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DMCA 1201

What Does DMCA 1201 Mean?

DMCA 1201 is a legislative prohibition that guards against technological circumvention of safeguards erected by copyright holders to protect their work. It is part of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. law enacted in 1998. DMCA 1201 protects copyrighted works by prohibiting circumvention technology from disabling encrypted and rights-protected digital media. Amendments to DMCA have slightly loosened the protective measures on circumvention prohibition in specified ways, perhaps most notably by enabling professors to access digital data that is pertinent to their university or college curriculums.


DMCA 1201 may also be known as the WIPO Copyright and Performance and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act.

Techopedia Explains DMCA 1201

In 1998, DMCA was expressly enacted in order to protect the works of copyright holders. However, due to the controversial ruling, amendments have been necessary to allow good faith users to access rights to digital information, or restore affected electronic hardware devices.

Recommended exemptions from DMCA 1201 rules include e-books with strict access control applications that prevent users from using the read-aloud function on an e-reader. In 2010, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington recommended changes to the law, per the Register of Copyrights. These recommendations include exemptions for digital media used in college and university classroom settings for educational purposes.


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