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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)
- Preserving Digital Information to Support Scholarship
January 1, 2002
Lynch examines the numerous technical obstacles related to digital information and preservation and describes some efforts in the various arenas. He also discusses the legal, social, and political …
- Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World: 2005 Update
January 1, 2005
The objective of this White Paper, initially released in August 2003 and updated in January 2005, is to provide a foundation for evaluating key questions facing the different stakeholders in the co…
- Interactive Guide to Using Copyrighted Media in Your Courses
January 1, 2005
This is a free interactive guide to help faculty determine the appropriate copyright guidelines they must follow when using different types of copyrighted media in their courses. …
- Another Appeals Court Rejects Copyright Subpoenas
January 1, 2005
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) this week lost the same court battle for a second time, in a different court. Echoing a December 2003 decision by the U.S. court of appeals in W…
- Students Fight Copyright Hoarders
January 1, 2004
Students at about a dozen colleges and universities have started organizations called Free Culture groups to educate other students about copyright and fight what they see as a tilting of the law t…
- Diebold Loses Key Copyright Case
January 1, 2004
Students who sued Diebold Election Systems won their case against the voting machine maker on Thursday after a judge ruled that the company had misused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and orde…
- Podcast: P2P Policy Update - From Campus to Congress, and Now the State House
May 20, 2008
This hour and forty-five minute podcast features a panel discussion on the latest P2P news regarding higher education. The discussion, "P2P Policy Update - From Campus to Congress, and Now t…
- 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 …
- 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…
- 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…