Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA Explained

Cite this article as:"Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA Explained," in The Business Professor, updated November 24, 2018, last accessed October 25, 2020,

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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is an Act under U.S. legislation to protect digital copyrighted works.
The Act was passed in 1998 by the then-President William Jefferson Clinton in compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty. It was an effort to create an updated version of the nation’s copyright law that meets the need of the digital age.

A Little More on the DMCA

The DMCA protects the interests of copyright owners and consumers. The Act has five titles, those are WIPO Treaties Implementation, Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation, Computer Maintenance or Repair Copyright Exemption, Miscellaneous Provisions, and Protection of Certain Original Designs.

The Act makes it illegal to “manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof,” for the primary purpose of “circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to” a copyrighted work.

Initially, the Act was criticized by many as they thought it was too aggressive. In later years some restrictions were lifted, and amendments were made to make it more effective for the age. Many other countries also have adopted similar bills and legislation to protect the copyrights of digital materials.

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