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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 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…
- A Change to Googleâ€™s Search Algorithm: Another Copyright Issue
August 17, 2012
As of Monday, August 13, 2012, Google has made a change to its search algorithm downgrading websites that persistently breach copyright laws. This means that the company will now adjust search …
- Intermediaries May Not Be Exempt in Copyright Infringement Cases
July 18, 2012
A recent New York Times article highlighted the case of the British student, Richard O’Dwyer, who is the subject of an extradition order to the U.S. on criminal copyright infringement c…
- Google's New Copyright Transparency Report
June 7, 2012
Recently, Google expanded its Transparency Report program by releasing a detailed report of content removal requests from copyright holders. This report joins its semi-annual governme…
- 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…
- 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…
- Copyright Office Announces Proposals Received in DMCA Anticircumvention Rulemaking
December 28, 2011
The United States Copyright Office seeks comments on proposals to exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyright…
- SOPA Markup on Hold
December 21, 2011
The House Judiciary Committee postponed the Wednesday, December 21, 2011 markup of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) ( H.R.3261 ) because the House would not be in session, according…