Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM). 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.[1][2] Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of online services for copyright infringement by their users.

The DMCA's principal innovation in the field of copyright is the exemption from direct and indirect liability of Internet service providers and other intermediaries. This exemption was adopted by the European Union in the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000. The Copyright Directive 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty in the EU.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Great Seal of the United States (obverse)
Long titleTo amend title 17, United States Code, to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty, and for other purposes.
Acronyms (colloquial)DMCA
Enacted bythe 105th United States Congress
EffectiveOctober 28, 1998
Public lawPub. L. 105-304
Statutes at Large112 Stat. 2860 (1998)
Acts amendedCopyright Act of 1976
Titles amended5 (Government Organization and Employees); 17 (Copyrights); 28 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); 35 (Patents)
U.S.C. sections created17 U.S.C. §§ 512, 1201–1205, 1301–1332; 28 U.S.C. § 4001
U.S.C. sections amended17 U.S.C. §§ 101, 104, 104A, 108, 112, 114, 117, 701
Legislative history


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

DMCA Title I, the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act, 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.

The second portion (17 U.S.C. 1201) is often known as the DMCA anti-circumvention 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. The section contains a number of specific limitations and exemptions, for such things as government research and reverse engineering in specified situations. Although, section 1201(c) of the title stated that the section does not change the underlying substantive copyright infringement rights, remedies, or defenses, it did not make those defenses available in circumvention actions. The section does not include a fair use exemption from criminality nor a scienter requirement, so criminal liability could attach to even unintended circumvention for legitimate purposes.[3]

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 infringement liability, provided they meet specific requirements.[4] OSPs must adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines and promptly block access to alleged infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) when they receive notification of an infringement claim 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 when users claim that the material in question is not, in fact, infringing. OCILLA also facilitates issuing of subpoenas against 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., 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 protection for boat hull designs. Boat hull designs were not considered covered under copyright law because boats are useful articles whose form cannot be separated from their function.[5][6]

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, only the most recent rulemaking is valid, and prior exemptions issued (in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2013) are no longer valid. As of 2017 (for the 2018 rulemaking), the Copyright Office is considering re-authorizing such exemptions if no new evidence is submitted to the contrary.

Section 1201 Study

After much criticism (see below), on December 29, 2015, the Copyright Office initiated a study to assess the operation of section 1201 and the triennial rulemaking process. This is different from usual public comments on exemption proposals. It includes the role of the anti-trafficking provisions and permanent exemptions, and the requirements of the rulemaking itself. The Office has issued a Notice of Inquiry requesting public comment.[7]

Several comments were posted by individuals and organizations.[8] An individual recalls that the Copyright Clause has limitations.[9] Association of American Publishers et al. hold there is no need to amend the statute or to significantly alter the rulemaking. They are happy with the protection they are being granted, including anti-trafficking provisions, and talk of placing the cart before the horse, when they argue about requiring a proof of the mindset that consumers would have when utilizing circumvention tools before actual acts of circumvention occur. In their opinion, the meaning of Section 1201 is to extend, not merely duplicate, copyright holder's rights.[10] Society of American Archivists say they are not aware that the anti-trafficking provisions of section 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b) have had any impact in deterring copyright infringement. They do know, however, that the provisions have created an absurd, Catch-22 situation for any archives that sought to adhere to the letter of the law.[11] iFixit also talks of Catch-22 on stressing that since it is up to proponents to show that an exemption is relevant, they need to show that there's overwhelming market demand if only it were legal.[12] Rapid7 notice that DMCA adversely affects good faith security research by forbidding researchers from circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) to analyze software for vulnerabilities.[13] Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School points out that the rulemaking is a complicated, ad hoc, and unduly burdensome process.[14]

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) commented that circumventing DRM restrictions to meet accessibility needs deserves a permanent exception.[15] Entertainment Software Association gives a vivid and detailed description of a flourishing market which is only possible because of DMCA.[16] They are deeply concerned about people with disabilities, but that concern is already being taken care of by the copyright holders, so that no permanent exception is needed.[17]

Comments have also been submitted by, among others, R Street Institute[18] American Association of Law Libraries,[19] Business Software Alliance,[20] Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers,[21][22] Association of American Universities et al.,[23] Copyright Alliance,[24][25] Association for Computing Machinery U.S. Public Policy Council,[26] the Software and Information Industry Association,[27][28] DVD Copy Control Association ("DVD CCA") et al.,[29] Microsoft Corporation,[30] Association for Competitive Technology,[31] Public Knowledge,[32][33] American Automobile Association.[34]

In June 2017, the Copyright Office published a report where it "shares the concern" that Section 1201 can affect activities unrelated to copyright infringement, but it does not advise to amend it because it could "severely weaken the right of copyright owners to exercise meaningful control over the terms of access to their works online", which they believe is "essential to the development of the digital marketplace for creative content".[35]

Previous exemptions

The Copyright Office approved two exemptions in 2000, four in 2003, six each in 2006 and 2010, five in 2012 and nine in 2015.

