Sociology Index

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was enacted mainly to amend title 17, United States Code, to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty. DMCA criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that are used to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (DRM) and criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself.

DMCA amended title 17 of the U.S. Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of Online Providers from copyright infringement by their users. DMCA augmented the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.

But the DMCA's principal innovation in the field of copyright, the exemption from direct and indirect liabilty of internet service providers and other intermediaries was separately addressed, and largely followed, in Europe by means of the separate Electronic Commerce Directive.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Digital rights management, Copyright Term Extension Act, Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act, Digital Media Consumers' ... Content Security Act, Copyright Directive. by Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, and John McBrewster (Paperback - Nov 26, 2009) The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998 by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users. On May 22, 2001, the European Union passed the Copyright Directive or EUCD, which addresses some of the same issues as the DMCA.