DMCA Compliance Policy for Staff

Harvard Employee Compliance under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

from Harvard Staff Personnel Manual section entitled "Information Security and Privacy"

Harvard complies with the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by respecting the copyright protection of works accessible through computers connected to University networks. Such works include but are not limited to the following: music, movies, television shows, software, photographs, video productions and any copyrighted document or file that can be conveyed electronically.

a). Installing Software to Facilitate the Exchange of Copyrighted Materials

Harvard expressly forbids the use of the Harvard network for illegal activities, including copyright infringement. Harvard also forbids University employees from installing software whose common use is to share copyrighted material on University computers without specific authorization. (For example, such software includes peer-to-peer filesharing software.) Employees violating this policy will be subject to the full measure of disciplinary action up to and including warnings, suspension without pay and termination of employment. In addition, the employee may also be subject to civil or criminal penalties. In the case where such applications are required for performing assigned job responsibilities, the software application must be reviewed by school or department desktop or network support personnel to certify that its use will not pose a network security threat.

Exclusion: Legal use of copyrighted material with the permission of the copyright owner or under the fair use or another exemption under copyright law is permitted for legitimate purposes as required by an individual's position at Harvard (such as research, education and medical diagnosis). Such uses are not considered violations of this policy.

b) Using the University Network to Download or Distribute Copyrighted Materials

No employee shall use University networks or other resources to download or distribute copyrighted materials without permission of the copyright owner, unless fair use or another exemption under copyright law applies.

c) Violation of this Policy

In the case of a first confirmed violation of these rules, the staff member will be required to sign a statement of acknowledgement regarding the policy and its consequences, unless it is determined that the staff member is not at fault. In the case of a second, and therefore repeat, infringement, the staff member's computer and network access will be terminated, unless it is determined that the staff member is not at fault. The outcome of this action is likely to result in job termination in cases where network use is necessary for an employee to effectively perform the duties of the position.


Last updated: 12/06/2007