Legislation has resulted in broad changes and exemptions that affect us, particularly in academe. The University, as an online service provider (OSP), has increased safe harbors, and individuals (not employers) now have primary liabilities. Additionally, the use of contracts and markets for licensing is increasing, as are the built in technical protections of licensed works (copyright protection systems, TPM and DRM, digital rights management systems.) Unauthorized use of copyrighted works is more prominent, visible, and targeted — on the internet, no place is too small to be noticed.
Correspondingly, infringement penalties are significantly higher, now including civil as well as criminal penalties:
Besides violating others' rights and federal law, infringements increase personal as well as institutional liability. Moreover, infringing behaviors contradict the academic mission of encouraging scholarship and teaching respect for others' works. Each member of the University community is accountable for copyright compliance.
DMCA and TEACH, in particular, have rigorous requirements associated with them, both for compliance as well as in how exemptions can be used. The biggest change for universities is the requirement for institutions as OSPs to have a copyright policy in place, to have a named agent to receive and act upon infringement claims, and to engage in copyright awareness. These requirements provide new safe harbors for institutions while also diminishing institutional liabilities.
It is now harder for individuals to claim accidental unauthorized use or use a simple "good faith" defense to an infringement claim. This site, and the CaseLearns introductory sessions on copyright, are things that can support your claim and intent of educated copyright usage. More information about the DMCA and TEACH are available on our web resources page.