Copyright Laws

Copyright Laws

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. Today's U.S. copyright law is comprised of both the original copyright legislation enacted by Congress in 1976 as well as the more recent Digital Millennium Copyright Act, however copyright is referenced in the Constitution and goes back all the way to pre-colonial England as a fundamental legal concept.

In 1998, U.S. copyright laws were amended by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), in order to address new and emerging technologies (i.e. the Internet) which are used to access copyrighted works. This Act requires all Online Service Providers (OSPs) to comply with certain legal responsibilities if and when a user of the OSP services violates copyright laws. Utica College is considered an OSP because it offers “the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications,” all of which occurs through the campus data network.

While the College cannot actively monitor all users on the network to identify who is sharing files illegally, it does monitor some type of use and designated employees do respond to complaints which come in the form of legal notices sent by copyright owners or their legal representatives. These notices, commonly referred to as DMCA take-down notices, identify network users who are charged with copyright infringement. To learn more about the consequences of illegal file sharing, visit What Happens If I Get Caught?

Remember: It is illegal under U.S. copyright law to download or share copyrighted materials —including music, movies, games and software — without consent from the author. The College will take action if a DMCA take-down notice identifies an on-campus user violating copyright laws.

If you are the author or owner of copyrighted works and want to learn more, visit U.S. Copyright office for information about how the College guides the protection and registration of intellectual property.


Integrated Information Technology Services
L119 Gannett Library
Lower Level

(315) 792-3835
(315) 792-3814 (Fax)
Information for Students with Disabilities - click here for Learning Services at UC
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502