Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization
The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world"....

 (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management
Digital rights management
Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

 or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. Passed on October 12, 1998 by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17
Title 17 of the United States Code
Title 17 of the United States Code is the title of the United States Code that outlines United States copyright law.—Subject Matter and Scope of Copyright—Copyright Ownership and Transfer—Duration of Copyright—Copyright Notice, Deposit, and Registration—Copyright Infringement and...

 of the United States Code
United States Code
The Code of Laws of the United States of America is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the United States...

 to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services
Online service provider
An online service provider can for example be an internet service provider, email provider, news provider , entertainment provider , search, e-shopping site , e-finance or e-banking site, e-health site, e-government site, Wikipedia, Usenet...

 for copyright infringement
Copyright infringement
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

 by their users.

On May 22, 2001, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 passed the Copyright Directive
Copyright Directive
The Copyright Directive , is a directive of the European Union enacted to implement the WIPO...

 or EUCD, which addresses some of the same issues as the DMCA. The DMCA's principal innovation in the field of copyright, the exemption from direct and indirect liability of internet service provider
Internet service provider
An Internet service provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. Access ISPs directly connect customers to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or fiber-optic connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and host other people servers...

s and other intermediaries (Title II of the DMCA), was separately addressed, and largely followed, in Europe by means of the separate Electronic Commerce Directive
Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002
The Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002, SI 2002/2013, incorporates the EU Electronic Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC into the law of the United Kingdom. They apply to contracts concluded by electronic means over distance whereby the buyer is a consumer...

. (Unlike U.S. federal laws and regulations, the execution of European Union directives usually requires separate legislation by or within each of the Union's member states.)

Title I: WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act


DMCA Title I, the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act
WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act
The WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act, is a part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , a 1998 U.S. law...

, amends U.S. copyright law to comply with the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, adopted at the WIPO Diplomatic Conference in December 1996. The treaties have two major portions. One portion includes works covered by several treaties in U.S. copy prevention laws and gave the title its name. For further analysis of this portion of the Act and of cases under it, see WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act
WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act
The WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act, is a part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , a 1998 U.S. law...

.

The second portion is often known as the DMCA anti-circumvention
Anti-circumvention
Anti-circumvention refers to laws which prohibit the circumvention of technological barriers for using a digital good in certain ways which the rightsholders do not wish to allow...

 provisions. These provisions changed the remedies for the circumvention of copy-prevention systems (also called "technical protection measures") and required that all analog video recorders have support for a specific form of copy prevention created by Macrovision (now Rovi Corporation) built in, giving Macrovision an effective monopoly on the analog video-recording copy-prevention market. 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
Reverse engineering
Reverse engineering is the process of discovering the technological principles of a device, object, or system through analysis of its structure, function, and operation...

 in specified situations.

Title II: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act


DMCA Title II, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act
Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act
The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act is United States federal law that creates a conditional safe harbor for online service providers and other Internet intermediaries by shielding them for their own acts of direct copyright infringement as well as...

 ("OCILLA"), creates a safe harbor
Safe harbor
The term safe harbor has several special usages, in an analogy with its literal meaning, that of a harbor or haven which provides safety from weather or attack.-Legal definition:...

 for online service provider
Online service provider
An online service provider can for example be an internet service provider, email provider, news provider , entertainment provider , search, e-shopping site , e-finance or e-banking site, e-health site, e-government site, Wikipedia, Usenet...

s (OSPs, including ISP
Internet service provider
An Internet service provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. Access ISPs directly connect customers to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or fiber-optic connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and host other people servers...

s) 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 counternotification provision that offers OSPs a safe harbor from liability to their users upon notice from such users claiming that the material in question is not, in fact, infringing. OCILLA also provides for subpoena
Subpoena
A subpoena is a writ by a government agency, most often a court, that has authority to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure. There are two common types of subpoena:...

s to OSPs to provide their users' identity.

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.
It reversed the precedent set in MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc.
MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc.
MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc., 991 F.2d 511 , was a case heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which addressed the question of whether or not the loading of a software program into RAM by a computer repair technician makes a copy of the software that is a...

