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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)
- An Interview with ARL's Duane Webster
January 6, 2006
In this recording, 33 minute recording, I sit down with Duane Webster , the Executive Director of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Among other things, we'll get his thoug…
- 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…
- An EDUCAUSE Update on P2P
March 16, 2010
A session at the EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference 2010
The content industry continues to battle peer-to-peer file sharing on campus and commercial networks, both with sticks (DMCA notices, three-strikes legislation) and with carrots (a growing number o…
- Meet the Expert: P2P Update
February 18, 2010
A session at the EDUCAUSE Southwest Regional Conference 2010
What are the requirements and options governing how campus networks deal with P2P now and in the future? Not a month has gone by in the past couple of years without a major news story related to th…
- Implementing an Enterprise Streaming Media System
January 15, 2010
A session at the EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 2010
In spring 2009, Penn College rolled out a new enterprise streaming media system, with the intent of eventually replacing physical media on campus. This presentation will offer a step-by-step analys…
- Seminar 01P - An EDUCAUSE Update on Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: Requirements, Options, and the Future
November 3, 2009
A session at the EDUCAUSE 2009 Annual Conference
Not a month has gone by in the past couple of years without a major news story related to the battle between the content industry and peer-to-peer file sharing over campus networks. While the RIAA …
- 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. …
- Fully Automated DMCA Processing
April 22, 2009
A session at the Security 2009
When processing DMCA takedown notices got to the point of taking one FTE, we decided it was time to automate. We developed a fully automated process, from intake of complaint e-mail to validating c…
- P2P War Stories: Tales from the Trenches
October 29, 2008
A session at the EDUCAUSE 2008 Annual Conference
As campuses receive an increasing number of DMCA notices and settlement letters, and as more and different technological solutions of varying worth arrive and new legal threats emerge, IT organizat…
- P2P Policy Updates: From Campus to Congress, and Now the State House
May 8, 2008
A session at the EDUCAUSE Policy Conference 2008
Peer-to-peer file sharing remains a major headache for campus IT administrators, as the RIAA and MPAA aggressively explore the boundaries of litigation and legislation. This session will feature tw…