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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The 1998 enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) represents the most comprehensive reform of United States copyright law in a generation. The DMCA seeks to update U.S. copyright law for the digital age in preparation for ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties.
Key among the topics included in the DMCA are provisions concerning the circumvention of copyright protection systems, fair use in a digital environment, and online service provider (OSP) liability (including details on safe harbors, damages, and "notice and takedown" practices). Resources on these and other topics are included below.
"Folder-based" vs. "transmission-based" DMCA notices: As part of our investigation into the recent "spike" in DMCA notifications sent to campuses by the RIAA, EDUCAUSE has learned some details we believe will be of importance to many in the higher education community. Read Mark Luker's Statement (May12, 2008)
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- Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (U.S. Copyright Office)
On October 28, 1998, H.R. 2281, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), was enacted into law to address copyright issues with digitally formatted intellectual property.
- Summary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (U.S. Copyright Office)
This December 1998 memorandum by the U.S. Copyright Office provides an overview of the law's provisions and briefly summarizes each of the five titles of the DMCA.
- 2003 Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works (U.S. Copyright Office)
On October 28, 2003, Librarian of Congress James Billington once again issued exceptions to the DMCA prohibition on circumventing technological locks intended to prevent access to copyrighted digital works. These exemptions will remain in effect through October 27, 2006.
- Study Required by Section 104 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (U.S. Copyright Office)
Section 104 of the DMCA directs the Register of Copyrights and the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to prepare a report for the Congress examining the effects of the amendments made by title 1 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, ("DMCA") and the development of electronic commerce on the operation of sections 109 and 117 of title 17, United States Code, and the relationship between existing and emerging technology and the operation of such sections.
- Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to Section 1201 Rulemaking (U.S. Copyright Office) The Librarian of Congress released a statement on exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which greatly expands access to encrypted, copyrighted works for fair use purposes. (July 26, 2010)
DMCA Resource Pages
- EDUCAUSE: FAQ for DMCA Designated Agents at Higher Education Institutions
- ALA DMCA Resources
- ARL DMCA Resources
- EFF DMCA Resources
- Public Knowledge DMCA Resources
Other DMCA Resources
- Digital Rights Management
This list was created for the discussion on digital rights management (DRM) development in support of the building and sharing of digital resource collections.
- Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years under the DMCA (Electronic Frontier Foundation – EFF)
This white paper provides a description of some of the very real problems that have already appeared because of the DMCA.
- A Primer on Distance Learning and Intellectual Property Issues(Dow, Lohnes & Albertson)
This primer highlights copyright issues and how they pertain to distance learning.
- Highlights of New Copyright Provision Establishing Limitation of Liability for Online Service Providers (Lutzker & Lutzker LLP and the Association of Research Libraries – ARL) 2001
This memorandum explains in detail the new DMCA provisions pertaining to OSP liability, including "notice-and-takedown" requirements, "notice and put-back," and certain safe harbors contained in Title II of the DMCA.
Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
- NIH Notice: Network Restriction on Pornography
March 21, 2014
Summary: NIH released a notice alerting award recipients of a new restriction on the use of funds “to maintain or establish computer network” unless that network blocks access to pornogra…
- SHLB Summarizes February BTOP/BIP Hearing
March 12, 2013
The SHLB Coalition has provided a nice summary of the February 27 hearing of the House Communications and the Internet Subcommittee. At what SHLB describes as a "contentious" hearing, a…
- Writing a Data Management Plan
January 25, 2013
The University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries has created a useful page to assist in writing data management plans, which are now requried by funding agencies and are part of the grant applicat…
- Ex Parte Contact in USF Contribution Methodology
August 30, 2012
On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, Greg Jackson (Vice President, EDUCAUSE) and John Windhausen (Telepoly Consulting), on behalf of EDUCAUSE, met with Vickie Robinson, Ernesto Beckford and Charles Ebe…
- EDUCAUSE USF Reform Reply Comments
August 6, 2012
Reply comments sent by EDUCAUSE to the Federal Communications Commission on August 6, 2012 in the matter of the Universal Service Contribution Methodology (WC Docket No. 06-122), A National Broad…
- NACUBO Overview of Sequestration Implications
September 26, 2012
The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has provided a concise overview of the implications for federal student aid and research programs if the pending …
- Networking, Telephony, and USF Patterns in Higher Education: A Sample Snapshot
July 3, 2012
The Federal Communications Commission recently opened a proceeding to consider how to reform its collection of fees for the Universal Service Fund and may reach a decision in this matter late…
- Science and Technology Policy Priorities Emphasize Big Data and Cybersecurity
July 9, 2012
A memorandum from the heads of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) outlines the Administration’s multi-agency science and technology…
- Top Issues Facing Today's Business and Financial Officers
August 10, 2011
August 10, 2011, 1:00 p.m. (EDT/GMT-4) What are the biggest challenges currently confronting chief business and financial officers at colleges and universities? How has the current e…
- 2010 Distance Education Survey
May 19, 2011
The Instructional Technology Council's 2010 Distance Education Survey found a nine percent increase in eLearning enrollment from fall 2009 to fall 2010. …