Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

On October 12, 1998 the Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA); complex legislation that makes changes in copyright law to take account of digital, networked, information. Grinnell College subscribes to the DMCA. In accordance with this act, Grinnell College must follow a prescribed set of steps to allow for appropriate resolution of alleged copyright infringement. These steps are presented below.

The College must select a Designated Agent to receive complaints of copyright infringement on Grinnell College's website, and make contact information for the agent available on the website. Accordingly, Grinnell College's agent is:

David Ellis 
Information Technology Services
1119 6th Avenue
Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA 50112 
Telephone: 641-269-9990
FAX: 641-269-4828

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998: U.S. Copyright Office Summary, stipulates requirements for any complainant, for the services provider (Grinnell College), and for any user (called "subscriber" below) of Grinnell College's network in the event of a copyright dispute. According to the DMCA, a copyright owner must submit a proper written notification to a network "service provider" (such as Grinnell College) alleging misuse of material. This notification must include:

  • The name, address, and electronic address or physical signature of the complainant
  • Sufficient information to identify the copyrighted work
  • Sufficient information to allow the College to identify the web-based or electronic documents alleged to infringe copyright
  • A statement by the copyright owner that it has a good faith belief that there is no legal basis for the use of the
materials complained of
  • A statement that the information contained in the notification is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that the complainant is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

The DMCA further requires that: Upon receipt of a proper, written notification of alleged copyright violation, the College's designated agent will promptly remove or block access to the material identified in the notification. At Grinnell, the designated agent will attempt to contact the account or computer owner where the material is stored, forward the complaint to the owner, review the basic provisions of the DMCA with the owner, when possible, and ask that the owner remove or block the material. If the owner does not promptly comply with this request the agent will take action to block or remove the material. If, after removal or blocking of the material the account owner sends a written "counter-notification" to the designated agent that includes a statement, under penalty of perjury, that the material removed or disabled was done so through mistake or misidentification, then, unless the complainant files an action seeking a court order against the account or computer owner, the College will unblock access to the material or put the material back online within 10-14 business days after receiving the counter-notification. Whenever a counter-notification is received by the designated agent, he or she will promptly forward that counter-notice to the complainant.

As stated above, these are the steps that the College will take when it receives proper notification of an alleged copyright violation. If you have any questions about the requirements of the DMCA or Grinnell College's interpretation of that act, please send email to David Ellis.

Related Links: United States Copyright Office 
Copyright Office's Index of Designated Agents for Online Service Providers

September 25, 2014

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