FBI piracy LOGO The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal.

Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment.

The University Standard of DMCA and Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is an issue which happens far too often in academic settings. It isn't always caught and often the infringer doesn't even realize that they are violating a copyright. California State University, Fullerton takes copyright violation seriously. California State University, Fullerton in UPS 103.005PDF File recognizes the importance of the Internet as a means to provide information about its programs and services, support its Mission & Goals and provide access to informational resources for study and research.

This Policy is intended to promote use of the Internet as a publishing medium by clarifying the responsibilities of authors and providing guidelines for the production of accurate, useful and attractive websites that enhance the University’s standing in the global academic community. UPS 103.005PDF File directs the members of CSU community to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, including those addressing copyright, trademark, libel, harassment, child pornography and obscenity. All content must also comply with all applicable California State University system and University policies, procedures and regulations.

Copyright/DMCA Notice and Procedure

It is our policy to respond to allegations of copyright violations in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).  If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied and is accessible on the Website in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please notify the University’s designated Copyright Agent at:

Berhanu Tadesse
CSU Fullerton Information Technology/Information Security Office
800 N State College Blvd,
Fullerton, CA 92831

Please note that you may be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys’ fees) if you materially misrepresent that material is infringing.

Your notification must include the following information: (i) a physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; (ii) a description of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed; (iii) a description of where the material you claim is infringing is located on the Website, including information reasonably sufficient to permit the University to locate the material; (iv) your address, telephone number and email address; (v) a statement by you that you have 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; and (vi) a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notification is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. 

Only DMCA notices should go to the University’s Copyright Agent designated above. Communications regarding other matters directed to that address or DMCA notices that do not comply with the requirements of the DMCA may be ignored. 

When a valid DMCA notification is received, we will respond by taking down the offending content.  We will then take reasonable steps to contact the owner of the removed content so a counter-notification may be filed.  Upon receipt of a valid counter-notification, we will generally restore the content in question, unless we receive notice from you, the notifying copyright owner, that a legal action has been filed seeking a court order to restrain the alleged infringer from engaging in the infringing activity.  The University may provide copies of such notices to the participants in the dispute or to any other third parties, at our discretion and as required by law.

The University may, in appropriate circumstances, terminate an account holder or user of the Website if he or she is a repeat infringer.  If you believe that an account holder or user is a repeat infringer, please follow the instructions above to contact the University’s DMCA Copyright Agent and provide information sufficient for us to verify that the account holder or user is a repeat infringer.



SEC. 488. INSTITUTIONAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS. (a) INFORMATION DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES.—Section 485(a) (20 U.S.C. 1092(a)) is amended— (1) in paragraph (1)— (A) in subparagraph (G)— (i) by striking ‘‘program, and’’ and inserting ‘‘program,’’; and (ii) by inserting ‘‘, and (iv) any plans by the institution for improving the academic program of the institution’’ after ‘‘instructional personnel’’; and (B) by striking subparagraph (M) and inserting the following: ‘‘(M) the terms and conditions of the loans that students receive under parts B, D, and E;’’; (C) in subparagraph (N), by striking ‘‘and’’ after the semicolon; (D) in subparagraph (O), by striking the period and inserting a semicolon; and (E) by adding at the end the following: ‘‘(P) institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including— ‘‘(i) an annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities; ‘‘(ii) a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and ‘‘(iii) a description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials us

Higher Ed Opportunity ACT

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008PDF File Opens in new window

(Public Law 110-315) Section 488, requires institutions of higher education to annually inform students that "unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities".  The law goes on to require institutions "to provide a summary of penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information system".

Common Reasons for receiving a DMCA Takedown Notice and Penalties

Information Security Office sends out an email/letter with an enclosed Takedown or DMCA notice in reference to reports of the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. Institutions that protect the rights of the copyright owners, such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) among others monitor:

  • Illegal downloading, or sharing of copyright material, similar to CDs, DVDs, software programs, music, movies, TV series, plays, eBooks, databases, Label designs, photographs, and computer games on the university network, either by publishing such materials on websites, or by any other means.
  • Misuse of P2P programs for illegal distribution of copyright material. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing is the use of a P2P application that shares files with other users across the Internet e.g. BitTorrent, Kazaa, Bearshare, Morphus, Gnutella, Limewire. The process of file sharing to download files, as well as to make them available for others to upload can be a source of illegal distribution of copyright protected material, which may result in civil and criminal penalties.
  • Misuse of Cyberlocker services for illegal distribution of copyright material.


Penalties and Legal Actions

  • A user in violation of copyright law may face penalties under University's discretion. 
  • Prosecution in criminal court or a civil lawsuit seeking damages. Civil liability for copyright infringement can be as high as $150,000 per instance of infringement in addition to legal fees. Criminal penalties for a first offense may be as high as three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
  • Disciplinary action taken by the Student Conduct or Human Resources.