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Under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Harvard must respond to notifications of infringing content on its network, and implement a policy that provides for the restriction or termination of network services for repeat offenders. In accordance with the HLS Network Usage Agreement, which states:
“In appropriate circumstances, Harvard will terminate the network access of users who are found to have repeatedly infringed the copyrights of others, and may also take disciplinary action.” Violators are subject to the following consequences:

First violation: warning. User must remove infringing content and assert in writing their commitment to upholding copyright and acceptable use policy (see Electronic Copyright First Violation Student Agreement). Failure to respond to the warning within 7 days will result in the suspension of network privileges until the matter is resolved.

Second violation: immediate temporary suspension of HLS network privileges. User will not be able to register their computer system(s) for use on the HLS network for a period of 90 days.

Third violation: indicates a serious disregard for HLS policy, appropriate use of HLS network resources, and for federal copyright law. Your network privileges will be immediately suspended indefinitely. A permanent loss of HLS network privileges may be incurred and matter is referred to the Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action.

Violators may also be criminally liable for their actions and be subject to other fines, civil damages and prosecution as applicable by law.

Appeals Process

If you think your second violation may be the result of a security compromise that allows a third party to share copyrighted material via your personal computer without your knowledge, you may appeal the standard 90-day suspension. Your network privileges will be suspended while the matter is investigated. If it is determined that the violation was in fact the result of a security compromise and the content was being shared without your knowledge, your network privileges will be reinstated after 30 days from the date of the notice. If no evidence of a security compromise is found, your network privileges will be suspended for the full 90 days.

Access to Electronic Academic Materials During Network Suspension

Students that have access suspended will still be able to access your HLS email account and all HLS electronic resources necessary to meet course and degree requirements on-campus via public computers located in the ITS Student Computer Lab and Langdell Library.