Copyright Infringement Complaint Response Procedures

Summary

In response to changing technology, Office of Information Technology - Cyber Security has revised the procedures for handling copyright infringement complaints. These complaints originate from one of a host of sources, including commercial groups like RIAA, MPAA, and BSA as well as private individuals. In all cases, the complaints involve the removal of infringing copyright works. The complaints take one of three forms:

Take-Down Notice - This is what most copyright offenders receive. It is a notice from the copyright holder asking the party to take the material off-line and stop sharing the material. For Take-Down notices, Georgia Tech does not release any information about the infringement or the copyright offender to any entities outside of Georgia Tech.

Pre-Litigation Notice - When Georgia Tech receives Pre-Litigation notices, we pass them along to the copyright offender who was assigned the IP address at the time of the infringement. The notice allows you to contact the copyright holder's legal representation to discuss your options for working out a settlement instead of appearing in court. For Pre-Litigation notices, Georgia Tech does not release any information about the infringement or the copyright offender to any entities outside of Georgia Tech.

Subpoena - Should a copyright offender not take advantage of the pre-litigation notice, RIAA will issue a subpoena to Georgia Tech requesting the subscriber contact information for IP address at the time of the copyright infringement. By law, Georgia Tech is required to provide information requested in the subpoena about the copyright infringement back to the reporting agency's legal representative.

It is important to note that Georgia Tech is not acting as a copyright enforcement agency. Rather, we have a legal obligation to respond to complaints by notifying students, employees, and third parties who use our networks who might be sharing copyrighted works and ask that the works be removed at the request of the copyright owner.

In addition, if you receive a take-down request from Georgia Tech, removal of the material does not necessarily mean that the copyright owner will not pursue other legal actions (e.g. law suit). In some cases, we have seen pre-litigation notices and subpoenas issued for John/Jane Does who never received a take down notice.

If you are not using your P2P client for scholarly work or research, we highly recommend removing the application. Doing so will help prevent further copyright violations, whether they be intentional or unintentional. Also, please be aware that using pro versions of P2P applications does NOT mean that you are legally downloading and sharing copyrighted material.

Finally, this procedure and information contained herein is not meant to provide legal advice. Should you receive a pre-litigation or subpoena request, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice.

The Georgia Tech Student Government Association: http://sga.gatech.edu/ has a list of attorneys who provide free legal counseling to Georgia Tech students.

Complaint Receipt

Georgia Tech normally receives copyright complaints via e-mail (to either Cyber Security or Legal Affairs). In the case of first-time complaints, we will check to see who was assigned the IP and follow the procedures listed below. In cases of second or third complaints, we will check the date the individual confirmed action regarding the first complaint against the date of the follow-up complaint. With the delays from detection to notification to the Institute and delays between receipt by Legal Affairs and receipt by Cyber Security, a second detection can occur before the student responds to the first. Therefore, a second violation will only apply as a second violation if it is after such time as notification has been made.

Complaint Processing

After confirming the subscriber information of the individual who was assigned the IP at the time of the copyright infringement, Cyber Security will also determine the number of previous copyright offenses for that user (i.e. first, second, third, etc). The user will be notified of this information as well as the next steps he must take. The response to the copyright infringer is based on whether the individual is a student, an employee, or a third party and the number of previous complaints.

Students

1st Offense - Cyber Security will contact the student associated with the offending IP at the time of the copyright infringement by e-mail and provide details of the complaint. The student's wireless and residential network access will be disabled. Once the student removes the illegally obtained copyrighted material, the student can then enable their wireless and residential network access. The student will be given one week upon receipt of copyright notice to notify Cyber Security that the copyrighted material has been removed. Responses will be recorded and the incident will be closed.

2nd and Subsequent Offenses - Cyber Security will contact the student associated with the offending IP at the time of the copyright infringement by e-mail and provide details of the complaint. The student's wireless and residential network connection will be disabled. The student should remove all illegally obtained copyrighted material. The Office of Student Integrity (OSI) will contact the student in order to schedule a meeting with a judicial officer regarding the case. For 2nd offenses, once the case has been resolved, OSI will contact Cyber Security to enable the student's wireless and residential network access. Subsequent offenses may result in permanent exclusion from accessing the wireless and residential wireless networks. Finally, we will note the outcome of the meeting in our records and consider the incident closed.

Faculty/Staff

All Offenses - Cyber Security will identify the employee responsible for the copyright violation. The copyright violation information and employee information will be passed to the Office of Human Resources for further action.

Affiliates

All Offenses - Cyber Security will identify the affiliate responsible for the copyright violation. Network access for the responsible affiliate will then be disabled. The affiliate will be notified of the copyright violation via email and a warning banner on the LAWN login page. Once notified, the affiliate's sponsor must contact the Cyber Security Policy and Compliance Manager to discuss the matter. Once the affiliate's sponsor has met with the Cyber Security Policy and Compliance Manager, the affiliate's sponsor must ensure the affiliate understands the Institute's policies and must ensure the affiliate will not commit further copyright violations using Georgia Tech resources. Once this process is complete, the affiliate's network access will then be enabled.

Third Parties Using the Georgia Tech Network

1st Offense - Cyber Security will identify the third party person responsible for the copyright violation. The copyright violation information will be sent to the management of the third party to address with the person responsible.

2nd Offense - Cyber Security will identify the third party person responsible for the copyright violation. The copyright violation information will be sent to the management of the third party to address with the person responsible. The third parties management will receive a warning that subsequent violations by the person responsible will result in a notification to the Georgia Institute of Technology Vice President for Research with a recommendation to terminate Internet service to the third party organization.

3rd Offense - Cyber Security will identify the third party person responsible for the copyright violation. The copyright violation information will be sent to the management of the third party as well as the Georgia Institute of Technology Vice President for Research. Cyber Security will recommend to the Vice President for Research that the Institute terminate Internet service to the third party organization.