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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)
- The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance
January 1, 2015
The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance was designed for academic institutions to help answer questions ranging from basic copyright law to the more complex topics of ILL and e-reserves. …
- 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…
- 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 …
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act at Missouri University
April 13, 2011
DMCA at MU DMCA at MU April 13, 2011 …
- 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 …
- 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…
- University Procedure on Dealing with Possible Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights
January 1, 2009
Explains the process of how the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill deals with possible copyright violations. Explains the process of how…
- 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. …
- 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…
- Colleges serious about dealing with copyright, P2P issues
December 5, 2007
"If you were responsible for a college's network and were faced with infringement notices from the recording and motion picture industries, how would you handle them? That's the qu…