On October 12, 1998, the U.S. Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, ending many months of turbulent negotiations regarding its provisions. Two weeks later, on October 28th, President Clinton signed the Act into law.
The Act is designed to implement the treaties signed in December 1996 at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva conference, but also contains additional provisions addressing related matters.
As was the case with the ‘No Electronic Theft’ Act (1997), the bill was originally supported by the software and entertainment industries, and opposed by scientists, librarians, and academics.
· Makes it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial software.
· Outlaws the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy software.
· Does permit the cracking of copyright protection devices, however, to conduct encryption research, assess product interoperability, and test computer security systems.
· Provides exemptions from anti-circumvention provisions for nonprofit libraries, archives, and educational institutions under certain circumstances.
· In general, limits Internet service providers from copyright infringement liability for simply transmitting information over the Internet.
· Service providers, however, are expected to remove material from users’ web sites that appears to constitute copyright infringement.
· Limits liability of nonprofit institutions of higher education — when they serve as online service providers and under certain circumstances — for copyright infringement by faculty members or graduate students.
· Requires that “webcasters” pay licensing fees to record companies.
· Requires that the Register of Copyrights, after consultation with relevant parties, submit to Congress recommendations regarding how to promote distance education through digital technologies while “maintaining an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners and the needs of users.”
· States explicitly that “[n]othing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use…”
Full Text of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (pdf)
The U.S. Copyright Office Report on Distance Education Pursuant to Section 403 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – May 1999
The U.S. Copyright Office’s Final Rule on Exemptions to the Anti-Circumvention Provisions of the Act – October 2000
DUO BROADBAND’S DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT DESIGNATED AGENT
Daryl Hammond, VP/CFO
2150 North Main Street
Jamestown Kentucky 42629
343-3131 or 378-4141 or 433-2121