What is the DMCA?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, enacted in 1998, is an amendment that attempts to update the Copyright Act so that it accounts for copyright in the digital age. The DMCA helps to protect the internet provider and hold the user liable for infringement when it occurs. As long as the internet provider follows the information below, it won't be liable for any infringement.
Some of the key elements of the DMCA:
Requirements for Protection:
According to the Harvard DMCA Overview (2016), to fall within the protection of the DMCA, an internet service provider must:
Online Service Provider Liability:
Libraries work within institutions, such as universities, that for the purposes of the DMCA are considered online service providers (OSPs).
Special Provisions for Educators:
According to Russell (88-89) Non-profit educational institutions that qualify as OSPs get additional protections. If a faculty member or student infringed, the OSP will not be held liable for that individual's actions if:
Information below directly from the the US Copyright Office's DMCA Designated Agent Directory:
When a copyright owner’s work is being infringed on or through a service provider’s service, the copyright owner may send a notification of claimed infringement (often referred to as a “takedown notice”) to the service provider’s designated agent. For takedown notices to be legally effective, they must be provided to a service provider’s designated agent in writing and include substantially the following:
17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3)(A). Upon receipt of a compliant takedown notice, a service provider must respond expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of the infringing activity. If a service provider fails to do so, it may lose its safe harbor protection and be subject to an infringement suit.
The purpose of this guide is to provide resources and information for resolving copyright questions. This research guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.