2000 rulemaking

In 2000, the first rulemaking, the Office exempted:[36]

  • "Compilations consisting of lists of websites blocked by filtering software applications" (renewed in 2003 but not renewed in 2006); and
  • "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).
2003 rulemaking

In 2003, the Office made the following rules:[37]

  • The 2000 filtering exemption was revised and renewed.
  • 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.
  • A new exemption was implemented for electronic books for which technological protection measures prevented the use of read-aloud software or screen readers. This exemption was renewed in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2015.
  • A new exemption was made for "Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and which require the original media or hardware as a condition of access." This exemption was renewed in 2006 but not in 2010.
2006 rulemaking

In 2006, the Office made the following rules:[38]

  • The 2003 exemption on obsolete computer programs and video games was renewed.
  • The 2003 exemption on computer programs protected by dongles was renewed.
  • The 2003 exemption on electronic books was renewed.
  • A new exemption was made for sound recordings allowed after security flaws were found in a copy protection system on some Sony CDs; this was not renewed in 2010.
  • A new exemption was implemented covering the audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university's film or media studies department; this was not renewed in 2010.
  • A new exemption was implemented allowing circumvention to allow wireless telephone handsets to connect to wireless networks. This exemption 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.
2010 rulemaking

Rulemaking was scheduled to occur in 2009, but the final rule was not issued until the following year. The 2010 exemptions, issued in July 2010, are:[39]

  • Motion pictures on DVDs 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;
    • Obsolete software and video game formats.
    • Noncommercial videos. (A new exemption in 2010, similar to a previous educational exemption.)
  • Computer programs that enable wireless telephone 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 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 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. (A renewed exemption from 2006, based on a similar exemption approved in 2003.)
  • Literary works distributed in e-book 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 readers that render the text into a specialized format. (A renewed exemption from 2006, based on a similar exemption approved in 2003.)
2012 rulemaking

The 2012 exemptions, issued in November 2012,[40] are for:

  • Literary works, distributed electronically, that are protected by technological measures that either prevent the enabling of read-aloud functionality or interfere with screen readers or other applications or assistive technologies
  • Computer programs that enable smartphones and portable all-purpose mobile computing devices to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the smartphone or device, or to permit removal of software from the smartphone or device
  • Computer programs that enable certain types of wireless devices to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is undertaken solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and such connection is authorized by the operator of such network
  • Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where circumvention is undertaken solely in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures for the purpose of criticism or comment in limited instances
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works on DVDs that are protected by the Content Scrambling System, or that are distributed by an online service and protected by technological measures that control access to such works, where circumvention is related to developing captioning and descriptive audio technologies
2015 rulemaking

The 2015 exemptions, issued in October 2015,[41] are for:

  • Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where circumvention is undertaken solely in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures for the purpose of criticism or comment in limited instances,
  • Literary works, distributed electronically, that are protected by technological measures that either prevent the enabling of read-aloud functionality or interfere with screen readers or other applications or assistive technologies,
  • Computer programs that enable the following types of wireless devices to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is undertaken solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and such connection is authorized by the operator of such network,
  • Computer programs that enable smartphones, tablets and portable all-purpose mobile computing devices, and smart televisions to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the smartphone or device, or to permit removal of software from the smartphone or device,
  • Computer programs that are contained in and control the functioning of a motorized land vehicle such as a personal automobile, commercial motor vehicle or mechanized agricultural vehicle, except for computer programs primarily designed for the control of telematics or entertainment systems for such vehicle, when circumvention is a necessary step undertaken by the authorized owner of the vehicle to allow the diagnosis, repair or lawful modification of a vehicle function,
  • Computer programs, where the circumvention is undertaken on a lawfully acquired device or machine on which the computer program operates solely for the purpose of good-faith security research and does not violate any applicable law,
  • Video games in the form of computer programs embodied in physical or downloaded formats that have been lawfully acquired as complete games, when the copyright owner or its authorized representative has ceased to provide access to an external computer server necessary to facilitate an authentication process to enable local gameplay,
  • Computer programs that operate 3D printers that employ microchip-reliant technological measures to limit the use of feedstock, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of using alternative feedstock and not for the purpose of accessing design software, design files or proprietary data, and
  • Literary works consisting of compilations of data generated by medical devices that are wholly or partially implanted in the body or by their corresponding personal monitoring systems, where such circumvention is undertaken by a patient for the sole purpose of lawfully accessing the data generated by his or her own device or monitoring system.

