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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)
- Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and Policy Issues for Research Libraries
October 22, 2012
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) raise significant legal and policy questions for research libraries, which are often asked to support the development of MOOC courses. These questions involve …
- Copyright and Fair Use: Trends and Resources for 21st-Century Scholars
January 12, 2012
A session at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 2012
With the increasing use of images, music, and other kinds of audio-visual resources as well as the delivery of course content through online course management systems like Blackboard, we are facing…
- The Future of Fair Use
February 25, 2011
In this EDUCAUSE Live! we will discuss ethics and strategies for overcoming institutional roadblocks related to publishing and teaching with copyrighted media. As fair use protections and potenti…
- Fighting a Copyright Charge
March 4, 2010
UCLA says it will start streaming videos on course Web sites again -- despite legal threats from an educational media trade group. UCLA says it …
- Copyright, Fair Use, and Teaching and Learning Innovation in a Web 2.0 World
July 28, 2009
This ECAR research bulletin reviews some of the basic tenets of copyright in the digital millennium. Specifically, it discusses the ways in which copyright law, fair use provisions, and the TEACH…
- Pushing the Envelope on Copyright Exemptions
December 30, 2008
Professors and librarians petition U.S. to broaden exceptions to allow more use of DVDs and other audiovisual works in the classroom â€” and beyond. …
- EDUCAUSE Now - Show #5 - P2P Update & Data-Rich Blogging
July 10, 2008
EDUCAUSE Now is a monthly podcast, focusing on the intelligent use of information technology in higher education. Each episode features a variety of stories, interviews, and views that relate to …
- 2007 Policy Conference: Year In Review
June 5, 2007
The 2007 Policy Conference kicked off with a top-ten style list of Policy Issues currently facing higher education. This entertaining and insightful list was compiled and delivered by Tracy Mit…
- The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age
January 1, 2006
The study explores whether innovative educational uses of digital technology â€“ everything from DVDs in the classroom to digital music libraries to online resources such as Wikipedia -- are h…
- The Influence of Intellectual Property Rights Over Distance Education
January 1, 2002
As more higher education institutions offer online courses, the debate still rages over how content owners are to be fairly compensated and how library and higher education institutions are expecte…