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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)
- University of Northern Colorado Information Management and Technology: Standards, Policies & Procedures
March 21, 2014
The University of Northern Colorado provides information technology resources to a large and varied group, including faculty, staff, students and guests. All members of this community are respo…
- To Maus or Not to Maus: Technically, That Is the Question
May 6, 2013
Key Takeaways What should a Maus book owner do when he can't access the multiple copies he owns on all his various devices, including the newest, an iPad ? In …
- The Next Great Copyright Act
March 20, 2013
On March 20, 2013, Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet where she advocate…
- 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 …
- Alphabet Soup: A P2P, DMCA, and HEOA FAQ
May 18, 2011
Colleges and universities, like all Internet service providers, may benefit from the safe harbor provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) , provided that they take certain steps…
- Does Higher Education Need a New Ethical Framework for the Internet?
March 22, 2011
This ECAR research bulletin is designed to help decision makers in higher education assess the applicability of four significant historical codes of ethics as they evaluate their current polic…
- 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…
- Soft-Selling Tough Issues
April 22, 2009
A session at the Security 2009
Louisiana State University's IT communications and security officers join forces to effectively educate campus populations about IT security threats, IT policies, and best practices. …
- E08 Podcast: Digging Deep with P2P: Understanding Students' Media Habits
November 19, 2008
This thirteen-minute podcast features a panel update recorded at the EDUCAUSE 2008 Annual Conference. The panel discussion is entitled, " Digging Deep with P2P: Understanding Students'…