Copyright Notice

Notice of Written Plan for Copyright Provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act August 26, 2010


Michigan State University’s Procedures for Addressing Instances of Possible Copyright Infringement on Michigan State University’s (MSU) Computing Resources and Network forbid the unlawful copying or distribution of copyrighted works in any form.

This document is the “written plan” required of the University under the copyright-related regulations associated with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

A. Annual disclosure

Each year, close to the beginning of Fall Semester, a notice is sent by email to every individual having a MSU network ID to inform them that illegal distribution of copyrighted material is prohibited and may subject them to criminal or civil liability. The notice provides a link to MSU’s Procedures for Addressing Instances of Possible Copyright Infringement on Michigan State University’s (MSU) Computing Resources and Network (MSU’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) procedures).

B. Combating unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material

The University addresses unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material through a variety of educational, technical, and disciplinary means. These include:

• Informs all network users and (more frequently) students of their obligations to follow copyright laws, of MSU policies and practices regarding copyright infringement; enhanced communications now a part of our SecureIT safe computing campaign;

• Presentations, posters, press articles, hand-outs, and other informational and educational mechanisms explaining the difference between appropriate and inappropriate use of copyrighted materials;

• Library, online, and other resources to assist students, faculty and staff with copyright questions and copyright clearances;

• Full cooperation with copyright owners or their agents to investigate and take appropriate actions on their complaints of alleged infringement of their copyrights;

• DMCA policy and a vigorous program for accepting and promptly responding to DMCA notices;

• Standardized and consistent handling of procedural and disciplinary response to alleged violations of the University’s copyright policies. Student network access may be suspended on a first complaint and is suspended for second complaints; second complaint also involves mandatory in-person meeting of student with an administrator; third complaint results in automatic referral to student judiciary system and may result in suspension from school; second and third level student complaints involve a mandatory fee which escalates with subsequent complaints; employees referred into appropriate employee disciplinary process;

• Blocks unsolicited inbound Internet connections to all DHCP network addresses (i.e., to computers not officially set up as servers);

• Asymmetric bandwidth availability at residence hall ports slows uploading (10 Mbps inbound; 768 Kbps outbound)

C. Alternatives to illegal downloading

The market for legal downloads is constantly changing. EDUCAUSE provides a well-updated online list of legal sources of downloads and accessing media.

D. Periodic review

This document and the associated practices and processes will be reviewed at least annually (reviews may be triggered more frequently when circumstances change in ways that suggest a review should be undertaken) by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in consultation with the offices of the Provost, Human Resources, Student Affairs and Services, and General Counsel.

  • Revised June 2017 to update the DMCA process since first level DMCA complaints no longer incur a fee.

Student Group Regulations, Administrative Rulings, All-University Policies, and Selected Ordinances