff, and students should also follow the rules of conduct as outlined in the student handbook and catalog. If you have any questions as to the policies and procedures as they relate to the Faulkner University network, you should contact the office of the Faulkner Director of Finance.
How can I get caught?
Faulkner University's Information Technology department, tracks all Internet activities, emails, and files stored or transferred on Faulkner owned computers and network equipment. The department regularly monitors the student and staff storage areas for materials that may be copyrighted works.
What will happen if copyrighted materials are found on the Faulkner network?
If questionable materials are found, they will be immediately removed, or access will be disabled, and a notice will be sent to the user. If the user has a license, or has received permission from the copyright owner to possess the material, the user must submit a counter notice as pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 512(g)(3), to the office of the Faulkner Director of Finance that the removal or disabling of access was based on a mistake or misidentification. If the materials are found to be of a legitimate origin, the materials will be replaced or access will be restored in 10 to 15 business days. If the materials are found to infringe on a copyright, disciplinary action may be taken against the user by Faulkner University (see below).
What are the penalties for breaking copyright laws?
The penalties for breaking copyright laws can be extremely high. If a user is found to have violated copyright law, and this policy, Faulkner University may decide to take disciplinary action against the user. There may also be civil and criminal penalties as dictated by a court of law. These penalties can range from $200.00 to $25,000 in statutory fines, plus actual damages, and can be triple this amount for repeated offenders. If the copyrighted materials are used as part of a commercial venture, or for financial gain, the possible fines can range from $500,000 to $1,000,000 and 5 to 10 years imprisonment.
Where can I find more information?
More information on the DMCA and Intellectual Property Laws can be found at the web sites listed below.
To learn more about copyrights, visit the Federal Copyright Office web site:
To learn more about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable laws visit the Library of Congress web site:
Visit the Recording Industry Artists Association web site: