GVTC Copyright Notification Program

Have you received a notice from GVTC regarding copyright infringement? Not sure what it means and what steps to take?

Below are frequently asked questions and answers regarding these notices.

How does GVTC’s Copyright Notification Program work?

GVTC provides a process for owners of copyrighted content (e.g. music, movies, videos, books, artwork, and images) to notify GVTC if they believe that a customer is using GVTC's Internet Service to share copyrighted content without their permission.

Under this program, copyright owners may send GVTC a notice of alleged copyright infringement identifying the IP Address of the user that allegedly engaged in copyright infringement, the title of the copyrighted work at issue, and the date and time of the alleged infringement. GVTC then passes along the notice, at the request of the copyright owner, to the appropriate Internet Service account holder to alert them about the potentially infringing activity so that they may take steps to prevent copyright infringement on their account.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)?

The DMCA was passed in 1998 by the U.S. Congress to protect copyrighted works in the digital age, while providing important protections for online service providers to ensure the free flow of information. Additional information about the DMCA is available at the U. S. Copyright Office's website at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf.

What if GVTC receives additional notices for a particular subscriber account?

If GVTC receives additional notices for a particular subscriber account, the Copyright Alerts will escalate, and they may be subject to service interruption. If GVTC continues to receive additional copyright infringement notices after this step, your GVTC Internet service may be terminated pursuant with GVTC's DMCA Copyright Infringement Policy. A subscriber's receipt of multiple Copyright Alerts will be a factor used by GVTC in determining whether to terminate their service under the GVTC's DMCA Copyright Infringement Policy.

Does GVTC provide my personal information to the copyright owner or monitor my activity?

GVTC does not monitor what our customers are downloading, and we will not provide identifying information about a subscriber to copyright owners unless required to do so by lawful request.

Is it illegal to share copyrighted material?

Sharing copyrighted material using peer-to-peer technologies without the permission of the copyright owner or its authorized representative is unlawful in most cases. This is called "copyright infringement," and it violates not only U.S. copyright law, but also GVTC's Acceptable Use Policy and Internet Terms of Service.

What are the legal penalties for violating the copyright laws?

Copyright infringement can subject infringers to potential civil and criminal liability. Additional information about copyright infringement is available at the U. S. Copyright Office's website at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html.

How do ISPs and content companies know who downloaded a pirated movie or song?

When files are distributed on the Internet over peer-to-peer networks, the IP address associated with a subscriber's account is visible by design to other users on the network. Content owners and their agents have developed state-of-the-art software that participates in these peer-to-peer networks to identify pirated film, TV and music content that they own, and the IP addresses associated with the distribution of that content. Content owners provide these IP addresses to GVTC, along with additional information about the content that was allegedly shared by that IP address. GVTC matches the IP address sent by the content owner to the specific customer to whom that IP address was assigned at that time, and then forwards the information provided by the content owner to that user. As noted above, GVTC does not provide identifying information about the user to the content owner(s) unless ordered to do so by a court of law.

Can consumers get movies and music online legally?

Virtually all music, movies, television shows, and software are widely available online from legitimate sources more than ever before. Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and Sound Cloud are just a few examples of growing businesses delivering music to consumers digitally without breaking the law. Web-based services from Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV are booming. GVTC customers have a wide variety of ways to enjoy content without the need to utilize illegal file-sharing services.

What tips do you have to avoid further notices?

If you receive a copyright alert, we recommend that you determine whether the content referred to in the alert is on any computer or other device with access to your Internet service and check to see if your computer or other device has any peer-to-peer or file-sharing software on it.

You should also contact any other individuals who have access to your Internet service and discuss the alert with them. Be sure to educate those that use your Internet service regarding copyright infringement. Explain that downloading copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder is against the law.

How can I dispute a copyright violation on my account?

GVTC is not in a position to investigate these allegations. We are simply passing along a copyright owner's allegation that your Internet account was used for copyright infringement. It's possible the copyright holder could take legal action against you. You may want to consider consulting your own attorney for legal advice.