University of California, Riverside


Digital Millennium Copyright Act


The distribution of copyrighted materials without permission (over the internet) can be a violation of federal law. The law is known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 ("DMCA"). Much of the music, movies, video, or games that are downloaded via file sharing networks like Gnutella and eDonkey, are distributed without the permission of the copyright owner, and thus these downloads are illegal. The federal government and various organizations (such as the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA) are very serious about enforcing the provisions of the DMCA legislation, and violations can carry stiff fines and potential jail sentences.

What Should UCR Students, Staff, and Faculty Do?

What is the best approach to deal with this issue? Very simply, do not download or distribute copyrighted materials without appropriate permissions. And secondly, if you wish to download copyrighted material, find out how to acquire it legally and take appropriate steps to ensure your computer is not used for illegal file sharing.

What happens if you violate the rules?

  1. The incident is reported-typically, by the RIAA or MPAA- to the University's Copyright Agent.
  2. The University's Copyright Agent notifies the particular organization involved (e.g. ResNet, the Library, etc.). Within ResNet, the following individuals are notified: the Housing Director, Assistant Housing Director, and key ResNet staff members.
  3. ResNet Systems Administrators identify the student involved.
  4. The incident is logged and the student's service is disabled.
  5. The student receives a letter detailing how to resolve the matter. The student contacts appropriate campus authorities, typically the University Copyright Agent, as specified in the letter.
  6. Service is reactivated upon approval by the University Copyright Agent (typically after offending materials have been removed from the student's PC).

Note: Residents are permitted to appeal the alleged copyright violation; however, service is not restored until the appeal process is complete. The Campus Judicial Coordinator handles all appeals.

To learn more, visit the DMCA homepage.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Computing & Communications
Computing & Communications Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-6495
Fax: (951) 827-4541