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Copyright Law

Copyright law has its roots in the United States Constitution. The current Copyright Act Title 17 of the United States Code was passed in 1976 and sets forth rules governing the ways copyrighted material can be reproduced, distributed, perceived, or otherwise communicated. It also formally codified several exceptions, such as the doctrine of "fair use."

In 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) amended the Copyright Act. This law provides content owners with procedural means by which to issue "takedown notices" to Internet "service providers," and also provides certain "safe harbors" to those service providers who host copyrighted content at the request of their users. Acting on behalf of copyright owners, agents of the recording industry (RIAA), movie industry (MPAA) and others, send DMCA notices to the service providers who act as a conduit between two computers.

Compliance with Copyright Law

MIT is committed to complying with all copyright laws to the fullest extent possible and with all associated legal responsibilities in this regard. As an Internet service provider (or ISP), MIT has a legal obligation to have adopted, reasonably implemented, and informed subscribers and account holders of a policy that provides for the forwarding of DMCA notices to alleged copyright infringers and for the handling of repeat infringement.

Compliance with HEA

The amendments to the Higher Education Act (HEA) under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) also require MIT to disseminate information on institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including:

A list of institutional information provided to prospective and enrolled students;

A summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and

A description of MITís policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using MITís information technology systems.

 

 
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