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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)
- 7 Things You Should Read About Copyright in Online Education: Perspectives and Models
July 14, 2015
Concerns about copyright are an ongoing issue for instructors and librarians at colleges and universities. The resources in this issue explore the changing landscape of copyright in academic se…
- USPTO and NTIA Continue Efforts to Reform DMCA Notice-Takedown Process
July 25, 2014
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) continue to conduct meetings with stakeholders to discuss possible …
- Internet Policy Task Force Looking to Alter Notice and Takedown Procedures
April 28, 2014
On Thursday, March 20 , technology companies and copyright holders met to discuss the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the notice and takedown process used by copyright holders to p…
- The Direction of Fair Use for Education: New Law and New Possibilities
July 12, 2012
Copyright and fair use has long been a critical element of innovative technologies. On campus, we steadily create new works and use existing ones—and nearly all of them are automatically pr…
- Unintended Consequences: 12 Years Under the DMCA
March 3, 2010
This is the sixth update to the report, which aims to catalog all the reported instances where the DMCA's ban on tampering with DRM have been abused to stymie fair use, free speech, and comp…
- Implementing an Enterprise Streaming Media System
January 15, 2010
A session at the EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 2010
In spring 2009, Penn College rolled out a new enterprise streaming media system, with the intent of eventually replacing physical media on campus. This presentation will offer a step-by-step analys…
- Full Report of the Section 108 Study Group
April 2, 2008
The Section 108 Study Group is a select committee of copyright experts charged with updating for the digital world the Copyright Act's balance between the rights of creators and copyright ow…
- Update on Key U.S. Copyright Developments
February 29, 2008
Copyright continues to be a core interest of the higher education and academic library communities. This briefing will focus on eight critical legislative and legal arenas where the United States…
January 1, 2007
(c)ollectanea! is blog portal addressing the cultural, political and legal context of copyright. (c)ollectanea! is blog portal addressing the cultural,…
- US Copyright Lobby Out-of-touch
January 1, 2007
"Internet law professor Michael Geist takes a look at intellectual property protection in the US and finds it somewhat out of step with the rest of the world." …