, 991 F.2d 511 (9th Cir. 1993).

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 phonorecords of sound recordings.
  • Added provisions relating to collective bargaining and the transfer of movie rights.

Title V: Vessel Hull Design Protection Act


DMCA Title V added sections 1301 through 1332 to add a sui generis
Sui generis
Sui generis is a Latin expression, literally meaning of its own kind/genus or unique in its characteristics. The expression is often used in analytic philosophy to indicate an idea, an entity, or a reality which cannot be included in a wider concept....

protection for boat hull designs. Boat hull designs were not considered covered under copyright law because they are useful articles whose form cannot be cleanly separated from their function.

Anti-circumvention exemptions


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 non-infringing 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, 2003 and 2006 are no longer valid.

The current administratively-created exemptions, issued in July 2010, are:
  • Motion pictures on DVD
    DVD
    A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

    s that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
    • Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
    • Documentary filmmaking;
    • Noncommercial videos. (A new exemption in 2010, similar to a previous educational exemption.)
  • Computer programs that enable wireless telephone
    Mobile phone
    A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

     handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset. (A new exemption in 2010.)
  • Computer programs, in the form of firmware
    Firmware
    In electronic systems and computing, firmware is a term often used to denote the fixed, usually rather small, programs and/or data structures that internally control various electronic devices...

     or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network. (Revised from a similar exemption approved in 2006.)
  • Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:
    • The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
    • The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law. (A new exemption in 2010.)
  • Computer programs protected by dongle
    Dongle
    A software protection dongle is a small piece of hardware that plugs into an electrical connector on a computer and serves as an electronic "key" for a piece of software; the program will only run when the dongle is plugged in...

    s 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. (A renewed exemption from 2006, based on a similar exemption approved in 2003.)
  • Literary works distributed in e-book
    E-book
    An electronic book is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital...

     format when all existing e-book 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 reader
    Screen reader
    A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen . This interpretation is then re-presented to the user with text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille output device...

    s that render the text into a specialized format. (A renewed exemption from 2006, based on a similar exemption approved in 2003.)


The Copyright Office approved two exemptions in 2000; four in 2003; six in 2006 and 2010. 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" and this exemption was renewed in both 2006 and 2010. The 2003 exemption for text readers of ebooks was renewed in both 2006 and 2010. The 2003 exemption for obsolete software and video game formats was renewed in 2006 but was not renewed in 2010. The 2000 filtering exemption was revised and renewed in 2003, but was not renewed in 2006. The 2006 exemption for sound recordings allowed after security flaws were found in a copy protection system on some Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

 CDs was not renewed in 2010. An exemption covering the audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department was not renewed in 2010. This exemption was replaced with an exemption on DVDs protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is for the purpose of criticism or comment using short sections, for educational, documentary or non-profit use. The 2006 exemption for wireless handsets connecting to wireless networks was revised in 2010 to specify used handsets and require authorization from the wireless network operator. Another exemption for wireless handsets was introduced in 2010 specific to interoperability software on the phone itself.

Linking to infringing content


The law is currently unsettled with regard to websites that contain links to infringing material; however, there have been a few lower-court decisions which have ruled against linking in some narrowly prescribed circumstances. One is when the owner of a website has already been issued an injunction against posting infringing material on their website and then links to the same material in an attempt to circumvent the injunction. Another area involves linking to software or devices which are designed to circumvent DRM (digital rights management
Digital rights management
Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

) devices, or links from websites whose sole purpose is to circumvent copyright protection by linking to copyrighted material.

There have been no cases in the US where a website owner has been found liable for linking to copyrighted material outside of the above narrow circumstances.

Notable court cases



Edelman v. N2H2


In July 2002, American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 filed a lawsuit on the behalf of Benjamin Edelman, a computer researcher at Berkman Center for Internet and Society, seeking a Declaratory judgment
Declaratory judgment
A declaratory judgment is a judgment of a court in a civil case which declares the rights, duties, or obligations of one or more parties in a dispute. A declaratory judgment is legally binding, but it does not order any action by a party. In this way, the declaratory judgment is like an action to...

 to affirm his first amendment rights when reverse engineering the censorware product of defendant N2H2 in case he intended to publish the finding. N2H2 filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted.

RealNetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc.



In August 2009, the DVD Copy Control Association
DVD Copy Control Association
The DVD Copy Control Association is an organization primarily responsible for the copy protection of Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. The Content Scramble System was devised for this purpose to make copyright infringement difficult, but also presents obstacles to some legitimate uses of the media...

 won a lawsuit against RealNetworks
RealNetworks
RealNetworks, Inc. is a provider of Internet media delivery software and services based in Downtown Seattle, Washington, United States. The company is the creator of RealAudio, a compressed audio format; RealVideo, a compressed video format; RealPlayer, a media player; RealDownloader, a download...

 for violating copyright law in selling its RealDVD software, allowing users to copy DVDs and store them on a harddrive. The DVD Copy Control Association claimed that Real violated the DMCA by circumventing anti-piracy measures ARccOS Protection
ARccOS Protection
ARccOS is a copy-protection system made by Sony that is used on some DVDs. Designed as an additional layer to be used in conjunction with Content Scramble System , the system deliberately creates corrupted sectors on the DVD, which cause copying software to produce errors .Despite being promoted...

 and RipGuard, as well as breaking Real's licensing agreement with the MPAA's Content Scrambling System.

Viacom Inc. v. YouTube, Google Inc.



On March 13, 2007, Viacom
Viacom
Viacom Inc. , short for "Video & Audio Communications", is an American media conglomerate with interests primarily in, but not limited to, cinema and cable television...

 filed a lawsuit against YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 and its corporate parent Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 for copyright infringement seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Viacom claims the popular video-sharing site was engaging in "massive intentional copyright infringement" for making available a contended 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's entertainment programming. Google lawyers say they are relying on the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act to shield them from liability.

On June 23, 2010, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton granted summary judgment in favor of YouTube. The court held that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of the DMCA. Viacom has said that it will appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible.

IO Group, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc.



On June 23, 2006 IO Group, Inc. filed a complaint against Veoh Networks, Inc.
Veoh
Veoh is an Internet television company based in San Diego, California. It allows users to find and watch major studio content, independent productions and user-generated material. The company is a subsidiary of Israeli start-up Qlipso....

 in the U.S. District Court for California's Northern District.
IO Group alleged that Veoh was responsible for copyright infringement by allowing videos owned by Io Group to be accessed through Veoh's online service without permission over 40,000 times between the dates June 1 and June 22.

Veoh is a Flash video site relying on user contributed content. IO Group argued that since Veoh transcode
Transcode
Transcoding is the direct digital-to-digital data conversion of one encoding to another, such as for movie data files or audio files. This is usually done in cases where a target device does not support the format or has limited storage capacity that mandates a reduced file size, or to convert...

d user uploaded videos to Flash format it became a direct infringer and the materials were under their direct control, thereby disqualifying them for DMCA safe harbor protection.

The ruling judge disagreed with the argument, stating that "Veoh has simply established a system whereby software automatically processes user-submitted content and recasts it in a format that is readily accessible to its users. Veoh preselects the software parameters for the process from a range of default values set by the thirdparty software... But Veoh does not itself actively participate or supervise the uploading of files. Nor does it preview or select the files before the upload is completed. Instead, video files are uploaded through an automated process which is initiated entirely at the volition of Veoh's users."
The Court has granted the Veoh's motion for summary judgment
Summary judgment
In law, a summary judgment is a determination made by a court without a full trial. Such a judgment may be issued as to the merits of an entire case, or of specific issues in that case....

, on the basis of the DMCA, holding that the defendant's video-sharing web site complied and was entitled to the protection of the statute's "safe harbor" provision. Even though Veoh won the court case, it blamed the litigation as one of the causes of its preparing to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and its subsequent sale to Qlipso.

Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc.



