U.S. Copyright Office Releases New Resource on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Thursday, November 05, 2020

On September 30, 2020, the U.S. Copyright Office launched a new webpage addressing issues and providing resources related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCA

Congress passed the DMCA in 1998, and it was implemented in 2000. It updated U.S. law to adhere to the requirements of international copyright treaties and address issues relating to various uses of copyrighted material in the digital domain.

The DMCA served to:

  • Establish protections for online service providers against copyright infringement
  • Provide copyright owners with legal protections and recourse against unauthorized access to their works
  • Prohibit the removal or modification of certain types of copyright management information contained in protected works

The New Webpage Resource

The Copyright Office’s new webpage consolidates information and resources about various aspects of the DMCA, including:

  • Section 512: safe harbors and notice-and-takedown system
  • Section 1201: anticircumvention provisions
  • Section 1202: copyright management information protections

The creation of the new resource was driven, in part, by the Copyright Office’s recent report on Section 512. In announcing the DMCA webpage, the Copyright Office cited its finding from the report “that educational initiatives and resources about the notice-and-takedown system may help to alleviate certain imbalances in the section 512 framework by reducing the number of inappropriate notices and counter-claims that arise from a lack of awareness and understanding of the law.”

The DMCA links users to a new page on section 512 which provides an overview of what types of online service providers are affected by section 512, safe harbors and limitations on liability, how the notice-and-takedown process works, FAQs. and sample resources, such as a sample notice and counter-notice.

The DMCA webpage also links to the Copyright Office’s section 1201 page, which includes resources on anticircumvention provisions, a tutorial, and the Register of Copyright’s past recommendations on the triennial rulemaking process. It also clarifies section 1202’s prohibition on providing or distributing false copyright management information with the intent to induce or conceal infringement, and links to the report Authors, Attribution, and Integrity: Examining Moral Rights in the United States, which includes a discussion on section 1202.

While is a great resource for copyright owners as well as those who have received takedown notices under the DMCA, it is best to contact an experienced copyright attorney prior to navigating the DMCA.

If you have any questions about the DMCA, please contact Anna Robinson.