Digital Millennium Copyright Act

What Does Digital Millennium Copyright Act Mean?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is U.S. copyright legislation that implements the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty. DMCA prevents the unauthorized duplication of digital copyrighted works by regulating digital intellectual property (IP) owners and consumers. Since DMCA was passed in 1998, similar bills and legislation have been adopted internationally.

Advertisements

Techopedia Explains Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The DMCA includes five titles and was initially criticized for its aggressive nature. Over time, amendments have lifted certain restrictions.

A key DMCA advocacy group is the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a data rights management (DRM) organization. DRM opposition groups, like Chilling Effects, argue that the DMCA’s loosely defined, yet restrictive, parameters favor copyright ownership over legitimate online research. The DMCA also has been criticized for bullying undertones.

Advertisements

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.