After numerous DMCA takedown notices in response to his eBay listings, Timothy S. Vernor sued Autodesk in August 2007 alleging that Autodesk abused the DMCA and disrupted his right to sell used software he bought at a garage sale. In May 2008, a federal district judge in Washington State dismissed Autodesk's argument that the software's license agreement preempted the seller from his rights under the first-sale doctrine
First-sale doctrine
The first-sale doctrine is a limitation on copyright that was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908 and subsequently codified in the Copyright Act of 1976,...

. In September 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that "a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions."

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.



In 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a writer and editor from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
Gallitzin is a borough bordered by Gallitzin Township and Tunnelhill in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Standing northwest of Altoona, it was first incorporated in 1872, and named for Prince Gallitzin, who founded the Catholic town of Loretto, Cambria County. Coal-mining and...

 made a home video of her 13-month-old son dancing to "Let's Go Crazy" and posted a 29-second video on the video-sharing site YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

. Four months after the video was originally uploaded, Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is an American music group, the largest of the "big four" record companies by its commanding market share and its multitude of global operations...

, which owned the copyrights to the song, ordered YouTube to remove the video enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Lenz notified YouTube immediately that her video was within the scope of fair use, and demanded that it be restored. YouTube complied after six weeks—not two weeks, as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—to see whether Universal planned to sue Lenz for infringement. Lenz then sued Universal Music in California for her legal costs, claiming the music company had acted in bad faith by ordering removal of a video that represented fair use of the song.

In August 2008, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, California
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

 ruled that copyright holders cannot order a deletion of an online file without determining whether that posting reflected "fair use" of the copyrighted material.

On February 25, 2010, Judge Fogel issued a ruling rejecting several of Universal's affirmative defenses, including the defense that Lenz suffered no damages.

Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter



In the case of Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter the court denied the defentant safe harbour protection under DMCA . The court found that the defentant had knowledge of its users infringing activity and also failed to prevent future infringing activity. As such the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction was granted.

Takedown Notice


The DMCA has been criticized for making it too hard for copyright owners to protect their rights. Owners of "community based" infringing websites need only take down infringing content to avoid all liability. This has led to the business model of encouraging anonymous individuals to upload copyright violations while the site owners profit from advertising or a sales percentage on pirated eBooks.

Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 asserted misuse of the DMCA in a filing concerning New Zealand's copyright act, quoting results from a 2005 study by Californian academics Laura Quilter
Laura Quilter
Laura Quilter is a writer, lawyer, librarian, professor, and science fiction fan known for both her work on intellectual property and new media, and her long-standing archive of information on feminist science fiction....

 and Jennifer Urban based on data from the Chilling Effects clearinghouse. Takedown notices targeting a competing business made up over half (57%) of the notices Google has received, the company said, and more than one-third (37%), "were not valid copyright claims."

Effect on Analog Video Equipment


Analog Copy Protection (ACP), the encryption technology created by Rovi Corporation (Formerly Macrovision), is designed to thwart users' attempts to reproduce content via analog cables. When a DVD is played through an analog video cable and recorded using a VCR, Rovi’s ACP technology will distort the copy partially or completely.

The technology works by adding additional lines to the video signal. In the NTSC
NTSC
NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee, is the analog television system that is used in most of North America, most of South America , Burma, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and some Pacific island nations and territories .Most countries using the NTSC standard, as...

 video standard, blank lines (vertical blanking interval
Vertical blanking interval
The vertical blanking interval , also known as the vertical interval or VBLANK, is the time difference between the last line of one frame or field of a raster display, and the beginning of the first line of the next frame. It is present in analog television, VGA, DVI and other signals. During the...

s) that the user cannot see are used for functions like closed captioning. Rovi Corporation uses these blank lines to implement its ACP technology.

The implementation of ACP has been ill-regarded by some video enthusiasts. Many claim that the technology has led to signal issues with VCRs and analog video equipment. Some VCRs misread the encryption used to prevent copying, distorting the video image regardless of whether the recording is original or a copy.

