UCR Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Interim Policy 400-70
The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act, also known as the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), is a complex set of legislation that
amends federal copyright law to reflect the digital environment. Online Copyright
Infringement Claims made against faculty, students, or staff at UCR can result
in the campus itself being liable for infringement and thus subject to significant
monetary penalties. The DMCA contains provisions under which the University
may, under certain circumstances and at its own discretion, limit its liability
for copyright infringement that occurs on its systems and networks.
The DMCA does not alter the fair use provisions of the Copyright Act, nor does
it require Online Service Providers to adhere to its procedures if the campus
does not wish to seek Liability Shelter. Any defense which would otherwise be
available to a provider remains available. Accordingly, University guidelines
on the appropriate use of copyrighted material for teaching and research remain
This policy/procedure is intended for department heads and managers who may
need to consider taking steps to reduce University and ultimately departmental
financial liability that may result from alleged acts of online copyright infringement
by students, faculty or staff of the department.
This policy/procedure describes the requirements that must be met in order
to qualify for Liability Shelter and identifies the Campus Officials responsible
for responding to a Claim and for initiating necessary corrective action, if
Copyright: is the intangible right granted to the author or creator
of an original literary or artistic work fixed in a tangible form of expression
whereby the author or creator is invested, for a limited period, with the sole
and exclusive privilege of reproducing, publishing and/or selling copies of
Designated Agent: in accordance with DMCA requirements, the person
identified by the campus to receive and process notification of claimed copyright
infringement. UCR has registered its Designated Agent with the U.S. Copyright
Liability Shelter: refers to the provision of the DMCA which
limits the financial liability of qualifying Online Service Providers for copyright
violations of their users.
Online Copyright Infringement Claim (Claim): written or electronic
mail communication of a copyright holder identifying a copyrighted work and
specific online material alleged to be infringing such copyrighted work. The
Claim must include a statement that the information contained in the Claim is
accurate and that the copyright holder has a good faith belief that use of the
material is unauthorized.
Online Service Provider: for the purpose of this policy, the
individual campus units or departments that provide online access services to
the UCR community including, but not limited to, schools, divisions, departments,
libraries, and labs.
The University encourages the free flow of ideas and the provision of resources
in support of academic pursuits. However, the University does not condone the
illegal or inappropriate use of material subject to copyright protections that
happens to be available through online systems and services that the University
makes available to its users. UCR faculty, staff, and students need to be mindful
of the copyright protections afforded to online materials and that violations
of these protections may result in significant penalties.
In the event that a Claim is received alleging copyright infringement on the
part of a UCR faculty member, staff member or student, Campus Officials, as
designated herein, shall respond to evaluate the basis for the allegation and
will take action, as warranted, to end the infringement in accordance with existing
UC policies. If copyright infringement allegations are upheld and result in
financial liability to the University, that liability shall be assigned to the
department or unit of the infringer.
Such Claims are required to be sent to the Designated Agent for the campus.
The Designated Agent will respond in accordance with the requirements of the
DMCA Liability Shelter provisions.
A. General Provisions
UCR meets the DMCA general eligibility requirements for Liability Shelter as
a qualified provider of online services, including accommodating and not interfering
with standard technical measures used to identify and protect copyrighted works,
and adopting and implementing a policy that provides for the termination of
services to persons who are repeat infringers.
Duties of the Designated Agent
The registration of an agent's name with the Copyright Office is a prerequisite
to invoking the Liability Shelter. The Designated Agent representing UCR is
responsible for :
ensuring that the notice from the complaining party meets the minimum requirements
of the DMCA and if not, making a good faith effort to secure same;
coordinating actions between the claimant and the alleged infringer;
making the initial determination as to which campus units, departments
and Online Service Providers are involved; and
maintaining a record, as required by the DMCA to qualify for Liability
Shelter, of all infringement notifications and actions taken in response
to them, including the names of faculty or graduate students in a teaching
or research function named in a complaint, for a period of three years from
the date of the alleged infringement. Such records will be held in confidence
by the Designated Agent and shall not be disclosed except as required by
law or University policy.
Online Copyright Infringement Penalties
Violation of University policies governing appropriate use of copyrighted materials
may result in, but is not limited to, the restriction of access to campus information
technology resources. Responsibility for such determination is designated as
The Executive Vice Chancellor and the appropriate Dean for faculty;
The Dean of Students and Residence Hall Judicial Director for students
(who, in connection with the alleged infringement, were not acting in the
capacity of UCR employees);
The appropriate Dean and Vice Chancellor of Administration for staff.
