COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Digital Millenium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal law that protects copyrighted material (music, books, movies, computer programs, etc.). The law was created when it became apparent that the ability to make perfect digital copies, duplicate and transmit them easily was leading to widespread piracy of the valuable work of artists, musicians and producers. This means the DMCA makes it illegal to copy and distribute copyrighted material (free or for a fee). For a more complete description, please visit https://www.riaa.com/resources-learning/about-piracy/ Consumer Reports also addressed this topic in 2017: https://www.consumerreports.org/televisions/the-risk-of-watching-pirated-game-of-thrones-episodes/
Why should I care?
Violation of DMCA carries strict and expensive penalties. A civil lawsuit could hold you responsible for thousands of dollars in damages. Criminal charges may leave you with a felony record, accompanied by up to five years of jail time and fines up to $250,000.
What does Belmont County Gig do about DMCA violations?
Belmont County Gig has certain responsibilities as an Internet Service Provider. Most notably from a consumer perspective, we are required to notify customers when Belmont County Gig receives notification from a copyright owner of an alleged infringement. Belmont County Gig also is required by federal law to “adopt and reasonably implement a policy of terminating in appropriate circumstances the accounts of subscribers who are repeat infringers.”
Belmont County Gig doesn’t monitor the online activities of customers. However, copyright owners do, and they send notices of alleged infringement to Belmont County Gig. Belmont County Gig has a policy to review these DMCA complaints. Belmont County Gig notifies customers when we receive these notices and encourages customers to resolve the notices. Pursuant to federal law, we will terminate service to those customers who exhibit a pattern of excessive and consistent abuse of copyrighted material. We will provide ample notice and information prior to discontinuing service. This is the very last thing we want to do. However, federal law required us to adopt and implement this policy.
During this process, Belmont County Gig does not share customer information with the copyright owners. Copyright owners do have the ability, through court subpoenas, to obtain customer information if they choose to pursue civil or criminal charges against an individual.
What should I do about a complaint?
It is important to note that resolving copyright infringement is a legal matter between the consumer and the copyright owner. Belmont County Gig cannot provide legal advice. Removing the files, and the program that caused the violation, may be a good start because failure to cease the alleged infringement activity could result in termination of your services.
What is Belmont County Gig’s policy regarding DMCA?
Please refer to our customer agreement for more details: https://www.belmontcountygig.com/legal-notices
How to read a DMCA infringement complaint
To see all DMCA alleged infringement notices regarding your Belmont County Gig account, please complete the following steps:
- Visit https://www.BelmontCountyGig.com to access your Customer Care portal.
- Enter your Belmont County Gig account number to reveal a list of all infringement notices.
- Select any specific infringement for details about it, including:
- The name of the organization filing the complaint.
- Contact information for the complaining company.
- Date and time of infringement.
- The source of the infringement (program that was used).
- The content (movie, software, TV program, music, etc.).
- Name of the file.
Note that no customer specific information is included. That is done to protect your privacy.
How to respond to a DMCA complaint
The DMCA complaint is between you and the copyright owner. Belmont County Gig is unable to provide advice about how to respond to the complaint or whether you should seek legal counsel.