AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine

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Copyright Infringment

AOMA Response to Claims of Copyright Infringment

AOMA Response to
Claims of Copyright Infringement
and RIAA Pre-Litigation Letters

When AOMA 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 suspend the system’s Internet access;
  • we notify the copyright holder (or agent) that we are handling the infringement claim under the guidelines of the DMCA;
  • we DO NOT disclose the user's identity;
  • we inform the user that and infringement claim as been made and ask if the user has downloaded or shared the copyrighted material in question without permission.

First-Time Offenses

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

  • require the user to read the Computer 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 Computer User Agreement, and (c) promising not to repeat this behavior;
  • deny the user's system access to the Internet for five days;
  • inform 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 Computer User Agreement 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 Computer User Agreement and his/her promise not to repeat this behavior, and (c) recognizing that any further violations will result in an Honor Case and other actions as the University may deem appropriate;
  • deny the user’s system access to the campus network for five days and to the Internet for a period not to exceed the balance of the semester;
  • inform the Dean of Students of the actions taken;
  • inform the claimant that the matter has been resolved.

RIAA Pre-Litigation Letters

In February 2007, the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) announced a new strategy for dealing with suspected instances of copyright infringement. The RIAA is sending "settlement letters" to universities indicating their intention to sue users of systems engaged in illegal file sharing and asking universities to forward those letters to users. Hundreds of these letters have been sent already. A sample settlement letter can be found at: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD4832.pdf

The letters inform users that they can avoid lawsuits by immediately contacting the RIAA and paying settlement fees. If users decline to do this, subpoenas will be sought to require universities to disclose users' identities. Lawsuits will then be filed. Users may, at that time, avoid a lawsuit by paying settlement fees larger than the original settlement amount. If users again decline, lawsuits will be pursued to obtain damages and recover RIAA legal fees.

In the event that AOMA receives a settlement letter, the University will:

  • treat the letter as a DMCA copyright infringement claim and respond as per the DMCA response guidelines;
  • forward the pre-litigation letter to the system user;
  • AOMA will not disclose the identity of a system user unless presented with a subpoena or other legally valid writ.

More information about copyright and legal issues is available at: https://www.aoma.edu/current-students/academic-support/copyright-law