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 (digital rights management) devices, or links from websites whose sole purpose is to circumvent copyright protection by linking to copyrighted material.[42]

Edelman v. N2H2

In July 2002, American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on the behalf of Benjamin Edelman, a computer researcher at Berkman Center for Internet and Society, seeking a declaratory judgment 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 won a lawsuit against RealNetworks 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 and RipGuard, as well as breaking Real's licensing agreement with the Content Scrambling System.[43]

Viacom Inc. v. YouTube, Google Inc.

On March 13, 2007, Viacom filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its corporate parent Google 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 relied on the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "safe harbor" provision to shield them from liability.[44]

On June 23, 2010, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton granted summary judgment in favor of YouTube.[45] The court held that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of the DMCA. Viacom appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.[46]

On April 5, 2012, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Judge Louis Stanton's ruling, and instead ruled that Viacom had presented enough evidence against YouTube to warrant a trial, and the case should not have been thrown out in summary judgment. The court did uphold the ruling that YouTube could not be held liable based on "general knowledge" that users on its site were infringing copyright. The case was sent back to the District Court in New York,[47] and on April 18, 2013, Judge Stanton issued another order granting summary judgment in favor of YouTube. The case is over; no money changed hands.

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

On June 23, 2006, IO Group, Inc. filed a complaint against Veoh Networks, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for California's Northern District.[48]

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.[49]

Veoh is a Flash video site relying on user contributed content. IO Group argued that since Veoh transcoded 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, 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.[50] 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.[51][52]

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.[53] 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.[54] In September 2010, the U.S. 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."[55]

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a writer and editor from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania 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. Four months after the video was originally uploaded, Universal Music Group, 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.[56]

In August 2008, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, California 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.[57]

In 2015, the court ultimately upheld the finding that Universal was liable under 17 USC 512(f) (the DMCA's bad faith notice and takedown provision) for failing to consider fair use before sending its initial takedown notice.

Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter

In the case of Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter the court denied the defendant safe harbor protection under DMCA 17 U.S.C. § 512. The district court found that the defendant 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.[58] On appeal, however, the Seventh Circuit vacated the injunction, citing the standard set in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., which states that courts should not rely on categorical rules as a standard for injunction.[59]

Ouellette v. Viacom International Inc.

In this case of Ouellette v. Viacom International Inc., the court denied plaintiff's attempt to find liability for YouTube and Myspace's takedowns of the plaintiff's homemade videos. Despite potential fair use claims, the court found it impossible to use the DMCA takedown provisions as a foundation for liability. The court found that the safe harbor provision serves "to limit the liability of internet service providers, not to create liability that could not otherwise be imposed under existing law independent of the DMCA."[60]

Sony v. George Hotz

In January 2011, Sony Computer Entertainment sued George Hotz over violating the Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well as the Federal Fraud and Abuse Act due to facilitating consumers to jailbreak their PlayStation 3 consoles.[61] Hotz argued that because he had purchased the product, he had the right to do with it as he pleased. After three months, Sony and Hotz decided to settle out of court. This also included an injunction against George Hotz, barring him from hacking any more Sony products.[62][63]

Automattic, Inc. and Oliver Hotham v. Nick Steiner

In 2013, Oliver Hotham wrote an article on WordPress (owned by Automattic, Inc.) critical of Straight Pride UK that included material from a press release sent to him by Straight Pride UK's press officer, Nick Steiner. Steiner sent WordPress a DMCA takedown notice claiming that Hotham's article infringed their copyright. WordPress and Hotham sued in a federal District Court in California, under §512(f) of the DMCA, claiming that the takedown notice was fraudulent, and that the takedown cost the plaintiffs time, lost work and attorneys' fees. In 2015, the court issued a default judgment in favor of WordPress and Hotham in the amount of $25,084.[64]


Abuse of takedown notice

Music companies have urged Google to prevent searches of copyright infringing material by sending them a multitude of takedown notices, but despite these efforts, many top search results on Google are still these materials in question. The DMCA also includes the safe harbor provision which protects websites from taking blame when it comes to copyright takedowns. Some websites are profiting from the violation of copyrights but because of this loophole they are not held responsible.[65]

Google asserted misuse of the DMCA in a filing concerning New Zealand's copyright act,[66][67] quoting results from a 2005 study by California academics Laura Quilter and Jennifer Urban based on data from the Chilling Effects clearinghouse.[68] 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."[69]

