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Who’s responsible?

According to the law, responsibility to avoid violating copyright rests primarily upon you, not the college. It is important therefore that you make a good-faith effort to understand the law and comply with it.  

What if your good-faith efforts prove wrong?

The only way to know for sure that you’ve applied the law incorrectly would be a court ruling against you. It is reassuring to know, however, that college employees acting within the scope of their employment will not be held liable for the statutory damages of copyright infringement if they “reasonably believed and had reasonable grounds for believing that [their] use was fair use” (§504 c. 2, Copyright Act). 

What if you are notified that you have violated copyright law?

The responsibility to monitor copyright compliance rests with the copyright holder. If a copyright holder believes that you have violated copyright, that person or his/her lawyer will most likely send you a “cease and desist” letter. If you receive such a letter but do not wish to comply because you believe your use is justified under the law, please notify Steve Oberg, x5852,

For copyright compliance in the online environment, a specific process for communicating a claim of copyright violation (sometimes known as a “takedown notice”) must be followed by the copyright holder according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In order to be legally effective, the copyright holder must communicate in writing to the college’s designated agent and the communication must include additional detail described at (see section labelled “Notifications of Claimed Infringement”). The college’s designated DMCA agent is Steve Oberg (x5852,

In either situation, the college may choose to get legal advice.