Student Handbook

Copyright Films, Video Tapes, and Music

The U. S. Copyright Act (U.S.C. 17, 101 and 106) grants all rights of public exhibition of a copyrighted work to the owner of the copyright. Such rights of public exhibition include the right to show a film or videotape to a group, whether or not admission is charged. Congressional reports on copyright applications make clear that even "semi-public" exhibitions in residence halls, clubs and colleges are classified as public for copyright purposes. The College has determined that public or semi-public showing of videotapes, without written permission or license, is prohibited on campus. Contact Campus Programs or Media Services for additional information.

Organizations and individuals desiring to show videotapes or films must secure permission from the holder of the copyright. Generally, this means that videotapes or films must be rented from companies who hold the rights. Neighborhood video stores do not hold these rights. Even if a tape has been purchased and is owned by a member of the community, it may not be shown outside of the student's room.

Criminal penalty for willful violation of the Copyright Act is up to one year in jail and/or a $25,000 fine. Inadvertent or innocent violations may bring substantial civil penalties.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act became law in 1998. The Act demands effective response by the College when we are notified of potential copyright violations on our campus—most commonly, music and movie files being distributed without the owners’ permission. Copyright owners and their agents often scan file-sharing networks, such as BitTorrent, looking for such files and their sources. When these groups complain to the College about potential violations coming from our campus, the DMCA requires that we respond quickly and thoroughly. We have therefore developed the following policy on how to respond to notices about potential violations:

  1. The recipient of the notice evaluates the notice and, if warranted, will forward to appropriate ITS network staff.
  2. All DMCA notices are logged through the ITS Help Desk ticketing application under 'Dean of Students' for reference purposes.
  3. Due to limits of Macalester’s DHCP technology, positive identification of the computer associated with the IP address identified in the infraction is only guaranteed if made within three hours of time of infraction. Identification attempts will be made if DMCA notice is: 1) received during business hours, and 2) indicates an infraction within three hours.
  4. Upon positive identification, details will be sent the Dean of Students’ Office and the student’s network access is then blocked. Any attempt to access the Web will lead to a page informing the student of the circumstances and referring the student to the ITS Help Desk. Attempts to access resources other than the Web will fail.
  5. If the student calls the ITS Help Desk, a staff member explains the policy and the infraction. The student is instructed to contact the Dean of Students' Office.
  6. The Dean and/or appropriate staff consults with the student about the apparent violation and imposes a response by the student.
  7. Upon conclusion of the consultation, the Dean or appropriate staff will notify the ITS network staff as to whether or not the student’s network access may be restored.
  8. If approved, network staff restore the student’s full network access.