Digital Millennium Copyright Act Compliance Procedure

It is a Procedure of Western Michigan University to promptly process and investigate notices of alleged copyright infringement and take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code, Section 512. Pursuant to the DMCA, Western Michigan University has a designated agent to receive notification of alleged copyright infringement occurring through the University's networks. Under the authority of the designated agent, the Office of Information Technology will acknowledge receipt and handle all complaints alleging infringement violations.

Contents of notice

The DMCA requires that all notices of alleged copyright infringement must be in writing. When informing the designated agent of an alleged copyright infringement, the notice must:

  1. Identify the copyrighted work that allegedly has been infringed.
  2. Describe the material that is claimed to be infringed upon and provide sufficient information to permit Western Michigan University to locate that material.
  3. Include contact information of the copyright owner or person authorized to act on behalf of the owner. Contact information must include name, address, telephone number and email address.
  4. Certify or include a statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the copyright-protected material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, the owner's agent, or law.
  5. Certify that the information that you have provided Western Michigan University is accurate. You should attest under penalty of perjury that you are authorized to enforce the copyrights that you allege have been infringed.

Western Michigan University may not be able to act on the complaint promptly, or at all, if the copyright holder, or its designate do not provide the information required in the "Contents of Notice."

Notice and take-down procedure

All users of Western Michigan University networks and computing services are expected to comply with applicable copyright laws, however if the University is notified of an alleged copyright infringement, or otherwise becomes aware of facts or circumstances from which infringement is apparent, it will respond appropriately. This may include removing or disabling access to the material that is claimed to be infringed. Western Michigan University will follow the procedures outlined in the DMCA with regard to appropriate notifications. Upon acceptance of counter notifications, where indicated, will put back the alleged infringed material. See a summary of DMCA provisions and WMU's file sharing procedures.

U.S. copyright law and Western Michigan University policy

Individuals who infringe copyright protected materials using Western Michigan University networks and computing services are subject to discipline as stated in the computing resources acceptable use policy and other University policies. In appropriate circumstances, penalties for violations of copyright policy include, but are not limited to, termination of all computing privileges.

Copyright infringement is a violation of federal law and subject to civil and/or criminal sanctions. Thus, every user of Western Michigan University networks and computing services must maintain a basic understanding of copyright law and must comply with University copyright guidelines and policies.

For more information on the U.S. copyright law and the DMCA, visit the United States Copyright Office website. They have a variety of circulars and forms available, online or printed, which can provide answers and guidance to copyright questions and issues. Their circular, Copyright Basics, has concise explanations and descriptions of what you must do to keep from infringing copyrights of others, as well as protecting your own creative works. Additional resources are available through WMU's library, or through a simple Web search.

Additional information

Document action 

Reviewed by: Campus Security Group, Nov. 2011
Reviewed by: LAN Manager's Group, Nov. 2011