What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into United States copyright law on October 28, 1998. This act essentially combined and enacted two 1996 treaties from the World Intellectual Property Organization, both designed to enhance digital copyright protection measures. A large portion of the DMCA was targeted at protecting systems which control access to copyrighted material, generally referred to as Digital Rights Management (DRM). Any services, devices, or technologies that exist to circumvent DRM systems were made illegal, and further, the act of bypassing DRM systems itself was criminalized, even if the actual copyrighted material was not infringed. Other implemented measures of the DMCA included increasing penalties associated with copyright infringement on the internet and limiting the liability of online service providers in cases where their users have committed copyright infringement.
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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.
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