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Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Policy

Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Rockland Community College on April 30, 2020

The purpose of this Policy is to address Rockland Community College’s compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and specifically 17 U.S.C. Section 512(c) as amended.

The College respects the rights of copyright holders, their agents and representatives, and implements appropriate policies and procedures to support these rights without infringing upon the legal use, by individuals, of those materials. All individuals who use RCC Technology Resources are responsible for their compliance with applicable copyright laws, College policies, and other applicable provisions. Under appropriate circumstances, the College may terminate authorization of users of its system or network who are found to intentionally or repeatedly violate the copyright rights of others.

The College’s designated, registered DMCA Agent shall receive all claims of infringement under the DMCA. Claims may come from inside or outside the College. The DMCA Agent shall promptly acknowledge receipt of each infringement claim, process, investigate, and take appropriate actions under the DMCA.

The DMCA Agent shall coordinate activities, keep required records, and assure proper adjudication of incidents in conformity with College policies and procedures and applicable legal provisions.

The College will use a three pronged approach to address DMCA related activities. The College will: 1) provide annual disclosures to students about copyright law, policies, and penalties, as well as education on DMCA issues; 2) use reasonable measures to prevent inappropriate use of peer-to-peer (P2P) programs and software, including technology methods; and 3) annually suggest lawful alternatives for obtaining electronic copyrighted materials.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides an opportunity for college and universities such as Rockland Community College to shield themselves from liability for the actions of users that infringe on the copyrights of others. Any use of the RCC Technology Resources to illegally transfer copyrighted material including, but not limited to, software, text, images, audio and video is strictly prohibited.

Under the DMCA, the College will not be liable to the individual using electronic information for any harm they might suffer because of its actions in disabling access so long as it:

  • Takes reasonable steps to notify the individual about the allegations in a conforming notice that was received;
  • Promptly sends a copy of any substantially conforming counter-notice to the complainant indicating that it will restore access in 10 business days; and
  • Restores access to the allegedly infringing work within 10 to 14 business days after the day it receives the counter-notice, unless it first receives a notice from the complainant that they have filed an action seeking a court order to restrain the page owner.

DMCA Notices and Takedown Requests:

In accordance with the DMCA, Rockland Community College has designated its Director of Diversity & Inclusion (“DMCA Agent”) to receive and respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement. This designation is listed on the College’s public facing website. DMCA notices and takedown requests must be routed to the College’s DMCA Agent.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act specifies that any DMCA notice or takedown requests must be in writing (either on paper or electronic mail) and must include the following elements: a physical or electronic signature; description of the work claimed to be infringed; description of the allegedly infringing work and the location on the College’s public facing website; contact information for the complaining party; a statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner or law; a statement that the information contained in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. Failure to include information required by the DMCA in the notice of alleged infringement may result in a delay of the processing of the DMCA notification. The College reveals names of alleged offenders only when provided a valid subpoena.

Upon receipt of a DMCA notice or takedown request, the College’s DMCA Agent or designee will follow the takedown procedure outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – US Copyright Law, Chapter 5, section 512(c)(3). In addition, the DMCA Agent or designee will notify the individual responsible for the content that the takedown has taken place, and inform them of their rights regarding counter-notice and put back procedures, which are outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – US Copyright Law, Chapter 5, section 512(g).

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing:

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (the “HEOA”), it is the policy of the College to prohibit the use of peer-to-peer file sharing programs and applications for the unauthorized acquisition or distribution of copyrighted or licensed material on any College computer or College network. In addition, peer-to-peer file sharing programs and applications commonly used for these illicit purposes may not be installed on any applicable information technology resources, including a College computer, and technological deterrents will be used to block their use on the College network.

Authorized Users of the College’s Technology Resources are prohibited from attempting attempt to circumvent, bypass, defeat, or disrupt any device, method, or technology implemented by the College to prevent the use of peer-to-peer file sharing programs and applications for the unauthorized acquisition or distribution of copyrighted or licensed material on any College computer or the College network. Legal alternatives to illegal file sharing practices include the use of services such as Apple iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play Store, etc.

Rockland Community College will annually inform students of this Policy and associated procedures, consistent with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

Disclosure to Campus Community:

The College will make readily available to the campus community, including enrolled and prospective students, the College’s policies and sanctions related to peer-to-peer file sharing including:

  • a statement that explicitly informs individuals that unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing may subject the student to civil and criminal liabilities;
  • a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and
  • this policy.

Notifications of Violations:

The Director of Diversity & Inclusion is responsible for the appropriate enforcement of this Policy. Alleged violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) are received by the COS, who has been designated as the agent for the receipt of a claimed infringement. The Director of Diversity & Inclusion or a designee will respond to all DMCA notices. The receipts of such notices are to be logged in and tracked by the Director of Diversity & Inclusion. Attempts to identify the suspect computer(s) and user(s) will be made by IT staff. In the case of suspected offenders who are students, if successful identification is made, a copy of the notice and name of student(s) identified will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs. In the case of suspected faculty or staff who are successfully identified, the notice and name of the staff or faculty member(s) and relevant identifying information will be referred to Human Resources or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs as applicable.

During the course of any investigation of alleged unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, it may be necessary to temporarily suspend an Authorized User’s network or computing privileges, but only after determining there is at least a prima facie case against the individual. This is a necessary action taken to prevent further misuse and does not presume that the account holder initiated the misuse. Unsubstantiated reports will not result in the suspension of user account or network access unless sufficient evidence is provided to show that inappropriate activity occurred.

Enforcement:

Any use of the RCC Technology Resources to illegally transfer copyrighted material including, but not limited to, software, text, images, audio and video may lead to serious consequences, including disciplinary action, suspension, and possible lawsuits resulting in substantial financial penalties. Upon identification of reasonable facts to pursue discipline, the DMCA Agent, or designee, will process the information through the applicable disciplinary process for determination of responsibility. The individual’s supervisor or Dean of Students as applicable will be notified of the alleged copyright violation notice. In addition to the above, individuals may be subject to civil and criminal penalty.