The DMCA has been criticized for forcing all producers of analog video equipment to support the proprietary copy protection technology of Rovi Corporation, a commercial firm. The producers of video equipment are forced by law to support and implement the corporation's proprietary technology. This benefits Rovi Corporation financially, whereas those forced to implement it receive neither profit nor receive compensation.

Additionally, some criticize the implementation of ACP as a violation of their fair use rights. A recently developed TV-streaming product called the Slingbox
Slingbox
The Slingbox is a TV streaming media device made by Sling Media that encodes video into the VC-1 format for transmission over the Internet and provides an infrared blaster. The video encoding and IR blaster can both be operated remotely over the Internet...

 uses analog signals to convey video from television to a mobile device. However, the encryption used by ACP blocks analog transmission, rendering the Slingbox unusable. Additionally ACP blocks the use of recording for educational purposes. On one or more accounts, students have not been able to cite and record cable sources properly due to ACP restrictions.

Effect on research


The DMCA has had an impact on the worldwide cryptography
Cryptography
Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties...

 research community, since an argument can be made that any cryptanalytic research violates, or might violate, the DMCA. The arrest of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov
Dmitry Sklyarov
Dmitry Vitalevich Sklyarov is a Russian computer programmer known for his 2001 arrest by American law enforcement over software copyright restrictions under the DMCA anti-circumvention provision...

 in 2001, for alleged infringement of the DMCA, was a highly publicized example of the law's use to prevent or penalize development of anti-DRM measures. While working for ElcomSoft
ElcomSoft
ElcomSoft is a Russian computer software company specializing in computer security and data recovery applications. Popular products include their eBook processing and password recovery software supporting many of Microsoft's products. ElcomSoft is also a co-founder of the Independent Software...

 in Russia, he developed The Advanced eBook Processor, a software application allowing users to strip usage restriction information from restricted e-book
E-book
An electronic book is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital...

s, an activity legal in both Russia and the United States. Paradoxically, under the DMCA, it is not legal in the United States to provide such a tool. Sklyarov was arrested in the United States after presenting a speech at DEF CON and subsequently spent nearly a month in jail. The DMCA has also been cited as chilling to legitimate users, such as students of cryptanalysis
Cryptanalysis
Cryptanalysis is the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information, without access to the secret information that is normally required to do so. Typically, this involves knowing how the system works and finding a secret key...

 (including, in a well-known instance, Professor Edward Felten
Edward Felten
Edward William Felten is a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University. On November 4, 2010 he was named the Chief Technologist for the United States Federal Trade Commission, a position he officially assumed January 3, 2011.Felten has done a variety of computer...

 and students at Princeton
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

), and security consultants such as Niels Ferguson
Niels Ferguson
Niels T. Ferguson is a Dutch cryptographer and consultant who currently works for Microsoft. He has worked with others, including Bruce Schneier, designing cryptographic algorithms, testing algorithms and protocols, and writing papers and books...

, who has declined to publish information about vulnerabilities he discovered in an Intel
Intel Corporation
Intel Corporation is an American multinational semiconductor chip maker corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, California, United States and the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue. It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most...

 secure-computing scheme because of his concern about being arrested under the DMCA when he travels to the US.

Effect on innovation and competition


In at least one court case, the DMCA has been used by Open Source software projects to defend against conversion of software (i.e. license violations) that involved removal of copyright notices. This defense can be used even without timely copyright registration
Copyright registration
The purpose of copyright registration is to place on record a verifiable account of the date and content of the work in question, so that in the event of a legal claim, or case of infringement or plagiarism, the copyright owner can produce a copy of the work from an official government...

, and can generate attorney fee awards, which together make it a useful strategy for Open Source organizations.

Reform and opposition


There are efforts in Congress to modify the Act. Rick Boucher
Rick Boucher
Frederick Carlyle "Rick" Boucher is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 1983 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life, education and career:...

, a Democratic congressman from Virginia, is leading one of these efforts by introducing the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act
Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act
The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act is a proposed law in the United States that directly challenges portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and would intensify Federal Trade Commission efforts to mandate proper labeling for copy-protected CDs to ensure consumer protection from...

