What is the DMCA?
DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act and first came into effect in October 1998.
With the explosion of the digital world (AKA, the internet), publishing work online exposes those who do so to the risk of copyright infringement. The act provides artists with protection for their work.
What is DMCA: The basics
· What does DMCA protect?
· Where does DMCA apply?
· DMCA safe harbor
· DMCA takedown notice
What does DMCA protect?
DMCA protects the rights of artists, photographers, authors, and writers regarding their digitally published works. It not only covers copyright infringement but also reinforces penalties for offenders who share or copy works without permission.
Where does DMCA apply?
DMCA is part of US copyright law and applicable to websites that are hosted within the country. This means that even if a copyright owner is not US-based they can utilize the law if the hosting website is in the USA.
In reality, although DMCA doesn’t apply in other countries (who have to comply with their individual copyright laws), many businesses and hosting providers will take note of a DMCA notice to prevent any future resulting legalities.
DMCA safe harbor
Safe harbor shields online service providers (OSP) from copyright infringement in certain cases. These cover four distinct categories:
1. Temporarily storing for transmission (system caching)
2. Temporary digital network communication
3. Information location tools
4. Storing information on a system or network at the user’s discretion
DMCA takedown notice
A takedown notice is an official notification to a web host, search engine, website, company, or ISP that informs they are in breach of DMCA by linking to content that infringes on a copyright. On receipt of the notice, they’re obliged to remove the content immediately.
If this isn’t done then the ISP can forcibly remove it.
Examples of when a DMCA Takedown Notice can be Applied
· Type of copyrighted material that’s covered
· Registration necessities
Type of copyrighted material that’s covered
Any work of art that’s published online is covered by DMCA. The following are relevant examples:
– Music, songs, and audio files
– Digital software