Currently, there are three main abuses of the DMCA. First, fair use has been a legal gray area, and subject to opposing interpretations. This has caused inequity in the treatment of individual cases. Second, the DMCA has often been invoked overbearingly, favoring larger copyright holders over smaller ones. This has caused accidental takedowns of legitimate content, such as a record company accidentally removing a music video from their own artist. Third, the lack of consequences for perjury in claims encourages censorship. This has caused temporary takedowns of legitimate content that can be financially damaging the legitimate copyright holder, who has no recourse for reimbursement. This has been used by businesses to censor competition.[70]

Abuse of the anti-circumvention provision

In 2015 Volkswagen abused the DMCA to hide their vehicles emissions cheat.[71] It has been suggested that had the DMCA not prevented access to the software "..a researcher with legal access to Volkswagen's software could have discovered the code that changed how the cars behave in testing.."[72]

Effect on analog video equipment

Analog Copy Protection (ACP), the encryption technology created by Rovi Corporation (formerly Macrovision, now TiVo), 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.[73]

The technology works by adding additional lines to the video signal. In the NTSC video standard, blank lines (vertical blanking intervals) that the user cannot see are used for functions like closed captioning. Rovi Corporation uses these blank lines to implement its ACP technology.[74]

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 compensation.[75][76]

Additionally, some criticize the implementation of ACP as a violation of their fair use rights. A recently developed TV-streaming product called the Slingbox 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.[77]

Effect on research

The DMCA has affected the worldwide cryptography 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 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.[78] While working for ElcomSoft in Russia, he developed The Advanced eBook Processor, a software application allowing users to strip usage restriction information from restricted e-books, an activity legal in both Russia and the United States.[79] 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.[80] The DMCA has also been cited as chilling to legitimate users, such as students of cryptanalysis (including, in a well-known instance, Professor Edward Felten and students at Princeton),[81] and security consultants such as Niels Ferguson, who has declined to publish information about vulnerabilities he discovered in an Intel secure-computing scheme because of his concern about being arrested under the DMCA when he travels to the U.S.[82]

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.[83]

Reform and opposition

There have been several Congressional efforts to modify the Act. The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 was introduced to attempt to exempt non-infringing uses from the anti-circumvention clause.[84] However, the bill was not passed by Congress. In 2014, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act was passed, granting a specific exemption for unlocking cell phones, without affecting the other provisions of the DMCA.

Bills in 2015 included the Unlocking Technology Act of 2015,[85] and the Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act of 2015.[86] Republicans are considering legislation as well, as it becomes clear that Section 1201 is impeding the country's security. Facing escalating numbers of cyberthreats, cybersecurity researchers petitioned to conduct research to keep pace with evolving cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, stating: "Without such an exemption, security risks will lie unaddressed and the public will be substantially less safe."[87] The bills are intended to address the fact that section 1201 prevents circumvention even when doing so is not copyright infringement. In addition, the section requires exemption proponents to bear the burden of proof every time their exemption comes up for triennial review, instead of there being a presumption of renewal for an exemption whose importance was previously proven.

Rick Boucher, a congressman from Virginia, led previous efforts by introducing the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA).

A prominent bill related to the DMCA is the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (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 fifth anniversary of the DMCA, and several times afterwards, the Electronic Frontier Foundation documented harmful consequences of the anti-circumvention provisions.[88] They document that the DMCA:

  1. Stifles free expression, such as in its use against Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, Princeton Professor Edward Felten, and journalists;
  2. Jeopardizes fair use;
  3. Impedes competition, such as blocking aftermarket competition in toner cartridges, garage door openers, and enforcing walled gardens around the iPod;[89] and
  4. Interferes with computer intrusion laws.[90]

In July 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the US government alleging that Section 1201 violates the First Amendment.[91]

The effects of DMCA are compounted by the extension of copyright coverage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation strongly dislikes the effects of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, specifically the extension of time for the protection of creations.[92] They cite Rufus Pollock's study on optimal copyright term length. He found that copyright works best only when the amount of time protected is fourteen years.[93] The EFF also makes the argument that all the side effects of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act are negative for all parties except media companies. Therefore, it only helps the big media companies.[92]

See also

Proposed international law
DMCA anti-circumvention cases
DMCA notice-and-takedown issues
Economic concepts
Related US laws
Proposed US legislation
Shelved US Legislation
Related international law


