DMCA - USNH Digital Millennium Copyright Act

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DMCA Compliance at USNH

The following provides detailed information on how the University System of New Hampshire complies with the provisions (34 CFR 668.14(b)(30)) in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) related to combating the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials through illegal downloading governed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) enacted in 1998.

Per the USNH Acceptable Use Policy ( ), downloading, copying, using, or sharing copyrighted digital information files, including but not limited to music and movies, is an illegal activity that could result in civil and criminal penalties and/or University System of New Hampshire Student Judicial System charges.

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In file-sharing, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at, especially their FAQ's at

To read the standard in full, visit USNH Cybersecurity Policies and Standards at


Article ID: 601
Fri 7/19/19 5:28 PM
Wed 1/26/22 9:49 AM