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What Colleges and Universities Need to Know about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Friday, January 1, 1999


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a far-reaching attempt to update copyright law for the digital environment. Title II of the DMCA establishes certain limitations for copyright infringement liability for online service providers (OSPs). "Service provider" is broadly defined and likely includes many colleges and universities. The DMCA specifies requirements for notice (by the copyright owner to the service provider) and takedown (by the service provider of the alleged infringing material). Colleges and universities will be challenged to develop effective processes for making takedown decisions involving material faculty have incorporated into an online course, as such takedowns could result in course disruption or even be seen as threatening the principles of academic freedom.

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Many thanks to Victor Zdrawlica for his translation of this article into Slovakian. See his web page for the translated article. His effort and service to the community are appreciated.