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Digital Millennium Copyright Act

From lawbrain.com

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") is a law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works.

Overview

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States law that implements two 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties.  The DMCA also covers a range of additional copyright issues related to technology and the Internet.  President Bill Clinton signed the DMCA into law on October 28, 1998.  The DMCA adds and modifies sections of the Copyright Act and also creates two new chapters within Title 17 of the United States Code.

The Act has been at the center of a number of controversial matters related to intellectual property and the Internet because of its prohibition on the circumvention of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies, its process for the removal of protected content from websites and its safe harbor provision for websites that display copyrighted content that has been posted by users without the consent of the rightholder.

The Safe Harbor -- which deals with an ISP's removal of questionable content to avoide liability for contributory copyright infringement -- has several different components, including "notice and takedown" provisions and "counter-notice and put-back" procedures.


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