Whitman Response to Claims of Copyright Infringement

When Whitman receives a copyright infringement claim involving music, video, software, or other digital materials, it takes the following steps under the 1998 federal statute known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA:

  • we check network usage logs and registration information to examine the system alleged to be involved in copyright infringement and we identify the person using it;
  • we notify the copyright holder (or agent) if required;
  • we DO NOT disclose the user's identity;
  • we inform the user that an infringement claim has been made and ask if the user has downloaded or shared the copyrighted material in question without permission;
  • we ensure that the material in question is either removed or access is blocked.

First-Time Offenses

If the user acknowledges using the copyrighted material without permission, we:

  • require the user to read the Acceptable Use Policy and to review information about the DMCA statute and copyright regulations;
  • require the user to submit a statement: (a) confirming the copyright infringement, (b) acknowledging violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, (c) confirming removal of offending material, and (d) promising not to repeat this behavior;
  • inform, if required, the claimant that the matter has been resolved.

If the user denies using the copyrighted material without permission, we:

  • require the user to submit a statement denying the copyright infringement claim;
  • inform the claimant that the claim has been denied;
  • under the DMCA, the claimant may pursue a subpoena to obtain the identity of the system user and may file a lawsuit against the user.

Second-Time Offenses

If the user acknowledges a second instance of using copyrighted material without permission, we:

  • require the user to re-read the Acceptable Use Policy and to review information about the DMCA statute and copyright regulations;
  • require the user to submit a statement: (a) confirming the second case of copyright infringement, (b) acknowledging violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and his/her promise not to repeat this behavior, (c) confirming removal of offending material, and (d) recognizing that any further violations will be referred to the Dean of Students office for action;
  • inform the Dean of Students of the actions taken;
  • inform, if required, the claimant that the matter has been resolved.

More information about copyright and legal issues is available at:

http://www.whitman.edu/content/copyright