  1. ^ DMCA p7.
  2. ^ United States Code (2010) Title 17 CHAPTER 5, COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND REMEDIES, Sec. 506 – Criminal offenses
  3. ^ Band, Jonathan; Katoh, Masanobu (2011). Interfaces on Trial 2.0. MIT Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-262-01500-4.
  4. ^ Cullins, Ashley Music Industry A-Listers Call on Congress to Reform Copyright Act Hollywood Reporter. April 5, 2016
  5. ^ 17 U.S.C. 101 (defining "Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works" as "Such works shall include works of artistic craftsmanship insofar as their form but not their mechanical or utilitarian aspects are concerned; the design of a useful article, as defined in this section, shall be considered a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.")
  6. ^ "Vessel Hull Design Protection Act of 1997 (H.R. 2696)", Statement of MaryBeth Peters, The Register of Copyrights, before the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary, Oct. 23, 1997 ("It is a long-held view of the Office that a gap exists in legal protection for the designs of useful articles. Existing bodies of federal intellectual property law do not provide appropriate and practical coverage for such designs, while state law is largely preempted in this area. Consequently, while considerable investment and creativity may go into the creation of innovative designs, they often can be copied with impunity.").
  7. ^ "Section 1201 Study". U.S. Copyright Office. 2015.
  8. ^ "Docket Browser: Request for Public Comments: Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Access to Copyrighted Works".
  9. ^ David Oster (March 4, 2016). "Initial Comments - David Oster".
  10. ^ Allan R. Adler; Benjamin S. Sheffner (April 1, 2016). "Reply Comments of: Association of American Publishers, Motion Picture Association of America, Recording Industry Association of America".
  11. ^ Dennis E. Meissner; Nancy Beaumont (February 18, 2016). "Comments Of The Society Of American Archivists".
  12. ^ Kyle Wiens (March 3, 2016). "Comments of iFixit".
  13. ^ Harley Geiger (March 3, 2016). "Rapid7, Bugcrowd, & HackerOne Joint Comments to US Copyright Office Section 1201 Study".
  14. ^ Andrew F. Sellars (March 3, 2016). "Comment of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School".
  15. ^ Steve Noble (February 25, 2016). "Initial Comments - Learning Disabilities Association of America".
  16. ^ Stanley Pierre-Louis; Ben Golant; Steven K. Englund (March 3, 2016). "Initial Comments - Entertainment Software Association".
  17. ^ Stanley Pierre-Louis; Ben Golant; Steven K. Englund (April 1, 2016). "Reply Comments - Entertainment Software Association".
  18. ^ Catherine R. Gellis (February 16, 2015). "Initial Comments - R Street Institute".
  19. ^ Emily Feltren (February 26, 2016). "Initial Comments - American Association of Law Libraries".
  20. ^ Christian Troncoso (March 3, 2016). "Initial Comments - BSA The Software Alliance".
  21. ^ Jessica L. Simmons; Steven J. Metalitz (March 2, 2016). "Reply Comments - Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers".
  22. ^ Jessica L. Simmons; Steven J. Metalitz (March 30, 2016). "Reply Comments - Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers".
  23. ^ Jonathan Band; Jessica Sebeok (March 6, 2016). "Comments Of The Association Of American Universities, The American Council On Education, The Association Of Public And Land-Grant Universities, And Educause On Section 1201 Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act".
  24. ^ Terry Hart (March 3, 2016). "Initial Comments - Copyright Alliance 1201 Study Comments final".
  25. ^ Keith Kupferschmid (April 1, 2016). "Reply Comments - Copyright Alliance 1201 Study".
  26. ^ Eugene H. Spafford; Paul Hyland (March 3, 2016). "Initial Comments - ACM US Public Policy Council".
  27. ^ Christopher A. Mohr (March 3, 2016). "Initial Comments of the Software and Information Industry Association".
  28. ^ Christopher A. Mohr (April 1, 2016). "Reply Comments of the Software and Information Industry Association".
  29. ^ Bruce H. Turnbull; David Jonathan Taylor (March 3, 2016). "Joint Comments Of The Dvd Copy Control Association And The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator, Llc".
  30. ^ Dave Green (March 3, 2016). "Initial Comments - Microsoft Corporation".
  31. ^ Morgan Reed (March 3, 2016). "ACT Comments re USCO Sec 1201 Study v4".
  32. ^ Raza Panjwani; Charles Duan; Kerry Sheehan (March 4, 2016). "Section 1201 Comments for Copyright Office".
  33. ^ Kerry Maeve Sheehan; Raza Panjwani; John Bergmayer; Charles Duan (April 2, 2016). "Reply Comments of Public Knowledge".
  34. ^ Jill Ingrassia (April 1, 2016). "Reply Comments of AAA (American Automobile Association)".
  35. ^ Section 1201 of Title 17: A report of the Register of Copyrights - United States Copyright Office, June 2017
  36. ^ "Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works". United States Copyright Office. October 27, 2000.
  37. ^ "Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works". United States Copyright Office. October 28, 2003.
  38. ^ "Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works". United States Copyright Office. November 27, 2006.
  39. ^ "Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works". United States Copyright Office. July 26, 2010.
  40. ^ "Federal Register | Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-04. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  41. ^ "Federal Register | Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies". Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  42. ^ "Linking to infringing content is probably illegal in the US". WebTVWire. 2006-09-12. Retrieved 2006-10-12.
  43. ^ Sandoval, Greg (2009-08-11). "RealNetworks loses critical ruling in RealDVD case". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  44. ^ "Viacom sues Google over YouTube clips". 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  45. ^ Viacom Int'l Inc., et al., v. YouTube, Inc., et al., Nos. 07-Civ-2103 (LLS), 07-Civ-3582 (LLS) Opinion and Order (S.D.N.Y. June 24, 2010).
