Defining the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is sort of a newer copyright law, which was developed in 1998. It criminalizes the violation of developing simpler hardware or software already created, it overrides general copyright protection. It also increases the penalty for copyright infringement on the Internet.

In basic terms, it will criminalize any attempt to get past security devices on illegally acquired software, and outlaws the manufacturing of ‘cracking’ devices or any software or product that would get past said security devices on software. It also limits putting fault on the Internet service provider for the transmission of copyrighted information over the Internet. If you are an owner of a hosting company that provides hosting for copyrighted material, you will be charged to remove the copyrighted material in question. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act also requires people who use copyrighted songs to pay a fee to record companies for the use of those songs.

Let’s say that you have a website hosted on ABC Hosting Company, and you post a full copy of XYZ’s songs and music videos without permission. XYZ would then fill out a Digital Millennium Copyright Act report and send it to ABC. The hosting company would then remove your website completely. You might also be subject to fines if XYZ should choose to sue over copyrighte material.

A DMCA report can be filled out and submitted to appropriate people involved. The requirements might be different for each website, but you basically need proof that you are the owner of the work, proof that the website in question actually has a copy and is distributing it without your permission. You would also need to provide contact information so as your case is being investigated, you may be contacted.

Once you have filled out the report, you should sign it and turn it into the appropriate places. Each website you are filing with might have their own proceedures, so you’ll need to read up or email the website and ask for details on how to file a DMCA report with their website. Once the incident has been proven, usually the website will remove the said material, the hosting company will remove the website, search engines will remove the website from their listings, etc.

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