 (DMCRA).

A prominent bill related to the DMCA is the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act
Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act
The Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act was a United States bill proposed in 2002 that would have prohibited any kind of technology that could be used to read digital content without digital rights management —which prohibits copying and reading any content under copyright...

 (CBDTPA), known in early drafts as the Security Systems and Standards Certification Act (SSSCA). This bill, if it had passed, would have dealt with the devices used to access digital content and would have been even more restrictive than the DMCA.

On the tenth anniversary of the DMCA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States...

 documented harmful consequences of the anti-circumvention provisions. They document that the DMCA:
  1. stifles free expression, such as in its use against Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov
    Dmitry Sklyarov
    Dmitry Vitalevich Sklyarov is a Russian computer programmer known for his 2001 arrest by American law enforcement over software copyright restrictions under the DMCA anti-circumvention provision...

    , Princeton Professor Edward Felten
    Edward Felten
    Edward William Felten is a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University. On November 4, 2010 he was named the Chief Technologist for the United States Federal Trade Commission, a position he officially assumed January 3, 2011.Felten has done a variety of computer...

    , and journalists;
  2. jeopardizes fair use
    Fair use
    Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders...

    ;
  3. impedes competition, such as blocking aftermarket competition in toner cartridges, garage door openers, and enforcing walled gardens around the iPod
    IPod
    iPod is a line of portable media players created and marketed by Apple Inc. The product line-up currently consists of the hard drive-based iPod Classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, the compact iPod Nano, and the ultra-compact iPod Shuffle...

    ; and
  4. interferes with computer intrusion laws.

See also



Economic concepts
  • Protectionism
    Protectionism
    Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations designed to allow "fair competition" between imports and goods and services produced domestically.This...


Related US laws
  • Copyright Term Extension Act
    Copyright Term Extension Act
    The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. Since the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship...

     (1998)
  • Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act
    Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act
    The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 is a United States Copyright law that grants owners of a copyright in sound recordings an exclusive right “to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.” The DPRA was enacted in response to the...

     (1995)
  • Inducement rule
    Inducement rule
    The inducement rule is a test a United States court can use to determine whether liability for copyright infringement committed by third parties could be assigned to the distributor of the device used to commit infringement.-Summary of the rule:...

  • NET Act
    NET Act
    The United States No Electronic Theft Act , a federal law passed in 1997, provides for criminal prosecution of individuals who engage in copyright infringement under certain circumstances, even when there is no monetary profit or commercial benefit from the infringement. Maximum penalties can be...

    , the "No Electronic Theft"

Proposed US legislation
  • BALANCE Act
    BALANCE Act
    The Benefit Authors without Limiting Advancement or Net Consumer Expectations Act of 2003 is a bill that would amend Title 17 of the United States Code, "to safeguard the rights and expectations of consumers who lawfully obtain digital entertainment." The bill was proposed in the 108th Congress...

    , Benefit Authors without Limiting Advancement or Net Consumer Expectations Act of 2003
  • Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act
    Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act
    The Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act, often abbreviated to just INDUCE Act, is a bill introduced in the United States Senate which targets "whoever intentionally induces any violation" of copyright. The name came from an earlier version named the "Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child...

     (INDUCE) (introduced 2004)
  • Pirate Act
    Pirate Act
    The Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004, better known as the Pirate Act, was a bill in the United States Congress that would have let federal prosecutors file civil lawsuits against suspected copyright infringers...

     (introduced 2004)
  • Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act
    Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act
    The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act is a proposed law in the United States that directly challenges portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and would intensify Federal Trade Commission efforts to mandate proper labeling for copy-protected CDs to ensure consumer protection from...

     (introduced 2003 & 2005)
  • Digital Transition Content Security Act
    Digital Transition Content Security Act
    The United States The Digital Transition Content Security Act was a bill introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr., a Wisconsin Republican, on December 16, 2005. The bill was backed by Democratic Rep. John Conyers.Its goal is "To require certain analog conversion...

     (introduced 2005)
  • FAIR USE Act
    FAIR USE Act
    The "Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007" was a proposed United States copyright law that would have amended Title 17 of the U.S...

