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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…
- Copyright Challenges Facing Higher Education
October 18, 2013
A session at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2013
There has never been a more challenging time for higher educational institutions in relation to copyright law and policy. Georgia State University's electronic course reserve policy has been c…
- DMCA Section 1201 Rulemaking to Determine Exemptions to the Prohibition on the Circumvention of Technological Controls to Copyrighted Works
November 14, 2012
On October 25, 2012, the Register of Copyrights and the Librarian of Congress announced new recommendations for exemptions to Section 1201(a)(1)(A) of the Digital Millennium Copyright…
- 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 …
- 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…
- 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…
- UCLA Streaming Video Case Dismissed
October 5, 2011
On Monday, October 3 rd , a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by AIME (Association for Information Media and Equipment, whose members includ…
- 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…