What Is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

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In this day in age, it is common, if not expected of you, to protect your digital content with a copyright. Namely, you can protect any creative work you use on a computer, tablet, smartphone, videogame platform, or otherwise an electronic device. What’s more, you may protect any creative work you distribute through websites, blogs, or other forms of online content. These protections may be allotted to you thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Continue reading to learn the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and how an experienced New Jersey copyright lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can help you apply it to your work.

What are the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

First of all, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is a federal copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Specifically, these two treaties are the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. Then, the two main parts of this Act are Title I and Title II.

For one, Title I bars the circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. In other words, this prevents any individual from using a device, software, or service to bypass or disable encryption, password, watermark, or other protections against unauthorized use or viewing of a copyrighted work. For example, an individual cannot use an electronic device to digitally duplicate an e-book and distribute it to others for free.

Secondly, Title II bars online service providers from being held liable for infringing activities that transpire on their platforms by other users or third parties. In other words, online service providers cannot and should not be held liable for damages or ultimatums so long as they adhere to certain procedures. For example, an online service provider is not responsible if their website’s blog section holds infringing copyrighted work uploaded by another user.

How does this Act apply to my copyrighted work?

Of note, Title I and Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act may provide civil remedies and criminal penalties for any individual who violates their provisions. This is all to say that it may give you the ability to pursue civil or criminal legal action if anyone threatens or infringes upon your copyrighted work. On the flip side, it may allow you to defend yourself if civil or criminal legal action is taken against you and your work.

However, you must understand there are many exemptions to these Titles, which cannot be fully explained in a single post. This is when you may require the insight of a knowledgeable copyright lawyer.

You may rest easier knowing that a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer can serve as your needed support system during a complex situation such as this one. So please call us at The Ingber Law Firm today.