Quick Start

Available to: Students, Faculty, Researchers, Staff

Cost: No charge

A U.S. Federal law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires that universities have programs in place to respond to potential copyright violations. BU Information Security maintains a system that automatically handles such requests. More information on how the system works and the requirements of the DMCA can be found on the Information Security website.


This program helps protect Boston University’s ability to provide Federal financial aid to our students. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) established a penalty that Universities that failed to show proper compliance with the DMCA, including a process to educate people about the associated requirements and progress in reducing copyright violations may face revocation of their ability to get Federal funding for student aid.

Key Features

The system provides means for intellectual property rights holders to submit complaints and for those complaints to be handled in automated fashion.

What to Expect

This service normally will be available 24 by 7 except for standard change windows, as described in IS&T’s standard policies, procedures, and schedules for making changes.


Copyright Infringement Claim

The DMCA requires that copyright infringement claims be in writing and include all of the following elements:

  1. An electronic or physical signature of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on the owner’s behalf;
  2. A description of the copyrighted work(s) claimed to have been infringed;
  3. A description of the infringing material and information reasonably sufficient to permit Boston University to locate the material;
  4. Contact information for the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address;
  5. 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; and
  6. A statement that the information in the notice is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

If a notice fails to comply substantially with all the elements of notification listed above, but does substantially comply with items (2) (description of the copyrighted work), (3) (description of the material that the complaining party believes is infringing) and (4) (contact information for the complaining party), Boston University will promptly attempt to contact the complaining party or take other reasonable steps to assist in the receipt of a notification that substantially complies with all six of the elements of notification cited above. For instance, the University may refer the complaining party to the provisions of the DMCA for information on the elements of proper notification. If the original notice substantially conforms or the complaining party sends the missing information, the University will then proceed to notify the page owner, subscriber or other user of the allegation of infringement. The University will secure voluntary takedown of the work or disable access to the work if the University seeks to claim the liability limitations of the DMCA. However, the University may wish to participate in a determination of whether fair use or some other exemption may apply.

If the complaining party does not respond and the notice remains non-conforming with respect to items (2), (3) and (4), the agent need not take action on the notice.

Getting Started

In accordance with DMCA, Boston University has designated an agent to receive notification of alleged infringement. The agent is:

Eric Jacobsen
Boston University
111 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
Email: dmca AT bu.edu