Copyright Policy

Repository contributors are responsible for adhering to the copyright policies of the University of Pennsylvania, which include adherence to federal copyright law (see Copyright Guidelines for Authors). In general, we will assume good faith on the part of repository contributors, educate our contributors on their rights and responsibilities with respect to copyright, and act quickly to remedy copyright problems if they come up.

In order to prevent problems with allegations of copyright infringement involving ScholarlyCommons@Penn, we will:

  • Educate our users about the requirements of copyright law, copyright consideration for materials previously or subsequently posted in scholarly journals and other forums, and fair use.
  • Make it clear that submissions to ScholarlyCommons@Penn should comply with Penn's policies on copyright and applicable copyright laws.
  • Require submitters to ScholarlyCommons@Penn to warrant that their submissions do not infringe copyright. (This is part of the submission process.)

For more information, please see Penn's policy on acceptable use of computing resources, and Penn's page on reporting alleged copyright infringement.

The federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) places certain legal requirements on database providers when there is a question of copyright infringement. At Penn, questions involving copyright and the DMCA are coordinated by Penn’s Information Systems & Computing (ISC) department.

In the event that an interested party makes specific allegations of copyright infringement regarding material posted in ScholarlyCommons@Penn, with sufficient information to be substantially in compliance with the DMCA notification requirements (which are given on the ISC page mentioned above), we will:

  • Forward such correspondence to
    • Penn's designated DMCA copyright agent (currently dmca@isc.upenn.edu)
    • the administrative contact for the unit under which the allegedly infringing material was posted, and
    • the authors of the allegedly infringing material
  • Remind authors and unit administrators of their rights and responsibilities concerning copyright and scholarly expression.

Upon the request of Penn's copyright agent, the unit administrator, or the authors, we will:

  • Disable access to the full text of the allegedly infringing item.
  • Retain the item record and metadata (with a note that the full text is not available at present). At our discretion we may choose to publicize the correspondence alleging infringement.
  • Ensure that the authors and unit administrators are notified of their counter-notification rights under the DMCA.
  • Restore access to the full text if such counter-notification is given.

In the event that we discover that specific material in ScholarlyCommons@Penn is posted in infringement of copyright, but we have not received actual notice from an interested party as described above, we will:

  • Report our discovery, and the reasons for our judgment that the item is infringing, to
    • the administrative contact for the unit under which the allegedly infringing material was posted, and
    • the authors of the allegedly infringing material
  • Remind authors and unit administrators of their rights and responsibilities concerning copyright and scholarly expression.
  • Request a warrant confirming that the material is not infringing.
  • If we do not receive one in a reasonable time period, at our discretion disable access to the full text as described above.

Generally, discovery of infringement should involve positive evidence of infringement. We should not presume that authors have not obtained special permission to use copyrighted material in their submissions. Nor should we presume that academic research publication violates anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA.

In any of the events described above, we will retain all correspondence related to the alleged or apparent infringements.

Policy last updated 7 April 2006