B. Specific Provisions
With respect to any alleged specific claim, the following DMCA criteria must
be met in order to qualify for Liability Shelter for infringing materials hosted
on UCR systems:
Online Service Providers had no actual knowledge of the infringing activity
or knowledge of circumstances from which infringing activity was apparent
or, if it became aware of such, acted expeditiously to remove or block access
UCR did not receive direct financial benefit from the infringing activity;
Upon notice of the alleged infringing activity, UCR responded expeditiously
to remove or block access to the material.
The determination to invoke the Liability Shelter provision will be made on
a case-by-case basis, mindful of issues of academic freedom and the research
and instructional responsibilities of faculty and of existing defenses afforded
by, for example, the fair use provisions of United States copyright law.
Liability Rules for Non-profit Educational Institutions
The DMCA contains a special provision designed to clarify that not all activity
of a faculty member or a graduate student who is an employee performing a teaching
or research function will be considered the institution's activity. Said individual's
knowledge or awareness of his or her infringing activity will not be attributed
to the institution, so as to avoid disqualifying the institution from eligibility,
the activity did not involve access to instructional materials that were
required or recommended for a course taught by said faculty member or graduate
student in the three year period immediately preceding the date of the alleged
the institution has not received more than two prior complaints of infringement
by said faculty member or graduate student in the three year period immediately
preceding the date of the alleged infringement; and
the University makes available to all of its users informational materials
describing and promoting compliance with copyright law.
The infringing activity of a UCR student (other than in his/her capacity as
a UCR employee) also qualifies for consideration of Liability Shelter.
The following steps should be taken by the affected Campus Officials after
receipt of a Claim and upon eventual determination that the limited liability
protection afforded by the DMCA should be invoked for that Claim by the
University. The Designated Agent and Associate Vice Chancellor of Computing
& Communications will make such a determination expeditiously and in
consultation with one or more Campus Officials as noted below.
Receives and processes notice of Claim.
- Acknowledges receipt of Claim to claimant. Ensures that the Claim
substantially conforms to content requirements. If required information
is lacking, makes reasonable attempt to obtain same from claimant;
- Confirms location and identity of infringing materials noted in
the Claim and identifies publisher of such materials;
- Sends Claim and local information to Associate Vice Chancellor -
Computing & Communications.
|Designated Agent and Associate Vice
Chancellor of Computing & Communications
1. Reviews Claim and consults with one or
more of the following as appropriate:
- Dean of appropriate school or division if publisher of disputed
materials is a faculty member. May consult with Chair of the Academic
Senate when a Claim involving a faculty member is disputed;
- Dean of appropriate school or division if publisher of disputed
materials is a student employed by UCR in a teaching or research function;
- Dean of Students and Residence Halls Judicial Director if publisher
of disputed materials is a student who was not acting in a capacity
as an employee of UCR;
- Appropriate Vice Chancellor or Dean if publisher of disputed materials
is a staff member;
- University Librarian for issues relating to fair use doctrine.
2. Informs publisher of alleged infringing
materials that a Claim has been lodged. At his/her discretion, may inform
the publisher that he/she may submit a counter notification if there
is reason to believe that the Claim is mistaken.
3. Following consultation with the above
individuals as appropriate, determines whether access to the material
should be blocked and if so, blocks access and directs the Campus Official
or department to have the material removed expeditiously from the appropriate
- The departmental DMCA contact, acting on behalf of the appropriate
Dean or Vice Chancellor if it involves an administrative unit, if
the material is made available through a server in a school, division,
lab or administrative unit;
- Residence Halls Judicial Officer, if the material is made available
through a server located in On Campus Housing units;
- Computing & Communications, if the material is made available
through a student's personal web page hosted by UCR;
- Student Life & Leadership Center, if the material is made available
through the Web pages of a registered student organization.
|4. Notifies publisher of infringing materials
and claimant of decision in writing (electronic mail or paper) and copies
the Designated Agent.
The DMCA allows a copyright holder to request that a federal district court
issue a subpoena to the Online Service Provider requiring it to identify
the individual who is reponsible for the alleged infringement. A subpoena
may be requested only after a Claim has been received from the copyright
holder. If the campus receives such a subpoena, the subpoena should be faxed
to University Counsel Mary MacDonald, Office of the President, at (510)