Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Base Provisions
DMCA Title I: WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act
DMCA Title I, the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act has two major portions, one of which includes works covered by several treaties in US copy prevention laws and gave the title its name and the other which is often known as the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions. The latter changed the remedies for the circumvention of copy prevention systems and required that all analog video recorders have support for a specific form of copy prevention commonly known as Macrovision built in. However, section 1201(c) of the title clarified that the title does not change the underlying substantive copyright infringement rights, remedies, or defenses. The title contains other limitations and exemptions, including for research and reverse engineering in specified situations. For further analysis of this portion of the Act and of cases under it, see WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act.
DMCA Title II: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act
DMCA Title II, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act ("OCILLA") creates a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs, including ISPs) against copyright liability if they adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines and promptly block access to allegedly infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) if they receive a notification claiming infringement from a copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent. OCILLA also includes a counter-notification provision that offers OSPs a safe harbor from liability to their users, if they restore the material upon notice from such users claiming that the material in question is not, in fact, infringing. OCILLA also provides for subpoenas to OSPs to provide their users' identity.
DMCA Title III: Computer Maintenance Competition Assurance Act
DMCA Title III modified section 117 of the copyright title so that those repairing computers could make certain temporary, limited copies while working on a computer.
MCA Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions
DMCA Title IV contains an assortment of provisions:
· Clarified and added to the duties of the Copyright Office.
· Added ephemeral copy for broadcasters provisions, including certain statutory licenses.
· Added provisions to facilitate distance education.
· Added provisions to assist libraries with keeping copies of sound recordings.
· Added provisions relating to collective bargaining and the transfer of movie rights.
DMCA Title V: Vessel Hull Design Protection Act
DMCA Title V added sections 1301 through 1332 to add a sui generis protection for boat hull designs. Boat hull designs are not covered under copyright law, because they are useful articles whose form cannot be cleanly separated from their function.
In addition to the safe harbors and exemptions the statute explicitly provides, 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1) requires that the Librarian of Congress issue exemptions from the prohibition against circumvention of access-control technology. Exemptions are granted when it is shown that access-control technology has had a substantial adverse effect on the ability of people to make noninfringing uses of copyrighted works.
The exemption rules are revised every three years. Exemption proposals are submitted by the public to the Registrar of Copyrights, and after a process of hearings and public comments, the final rule is recommended by the Registrar and issued by the Librarian. Exemptions expire after three years and must be resubmitted for the next rulemaking cycle. Consequently, the exemptions issued in the prior rulemakings, in 2000 and 2003, are no longer valid.
The current administratively-created exemptions, issued in November 2006, are:
· Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors. (A new exemption in 2006.)
· Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace. (A renewed exemption, first approved in 2003.)
· Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace. (Revised from a similar exemption approved in 2003.)
· Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format. (Revised from a similar exemption approved in 2003.)
· Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network. (A new exemption in 2006.)
· Sound recordings, and audiovisual works associated with those sound recordings, distributed in compact disc format and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully purchased works and create or exploit security flaws or vulnerabilities that compromise the security of personal computers, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing, investigating, or correcting such security flaws or vulnerabilities. (A new exemption in 2006.)
The Copyright Office approved two exemptions in 2000 and four in 2003. In 2000, the Office exempted (a) "Compilations consisting of lists of websites blocked by filtering software applications" (renewed in 2003 but not renewed in 2006); and (b) "Literary works, including computer programs and databases, protected by access control mechanisms that fail to permit access because of malfunction, damage, or obsoleteness." (revised and limited in 2003 and again in 2006). In 2003, the 2000 "literary works including computer programs" exemption was limited to "Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete." 2003 also added an ebook exemption for text readers and an obsolete software and video game format exemptions, both of which were renewed in 2006. The 2000 filtering exemption was revised and renewed in 2003, but was not renewed in 2006. (Source Wikipedia)