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Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

This page is intended to serve as a resource for the UVA community to better understand the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and how the University responds to instances that are detected on its network.  If you have received a DMCA notice and are seeking more information about how to proceed, or you are curious about the UVA policies, standards, procedures, and guidelines that involve DMCA, this site is your comprehensive resource.  UVA takes copyright issues very seriously. If you download a song or a movie, a computer game or a software application in violation of its copyright, you are stealing. If you share copyrighted materials with others, you are helping them steal as well.

You can access specific information in this webpage more efficiently using these links:

What is the DMCA?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1998 to combat the theft of electronic media such as software, games, photography, videos, or music over the internet. 

The DMCA is a complex act designed to manage digital copyright infringement and liability in many ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • imposes rules prohibiting the circumvention of technological protection measures in place on copyrighted materials
  • imposes rules prohibiting the production and distribution of any technology (hardware or software) whose main purpose is to circumvent copyright protection mechanisms
  • sets limitations on copyright infringement liability for internet service providers (such as UVA)

According to the DMCA, if UVA (the internet service provider) acts expeditiously to remove or disable access to infringing material identified in a formal notice from the copyright holder (or its agent), the University will not be held liable for copyright infringement of that material.  Although UVA does not typically monitor for these violations, once notified, we are bound by DMCA to act swiftly to stop illegal sharing on the UVA network.

What happens when you receive a DMCA take-down notice from us?

If you're a UVA student, find out what happens by clicking here.

If you're a UVA employee, find out what happens by clicking here.

If you're a UVA affiliate DMCA, find out what happens by clicking here.

If you do not respond within one business day to our email, your computer may be  blocked from accessing the UVA network until you do respond as requested.

The DMCA Compliance Process at UVA

Can the University protect the personal identities of alleged illegal file sharers at UVA from industry representatives?

The University cannot protect individuals who, knowingly or not, distribute copyrighted material without an appropriate license or authorization. Typically, when the copyright holder or its agent or representative sends a DMCA copyright complaint to UVA, they don't ask us to identify the specific person whose computer hosted the alleged infringement; they just want it stopped. If they do make such a request via a court order (e.g., subpeona), though, the University has no choice but to comply. Individual students have been sued for copyright violations in cases like these.

Reporting DMCA Violations or Questions

Contact and Additional Information



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Security Incident

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