     (introduced in 2007)

Related international law
  • Bill C-60 (Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     — proposed)
  • Bill C-61
    Bill C-61 (39th Canadian Parliament, 2nd Session)
    Bill C-61, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, was a bill tabled in 2008 during the second session of the 39th Canadian Parliament by Minister of Industry Jim Prentice. The bill died on the order paper when the 39th Parliament was dissolved prematurely and an election was called by the Governor...

     (Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     — proposed)
  • Bill C-32
    Bill C-32 (40th Canadian Parliament, 3rd Session)
    Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, was a bill tabled on June 2, 2010 during the third session of the 40th Canadian Parliament by Minister of Industry Tony Clement and by Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore....

     (Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     — proposed)
  • DADVSI
    DADVSI
    DADVSI is the abbreviation of the French Loi sur le Droit d’Auteur et les Droits Voisins dans la Société de l’Information...

     (France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     — Loi sur le Droit d'Auteur et les Droits Voisins dans la Société de l'Information)
  • Digital Economy Act 2010
    Digital Economy Act 2010
    The Digital Economy Act 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom regulating digital media. Introduced by Peter Mandelson, Lord Mandelson, it received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010, and came into force on 8 June 2010 The Digital Economy Act 2010 (c. 24) is an Act of the Parliament of...

     (United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    )
  • EU Copyright Directive
    Copyright Directive
    The Copyright Directive , is a directive of the European Union enacted to implement the WIPO...

     (European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

    )
  • Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations Treaty
    Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations Treaty
    The WIPO Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations Treaty or the Broadcast Treaty is a treaty designed to afford broadcasters some control and copyright-like control over the content of their broadcasts...

     (proposed)

Proposed international law
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
    Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
    The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a proposed plurilateral agreement for the purpose of establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement...


DMCA anti-circumvention cases
  • 321 Studios v. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc.
    321 Studios v. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc.
    321 Studios v Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc., 307 F. Supp. 2d 1085 , is a district court case brought by 321 Studios seeking declaratory judgment from the court that their DVD ripping software, i.e...

  • Chamberlain v. Skylink
    Chamberlain v. Skylink
    The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc., 381 F.3d 1178 is a legal case heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit concerning the anti-trafficking provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , , in the context of two competing universal garage door...

  • Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc.
    Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc.
    Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc. is a lawsuit brought by Facebook in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that , a third-party platform, collected user information from Facebook and displayed it on their own website...

  • Lexmark Int'l v. Static Control Components
    Lexmark Int'l v. Static Control Components
    Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., 387 F.3d 522 , was an American legal case involving the computer printer company Lexmark, which had designed an authentication system using a microcontroller so that only authorized toner cartridges could be used...

  • Murphy v. Millennium Radio Group LLC
    Murphy v. Millennium Radio Group LLC
    Murphy v. Millennium Radio Group LLC is a 2011 U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals case concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , copyright infringement, and defamation with regards to the online posting of a photocopy of a magazine photograph...

  • Dmitry Sklyarov
    Dmitry Sklyarov
    Dmitry Vitalevich Sklyarov is a Russian computer programmer known for his 2001 arrest by American law enforcement over software copyright restrictions under the DMCA anti-circumvention provision...

     in United States v. ElcomSoft and Sklyarov
  • Universal v. Reimerdes
    Universal v. Reimerdes
    Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes was the first test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , a United States federal law.The plaintiffs, 8 movie studios, successfully sought an injunction against the distribution of DeCSS, a program capable of decrypting content protected using the...


DMCA damages cases
  • Stockwire Research Group, Inc., et al. v. Lebed, et al.

DMCA notice-and-takedown issues
  • Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act
    Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act
    The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act is United States federal law that creates a conditional safe harbor for online service providers and other Internet intermediaries by shielding them for their own acts of direct copyright infringement as well as...

     (OCILLA) (more information about the DMCA 512 takedown provisions)
  • Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.
    Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.
    Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. was a 2007 case in which the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing takedown notices for content posted on the internet...


External links


, DMCA