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Copyright: DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT (DMCA)

Some basic tips and links on copyright law.

DMCA overview

THE DMCA addresses some of the issues unique to digital copyright. In order to help copyright holders protect their digital content, the DMCA contains provisions forbidding circumvention of digital protections and protecting copyright management information.

The DMCA is divided into five titles:

  1. Title I, the “WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act of 1998,” implements the WIPO treaties.
  2. Title II, the “Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act,” creates limitations on the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement when engaging in certain types of activities.
  3. Title III, the “Computer Maintenance Competition Assurance Act,” creates an exemption for making a copy of a computer program by activating a computer for purposes of maintenance or repair.
  4. Title IV contains six miscellaneous provisions, relating to the functions of the Copyright Office, distance education, the exceptions in the Copyright Act for libraries and for making ephemeral recordings, “webcasting” of sound recordings on the Internet, and the applicability of collective bargaining agreement obligations in the case of transfers of rights in motion pictures.
  5. Title V, the “Vessel Hull Design Protection Act,” creates a new form of protection for the design of vessel hulls.

Requirements of the DMCA

The DMCA provides limited liability for university networks acting as Internet service providers (ISPs) for students and faculty, provided that certain requirements are met.

Requirements of the DMCA:

  • Appoint a designated agent to receive reports of copyright infringement. Register the agent with the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Develop and post a copyright policy. Educate campus community about copyright.
  • Comply with "take down" requests.
  • Apply measures to protect against unauthorized access to content and dissemination of information.
  • Use only lawfully acquired copies of copyrighted works.