Copyright Infringement: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Caltech recognizes and respects intellectual property rights, and it is part of our mission to maintain the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct.
Downloading or distributing copyrighted content (such as videos, games, music, television shows and software) without permission from the copyright owner is illegal under the copyright law of the United States. It is also a violation of Caltech's Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources Policy.
While Caltech does not review computer usage to identify illegal copyrighted content, the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires Caltech to take actions after receiving a valid complaint from a copyright owner about copyright infringement involving a computer on the Caltech network. In the event such a complaint is received and confirmed by Caltech, the following sanctions will be applied:
First offense: Access to the Caltech network by the computer referenced in the complaint is blocked until IMSS is informed the student has removed all potentially infringing materials from the computer, has spoken with the appropriate Dean, has reviewed the Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources, and understands the alleged act is not legal or permitted at Caltech.
Second offense: Network access is blocked for 5 days from date of notice of alleged infringement, and the student must see the appropriate Dean and an attorney at the Office of General Counsel. The student is given warning that any subsequent infringement activity will be considered an Honor Code violation and could be referred to the appropriate disciplinary committee.
Third offense: Network access is terminated until the Dean of Students, the Conduct Review Committee or the Graduate Dean determines the proper disciplinary action, which in the most egregious cases could involve separation from the Institute for the term and/or a fine of up to $500.
First offense: Access to the Caltech network by the computer referenced in the complaint is blocked until IMSS is informed the employee has removed all potentially infringing materials from the computer, has spoken with a Human Resources representative, has reviewed the Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources on the Office of General Counsel website, and understands the alleged act is not legal or permitted at Caltech.
Second offense: A second offense results in notification to the Employee Relations Office of Human Resources. Employee Relations will discuss the action with the employee and their supervisor and determine the appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension of employment. In addition, the Provost's Office may be informed of the offense.
Third offense: An employee will be immediately referred to Employee Relations or the Provost's Office for appropriate disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
Resources pertaining to copyright law and the DMCA.
Caltech's Institute Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources
Legal alternatives for obtaining copyrighted songs, movies, tv shows and other media:
Educause list of free and fee-based authorized distribution sources for copyrighted materials
University of Illinois
University of Delaware
Questions about the DMCA or Intellectual Property law? Contact IPQuestions@caltech.edu