  46. ^ Sandoval, Greg (June 23, 2010). "Google defeats Viacom in landmark copyright case". cnet news. U.S. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  47. ^ Davis, Wendy (April 6, 2012). "Appeals Court Gives Viacom Second Shot at YouTube". U.S. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  48. ^ Delaney, Kevin J. (June 29, 2006). "Veoh Faces Copyright Suit, A Test of Web Video". The Wall Street Journal.
  49. ^ Ali, Rafat (2006-06-28). "Test For Web Video? Veoh Faces Copyright Suit". paidContent. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  50. ^ August 27th, 2008 (2008-08-27). "Transcoding Is Not A Crime, Says Court In Veoh Porn Case". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  51. ^ "Content sharing company Qlipso buys Veoh" (Apr 9, 2010) Athena Information Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  52. ^ "UMG v. Veoh: victory has never been so pyrrhic" (Dec 22, 2011) Engadget, Newstex
  53. ^ Cheng, Jacqui (2007-09-13). "Autodesk sued for $10 million after invoking DMCA to stop eBay resales". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  54. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (2008-05-23). "Court smacks Autodesk, affirms right to sell used software". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  55. ^ Anderson, Nate (2010-09-10). "No, you don't own it: Court upholds EULAs, threatens digital resale". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  56. ^ Egelko, Bob (August 20, 2008). "Woman can sue over YouTube clip de-posting". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  57. ^ Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.
  58. ^ Grady, John F. (27 July 2011). "Memorandum opinion" (PDF). Court rule in favour of plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  59. ^ Samuels, Julie P.; Higgins, Parker (6 August 2012). "myVidster: A Victory for Innovation and a Vote for Sensible Copyright Law". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  60. ^ Ouellette v. Viacom, Dist. Court, D. Montana (2011)
  61. ^ Sony follows up, officially sues Geohot and fail0verflow over PS3 jailbreak. Nilay Patel, Engadget (2011-01-12). Retrieved on 2011-02-16.
  62. ^ "Sony/Hotz settlement details surface".
  63. ^ "Sony and PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz settle out of court".
  64. ^ Van der Sar, Ernesto. "WordPress Wins $25,000 From DMCA Takedown Abuser",, March 5, 2015
  65. ^ Van der Sar, Ernesto (April 1, 2016). "Music Industry: DMCA Copyright Law is Obsolete and Harmful". TorrentFreak.
  66. ^ Carolyn Dalton; Antoine Aubert (6 March 2009). "Google submission on TCF Draft ISP Copyright Code of Practice". Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  67. ^ Keall, Chris (16 March 2009). "Google piles into S92". National Business Review. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  68. ^ Laura Quilter and Jennifer Urban (2005). "Efficient Process or 'Chilling Effects'? Takedown Notices Under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Summary Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  69. ^ "Google submission hammers section 92A". New Zealand PCWorld. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  70. ^ Cobia, Jeffrey (2008). "The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown Notice Procedure: Misuses, Abuses, and Shortcomings of the Process". Minnesota Journal of Law Science & Technology. 1: 391–393 – via Hein Online.
  71. ^ Researchers Could Have Uncovered Volkswagen's Emissions Cheat If Not Hindered by the DMCA | Electronic Frontier Foundation
  72. ^ Wired
  73. ^ "ACP".
  74. ^ "Vertical blanking interval".
  75. ^ "Analog Off". Archived from the original on 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  76. ^ "Another DMCA Misuse: Macrovision v. Sima". Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  77. ^ "Analog Hole". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  78. ^ "First Indictment Under Digital Millennium Copyright Act Returned Against Russian National". Archived from the original on October 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  79. ^ "Adobe FAQ: ElcomSoft legal background". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  80. ^ Farhad Manjoo (2001-08-07). "Sklyarov: A Huge Sigh of Release". Archived from the original on 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  81. ^ RIAA challenges SDMI attack 2002-01-07, Retrieved on 2007-02-26
  82. ^ Ann Harrison (2001-08-13). "Video crypto standard cracked?". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  83. ^ "Jacobsen v Katzer: Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgement and Denying Defendants Motion for Partial Summary Judgement" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-29.
  84. ^ Couts, Andrew (9 May 2013). "Awesome new bill legalizes cell phone unlocking, 'fixes' the DMCA". Digital Trends Newsletter. Designtechnica Corporation. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013.
  85. ^
  86. ^
  87. ^
  88. ^ "Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years under the DMCA | Electronic Frontier Foundation". 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  89. ^ OdioWorks v. Apple
  90. ^ "Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years under the DMCA". Electronic Frontier Foundation. March 2010.
  91. ^ EFF sues US government to void 'onerous' copyright rules
  92. ^ a b Lunney, Glynn S. (2001). "The Death of Copyright: Digital Technology, Private Copying, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act". Virginia Law Review. 87 (5): 813–920. doi:10.2307/1073857. JSTOR 1073857.
  93. ^ Pollock, Rufus (June 15, 2009). "Forever Minus a Day? Calculating Optimal Copyright Term" (PDF).
  94. ^ Iván Vargas Chaves. Evolución de la Responsabilidad Civil en Internet: Del Common Law al Derecho Comunitario Europeo. In: Reflexiones sobre Derecho Privado Patrimonial - Vol. II, University of Salamanca, Spain 2012. ISBN 978-84-940144-1-3 (Book Chapter), p. 565.

