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Student Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notifications

Takedown or Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices are the most common type of copyright infringement notices that Cornell receives. Content owners such as Universal, HBO, Paramount, and the Recording Industry Association of America send these notices to the Internet Service Provider from which the file was made available (in our case, Cornell University).

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires higher education institutions, including Cornell, to inform students annually about copyright infringement and DMCA notice risks.

See the 2017 annual student notice on the Verified Communications page (CUWebLogin required).

Cornell policy requires that consequences increase as the number of offenses increase. Copying and distributing digital forms of original work such as music, movies, instructors' manuals, textbooks, and video games for which you do not own the copyright or have permission of the copyright holder violates both civil and criminal law, and also may be a violation of university policy. As a civil matter, fines begin at $750 per incident and can be as high as $150,000; willful violations can result in criminal penalties, including stiff fines and imprisonment. As violation of policy, complaints submitted by copyright owners will be referred to the Office of the Judicial Administrator. In compliance with federal law, Cornell University also will block off-campus Internet access for all devices registered to to repeat offenders.

In each case, the first indication you've received a DMCA notice is that Network Quarantine blocks access to the Cornell network for the device. This causes your campus connection for the device to be redirected to a web page with information about the notice and the required actions to be taken. This information is also emailed to you.

  • First offense: Network Quarantine blocks access to the Cornell network for the device. Self release is authorized.  You acknowledge responsibility for the instructions included in the notice by selecting “I Understand” on the Network Quarantine web page. Then, network access is restored for the device during normal business hours.
  • Second offense: Network Quarantine blocks access to the Cornell network for the device. Self release is NOT authorized. You are required to (1) complete a $35 eCornell copyright law tutorial, and (2) submit a cease and desist statement that confirms all required actions have been completed. Then, network access is restored for the device during normal business hours.
  • Third offense: Network Quarantine blocks access to the Cornell network for the device. Self release is NOT authorized. You are referred to the Judicial Administrator (JA) for repeated non-compliance with university policies and violation of the Campus Code of Conduct. You may lose network access for ALL Cornell network registered devices for a period of 28 days. You will be able to use public Computer Labs for access to the Internet during this time.

Copyright infringement may lead to serious legal and financial consequences. For your own protection, it is important that you take the DMCA notice, legal, and technical information that we provide seriously.

For full details about the DMCA, see Digital Millennium Copyright Act from the EDUCAUSE Library.

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