Stanford's ominously-named "Information Security" wrote:
If you believe [the DMCA infringement] notice is mistaken, you have the right to provide a
counter-notice. For information on what your rights are, see Section 512
of the Copyright Act. It is available at
That code makes it clear that counter-notices are only relevant for
"material ... that is removed, or to which access is disabled by the
service provider". That is obviously not the case when one is simply notified of an allegation of infringement, so the counter-notice provision seems inapplicable.
Stanford respects the proprietary interests, including copyrights, others
have in their original works, and expects the same of its faculty,
employees, students and affiliates.
Does it? Stanford orgnized and publicized an orientation-week event
("Frosted Flicks") at which a "digital collage" combining a number of
movie trailers and a song was shown. Did Stanford receive permission from each
of the movie studios and production companies and record labels
Stanford's CourseWare website provides supplemental material for
class, including scanned versions of copyrighted books, thus distributing
them to hundreds of students. Stanford is clearly aware of this since
before one can download the work one must agree to a notice about
copyrights. Did Stanford get permission from the authors and
publishing companies involved?
It appears some Stanford dorms have televisions in the lobby which
show pay networks like HBO, in front of which large groups congregate.
Has Stanford gotten permission for such performances?
If, however, a user
subsequently receives a second notice, his or her connection is
immediately disabled and the user is merely copied on the Disconnect
This seems like an unreasonable and unfair punishment, considering
that a DMCA request contains no actual evidence of infringement and
there are no sanctions for filing a false one. It is not hard to
imagine this power being abused. But Stanford provides no checks on
this power; indeed, it amplifies it by quickly disconnecting the
user's Internet connection. What purpose does this serve?
You have no legal liability; you are protected by the DMCA. True, the
DMCA does require you take some steps to stop repeat offenders, but it
does not require such draconian tactics, merely the enforcement of "a
policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances
of subscribers ... who are repeat infringers".
I thought Stanford wanted to inspire learning and creativity. As your
own law professor Lawrence Lessig notes "creativity always builds on
the past". Such a draconian "two complaints and you're out" policy
hardly seems conducive to encouraging creativity.