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Policy Concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) seeks to reform United States Copyright Laws in order to deal appropriately with issues created by the emergence of digital media. This law, along with other federal laws and Vassar College Policy, prohibit the distribution of copyrighted materials without the permission of the owner. The sharing of copyrighted materials through electronic means (i.e. file-sharing programs such as KaZaA) is considered a violation of these regulations.

The DMCA requires that the College establish a Copyright Compliance officer to investigate alleged violations of copyright by members of the Vassar Community. The Copyright Compliance Officer, the Dean of the Faculty, is the individual who will be notified by any party accusing a member of the Vassar College Community of copyright infringement. Should the Copyright Compliance Officer be notified of possible violation by a bona fide copyright holder, or their authorized representative, the following procedure will be executed: the Copyright Compliance Officer (1) will determine whether the accused individual is in violation of copyright; (2) will order that the individual cease and desist in distributing the copyrighted material; (3) will order that the copyrighted files be removed from the computer.

Vassar College is rigorous in its compliance with the DMCA, and suggests that members of the Vassar College Community familiarize themselves with the law. Those who violate the law do so at their own risk, and face whatever civil or criminal action may be taken against them, as well as sanctions by the appropriate college body.