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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)
- 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…
- SOPA-PIPA-OPEN: Where are we now?
December 9, 2011
EDUCAUSE has been blogging about PIPA and SOPA and their impacts on campus networks if either were enacted. See blog posts May 25 th , July 8 th , July 15 th , October 28 …
- EDUCAUSE Submits Proposed Targeted Fixes to SOPA
December 1, 2011
Over the past few weeks, EDUCAUSE, together with members of the EDUCAUSE Government Relations for Information Technology (GRIT), has met with the staff leadership of the House Judiciary Comm…
- Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Update
November 15, 2011
On Wednesday, November 16 th at 10 am (EST), the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on H.R. 3261 , the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (See blog post of October 28 th fo…
- Alphabet Soup: A P2P, DMCA, and HEOA FAQ
May 18, 2011
Colleges and universities, like all Internet service providers, may benefit from the safe harbor provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) , provided that they take certain steps…
- Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA): The House Version of Protect IP (PIPA) and Its Consequences for Our Campus Networks
October 28, 2011
This week Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 3261 , the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” which is the House version of the Senate’s bill, “Protect IP” (fo…
- Copyright Office Issues Its Priorities and Those of Interest to Higher Education
October 27, 2011
Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante recently made public her office’s priorities and special projects through October 2013. The document articulates 17 priorities in the areas of copy…
- DMCA Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies: It's Time to Submit Comments
October 6, 2011
A September 29 th Federal Register notice announced that the Copyright Office is soliciting comments, in accordance with provisions of the DMCA , that may exempt certain classes of w…