Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1998 and effective in 2000, updates federal copyright law to meet the demands of the electronic age, particularly in regard to copyright infringement on the Internet. The DMCA contains two pieces of legislation, both of which are discussed in this entry, along with applications to education and related legal cases.

The Law

The first part of the legislation, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Implementation Act, prohibits the circumvention of technologies that have been installed to prevent online infringement. For example, copyright holders often install programs that require computer users to enter passwords in order to access certain files or applications. Further, copyright holders may encrypt data or files to prohibit access by outsiders. ...

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