Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Do you download music, movies or books online? If so, make sure you’re doing it legally or there can be serious consequences! The University is required by law to educate its students annually on the seriousness of using illegal peer-to-peer file sharing and laws that help protect copyright, like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The following information will help explain the laws, the University policy, and what you can do so you are in compliance.

What is the Law?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) is a federal law that protects the authors of intellectual works such as books, TV shows, movies, and music. Some people think that you may copy and share copyrighted materials so long as you are not selling the duplications, this is not true. Copying and distributing someone else’s work may violate an author’s rights even when you are not selling the copies.

What are the consequences?

Violations to federal copyright law may carry heavy civil and criminal penalties. If you are using S&T's computer network, the University is your registered Online Service Provider (OSP), the DMCA requires OSPs to take down or block access to copyrighted materials in a timely fashion once they have been notified that their customers are sharing copyrighted files, so you could lose your internet access. In addition to losing network access there are additional consequences the University imposes on offenders. Please see for more information.

What should I do?

To comply with the law and to protect yourself from possible litigation, we strongly encourage you to remove illegally-obtained copyrighted material from your computer, and to stop downloading copyrighted material illegally if you are doing so now. For a list of legal alternatives and known legitimate download services visit:

More information on copyright and the DMCA is available on our website at: If you have any questions, please contact or