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DMCA Policy & General Copyright Information

It is the desire of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) to promote an environment that protects the rights of copyright holders through compliance with copyright law as well as the specific provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The unauthorized use and distribution of copyright protected materials, including those obtained and/or distributed through peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject community members to civil and criminal liabilities. A brief summary of such penalties includes the following:

  • In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed.
  • For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
  • Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at

In addition to the protection provided by federal regulations, the rights of copyright holders are also protected by university policies and procedures. The End User Account Policy, DMCA Policy (see more below), Student Conduct Policy, and others all explain how violations of the rights of copyright holders are also violations of university policy. The violation of these policies may subject community members to additional actions such as:

  • employment penalties up to and including termination.
  • student code of conduct violations which may result in actions up to and including expulsion. Please see the Student Conduct Policy and related procedures in the Student Handbook for more information.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy

To maintain compliance with copyright law and to enjoy the safe harbor provisions outlined in Title II of the DMCA (17 USC § 512), the University will do the following:

  • The University shall maintain a Registered DMCA Agent to receive all notifications of alleged copyright infringement. See Definitions section for additional details.
  • The DMCA Agent will promptly acknowledge the receipt of all properly formatted claims, attempt to contact the provider of improper claims to obtain a properly formatted claim, coordinate resolution activities, keep required records to track repeat offenders, and assure proper resolution of all claims.
  • The University has the right, as stated in the DMCA, to immediately take down or remove access to materials that are the object of a complaint.
  • The DMCA Agent, or designee, will attempt to promptly notify the copyright infringer of the materials being removed, the details of the claim, and the appeal / counter-claim process.
  • The University will develop and maintain a web page that informs the general public of our efforts to comply with the provisions of the DMCA, as well as giving instructions to those who wish to file copyright infringement complaints.
  • The University will develop a general procedure and remediation program to give a clear course of action for individuals who are identified as repeat offenders of copyright.
  • RFUMS reserves the right to permanently remove an individual’s access and exercise other disciplinary actions, up to and including dismissal from the University, for repeated violations of copyright law. This disciplinary action will be separate from the personal responsibility that the copyright infringer may face as a consequence of their activity.
  • The University will develop an educational program that informs the community of relevant copyright related policies and procedures. This program will provide information to new students, faculty, and staff through appropriate handbooks and/or orientation processes. This program may also include periodic reminders through log-in banners and informational e-mails.

DMCA - Procedures for Reporting a Claim of Infringement

Anyone wishing to file a claim of copyright infringement related to information residing on the University's systems or networks should submit a properly formatted document to the University’s registered DMCA Agent. This claim should include a substantial amount of the following information

  • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
  • A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

The University’s DMCA Agent will promptly respond to properly formatted claims and make reasonable attempts to notify the complaining party of improperly formatted claims.

DMCA - Alleged Infringing Site Take Down Procedures

When properly notified of the potential copyright infringement for material hosted on a University web page, the University’s DMCA Agent will make a reasonable effort to contact the page owner for voluntary take down of the infringing materials. If the owner cannot be contacted or the material removed in a reasonable time, then the University will immediately disable access to the work unless it is immediately determined that the work is lawful under the copyright law. The owner of the page of the alleged infringing material may exercise their counter notice procedure rights set forth below.

DMCA - Procedures for Reporting a Counterclaim of Infringement

If the owner of a web page that was voluntarily or involuntarily taken down wishes to file a counterclaim to the complaining party, they should submit a properly formatted counterclaim to the University’s DMCA Agent. This counterclaim should contain a substantial amount of the following information:

  • A physical or electronic signature of the infringing party.
  • Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
  • A statement under penalty of perjury that the alleged infringer has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake (i.e. because the work is not infringing) or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
  • The alleged infringer's name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that they consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the alleged infringer's address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that they will accept service of process from the person who provided notification or an agent of such person.

The University’s DMCA Agent will forward the counterclaim to the complaining party. The University may restore access to the allegedly infringing material within two weeks after the complaining party receives the counterclaim, unless the complaining party serves notice that it intends to seek a court order to restrain the offender from further infringing activity.

Designated DMCA Agent

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
3333 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, IL 60064
E-mail: dmca–
Phone: 847-578-3000
Fax: 847-578-3202

Legal Alternatives For Downloading
EDUCAUSE maintains a list of legal alternatives for downloading copyright protected materials. Please consult this resource for a list of free and fee-based downloading sites.