Copyright infringement policy

Alleged Web copyright infringement by Messiah University students or employees


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) requires the University as an online service provider, to take certain actions when notified of alleged copyright violations appearing on its site, as well as to make certain copyright law information available to site users.

Because the University functions as an online service provider (OSP), DMCA also requires Messiah to name a designated agent to receive notice of claimed copyright violations, and to post instructions to be followed by such claimants. The necessary document has been filed with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress designating the University Webmaster as the agent. Contact information is posted on the Web Content Copyright policy page. The University also provides links on this page to websites that provide students with information about the use of music and other copyrighted material on the Internet. 

The University’s student and employee disciplinary procedures will be used to adjudicate situations where copyright infringement occurs.

Procedure to be followed for an alleged copyright infringement by a student or employee

  1. Any notification of alleged copyright infringement should be forwarded to the web services manager.
  2. The Webmaster will then be responsible to contact ITS to ascertain the identity of the person whose IP address has been provided in the notification.
  3. The Webmaster will be responsible to contact the alleged infringer immediately by email. This communication by the Webmaster will be copied to the Office of the Associate Dean of Students and University Counsel. It will contain:
    • A copy of the original notice claiming infringement
    • Instruction to remove the material within 24 hours and to notify the University Webmaster that the material has been removed
    • A warning that DMCA enables the copyright owner to subpoena information concerning the student from the University
    • Notification that ITS will disable the student’s network account if the material is not removed as directed
    • A direction to notify the University Webmaster immediately if the recipient claims the use of the material to be lawful
  4. The Webmaster will be responsible to confirm at the end of the 24 hour period that the allegedly infringing material has been removed. If it has not been removed and the Webmaster has received no claim that its use is lawful, ITS will be instructed to disable the infringer’s network account.

If the alleged infringer claims that his/her use of the material is lawful and provides the Webmaster with “counter notification” information prescribed by DMCA, the Webmaster will notify the copyright owner and restore network access within 14 days unless the copyright owner files a court action seeking to restrain the alleged infringement.