What is a DMCA violation, and what is the procedure related to them?

The DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a law passed in 1998 which covers fair use,
digital rights management, and copyright infringement. In general, the violations that
Mediacom sees are strictly copyright infringement issues. These are generally caused by
someone downloading or uploading a copyright protected work such as a movie or a song
without authorization from the copyright holder. In many cases, this is done unwittingly by
people who do not realize that what they are doing is illegal, or by someone hijacking
another person's computer or internet connection to intentionally perform the act. In all
cases, however, this is considered the responsibility of the account holder. The copyright
holder sees this activity, and contacts Mediacom to request a cease and desist for the
person violating their copyright. In all cases of copyright violation, we request that the
customer delete the offending files, and attempt to prevent any further violations from
occurring. Mediacom's procedure related to these is as follows:

1. On a first violation, the account is flagged internally. A form letter is sent to the account
holder, informing them of the violation and giving them the option to enter a counter-claim.
No additional action is taken.

2. On a second violation, the account is again flagged, and then suspended. A second form
letter is sent to the account holder, informing them of the violation, offering the option of a
counter-claim, and requesting that some included paperwork be filled out and returned to
us before we will resume service.

3. On a third violation, the account is suspended and scheduled for a disconnect. A third
form letter, identical to the second, is sent to the account holder, informing them of the
violation and offering a counter-claim, but service will not be resumed.

If a customer wishes to submit a counter-claim related to the violation, another form is sent
out to be filled out and returned. Once this paperwork is returned, Mediacom turns it over
to the copyright holder, who pursues action as they choose. This may include legal action
such as lawsuits between the copyright holder and the customer. Prior to the point of a
counter-claim being entered, there is no direct interaction between the copyright holder and
the customer, and the copyright holder has no knowledge of who the violator is.