Further reading

External links

Works related to Digital Millennium Copyright Act at Wikisource

321 Studios v. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc.

321 Studios v. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc., 307 F. Supp. 2d 1085 (N.D. Cal. 2004), is a district court case brought by 321 Studios seeking declaratory judgment from the court that their DVD ripping software, i.e. DVD Copy Plus and DVD X Copy do not violate the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), or, in the alternative, that the DMCA is unconstitutional because Congress exceeded its enumerated powers, these provisions are unconstitutionally vague and/or violate the First Amendment.

The District Court for the Northern District of California rejected 321 Studios' claims for declaratory relief, holding that both DVD Copy Plus and DVD-X Copy violated the DMCA and that the DMCA was not unconstitutional. Simultaneously, the court granted an injunction to enjoin 321 Studios from manufacturing, distributing, or otherwise trafficking in any type of DVD circumvention software.

Arista Records, LLC v. Launch Media, Inc

Arista Records, LLC v. LAUNCH Media, Inc., 578 F.3d 148 (2d Cir. N.Y. 2009), is a legal case brought by Arista Records, LLC, Bad Boy Records, BMG Music, and Zomba Recording LLC (collectively, "BMG") alleging that the webcasting service provided by LAUNCH Media, Inc. ("Launch") willfully infringed BMG’s sound recording copyrights. The lawsuit concerns the scope of the statutory term “interactive service” codified in 17 U.S.C. § 114, as amended by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 ("DMCA"). If the webcasting service is an interactive service, Launch would be required to pay individual licensing fees to BMG’s sound recording copyright holders; otherwise, Launch only need to pay “a statutory licensing fee set by the Copyright Royalty Board.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the trial court's judgment and ruled in favor of the Launch, finding that the webcasting service provided by Launch does not fall within the scope of the definition of an interactive service as a matter of law.

Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc.

The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc., 381 F.3d 1178 (Fed. Cir. 2004) 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 (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(2), in the context of two competing universal garage door opener companies. It discusses the statutory structure and legislative history of the DMCA to help clarify the intent of the anti-circumvention provisions and decide who holds the burden of proof. It expresses that the statute creates a cause of action for liability and does not create a property right, and holds that as Chamberlain had alleged that Skylink was in violation of the anti-trafficking provision, it had the burden to prove and failed to show that access was unauthorized and its rights were infringed under the Copyright Act. As Chamberlain incorrectly argued that Skylink had the burden of proof and failed to prove their claim, the court upheld summary judgment in favor of Skylink.

DVD Copy Control Ass'n, Inc. v. Kaleidescape, Inc.

DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. v. Kaleidescape, Inc., 176 Cal. App. 4th 697 is a legal case heard by the California Court of Appeal concerning breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. It discusses incorporation by reference regarding a supplemental document that was not part of the written license agreement between the parties. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's judgment and ruled in favor of the plaintiff (DVD Copy Control Association), finding that defendant was bound to the entire contract, including the supplemental document.

This case is also of interest in the realm of copyright law due to its tangential relationship to the issues of fair use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act

The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA) was 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 deceptive labeling practices. It would also allow manufacturers to innovate in hardware designs and allow consumers to treat CDs as they have historically been able to treat them.

The DMCRA bill was introduced to the United States House of Representatives on January 7, 2003 as H. R. 107 by Rick Boucher. The bill was co-sponsored by John Doolittle, Spencer Bachus and Patrick J. Kennedy.

The bill was reintroduced into Congress once again on March 9, 2005 as H. R. 1201, the 'Digital Media Consumers Rights Act of 2005'. The 2005 bill's original co-sponsors were John Doolittle, and Joe Barton.

