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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)
- DMCA Multi-Stakeholder Process Focuses on Standardized Notice
May 21, 2014
Summary: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have chartered a multi-stakeholder process to pursue voluntary impr…
- Proposed SOPA Fixes from the Higher Education & Library Communities (11/29/2011)
November 29, 2011
This "Proposed SOPA Fixes" document follows on the earlier EDUCAUSE document which identified four key areas of concern in the "Stop Online Piracy Act" or "SOPA" (H…
- EDUCAUSE Letter on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (November 21, 2011)
November 21, 2011
EDUCAUSE letter sent to Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member John Conyers offering a perspective from higher education on the Stop Online Piracy Act, H.R. 3261 (SOPA). The letter states that,…
- Higher Education Concerns About the Stop Online Piracy Act ("SOPA"), with Initial Suggestions for Addressing Them (11/15/11)
November 15, 2011
SOPA (H.R. 3261) introduces sweeping new risks for and imposes new responsibilities on mainstream websites offering legitimate online services, including those hosted by colleges and universitie…
- Dealing With the Higher Education Opportunity Act's New Copyright Protection Requirements
November 20, 2009
Memorandum from the office of Zick Rubin concerning how colleges and universities should deal with the Higher Education Opportunity Act's new copyright protection requirements. …
- Digital Copyright
January 1, 2005
A federal information technology issue brief on digital copyright written by the EDUCAUSE Policy Office. A federal information technology issue brief o…
- The DMCA Revisited: What's Fair?
January 1, 2004
This document discusses why "Fair Use" should be retained for digital material. This document discusses why "Fair Use" should be re…
- Copyright Office Conducts Study on How to Promote Distance Education through Digital Technologies
January 1, 1999
As required by Section 403 of the DMCA, the Copyright Office conducted a study on how to promote distance learning through digital technologies, while "maintaining an appropriate balance betwe…
- EDUCAUSE Statement on Copyright Office Interim Regulations for 'Service Providers'
January 1, 1998
EDUCAUSE has issued a letter for members briefly explaining the Interim Regulations for the new Digital Millennium Copyright Act and recommending a course of action to ensure that universities who …