Some provisions of the bill were incorporated into the FAIR USE Act of 2007.

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 Power Ventures Inc., a third-party platform, collected user information from Facebook and displayed it on their own website. Facebook claimed violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA"), and the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act. According to Facebook, Power Ventures Inc. made copies of Facebook's website during the process of extracting user information. Facebook argued that this process causes both direct and indirect copyright infringement. In addition, Facebook alleged this process constitutes a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). Finally, Facebook also asserted claims of both state and federal trademark infringement, as well as a claim under California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL").

Power Ventures Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the case (or in the alternative, a motion for a more definite statement), but Judge Fogel denied the motion. In a counter-claim, Power Ventures Inc. alleged that Facebook engaged in monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior by placing restraints on their ability to manipulate users' Facebook data even when their consent was given.

Field v. Google, Inc.

Field v. Google, Inc., 412 F.Supp. 2d 1106 (D. Nev. 2006) is a case where Google Inc. successfully defended a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Field argued that Google infringed his exclusive right to reproduce his copyrighted works when it "cached" his website and made a copy of it available on its search engine. Google raised multiple defenses: fair use, implied license, estoppel, and Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor protection. The court granted Google's motion for summary judgment and denied Field's motion for summary judgment.

Illegal prime

An illegal prime is a prime number that represents information whose possession or distribution is forbidden in some legal jurisdictions. One of the first illegal primes was found in 2001. When interpreted in a particular way, it describes a computer program that bypasses the digital rights management scheme used on DVDs. Distribution of such a program in the United States is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. An illegal prime is a kind of illegal number.

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 2015), is a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, affirming the ruling in 2008 of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, holding that copyright holders must consider fair use in good faith before issuing a takedown notice for content posted on the Internet.Stephanie Lenz posted on YouTube a home video of her child dancing to Prince's song "Let's Go Crazy". Universal Music Corporation (Universal) sent YouTube a takedown notice pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claiming that Lenz's video violated their copyright in the "Let's Go Crazy" song.

Lenz claimed fair use of the copyrighted material and sued Universal for misrepresentation of a DMCA claim. In a decision rejecting a motion to dismiss the misrepresentation claim, the district court held that Universal must consider fair use when filing a takedown notice, but noted that to prevail a plaintiff would need to show bad faith by a rights holder.


Lumen can refer to:

Lumen (unit), the SI unit of luminous flux

Lumen (anatomy), the cavity or channel within a tubular structure

Thylakoid lumen, the inner membrane space of the chloroplast

Phenobarbital (trade name)

Lumen (website), a database of Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests

Lumen (branding agency), a design and branding company headquartered in Milan, Italy

141 Lumen, an asteroid

Lumen (band), a Russian rock band

Lumen Martin Winter (1908–1982), American artist

Lumen Pierce, a fictional character in the television series Dexter

Lumen Prize, an annual digital art award

USS Lumen (AKA-30), a US Navy ship

Lumen (website)

Lumen, formerly Chilling Effects, is a collaborative archive created by Wendy Seltzer and founded along with several law school clinics and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to protect lawful online activity from legal threats. Lumen is a "project" of the Berkman Klein Center. Its website, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, allows recipients of cease-and-desist notices to submit them to the site and receive information about their legal rights and responsibilities.

Operation Clambake

Operation Clambake, also referred to by its domain name,, is a website and Norway-based non-profit organization, launched in 1996, founded by Andreas Heldal-Lund, that publishes criticism of the Church of Scientology. It is owned and maintained by Andreas Heldal-Lund, who has stated that he supports the rights of all people to practice Scientology or any religion. Operation Clambake has referred to the Church of Scientology as "a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion". The website includes texts of petitions, news articles, exposés, and primary source documents. The site has been ranked as high as the second spot in Google searches for the term "Scientology".The term for the organization refers both to a traditional clam bake, as well as the notion from L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology: A History of Man that humans follow a "genetic line" which includes clams, and that the psychological problems afflicting humans are impacted by past experiences. The domain name is a reference to the character Xenu from secretive "OT III" Scientology documents.

In 1996, the site was one of the first locations on the internet to host secret Scientology documents pertaining to Xenu and OT III. Shortly thereafter, the Church of Scientology attempted to get this material removed from Operation Clambake and other internet sites, through letters written by counsel, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. After receiving a DMCA takedown notice, Google removed many pages from its indexes, which decreased the site's page rank in searches for "Scientology". This inspired Google to contribute to the Chilling Effects archive, informing others about material missing from Google indexes due to DMCA takedown notices and other legal threats.

Operation Clambake has been consulted by news media organizations and other groups for information on Scientology and related organizations. Dateline NBC cited the organization in a 1998 investigative journalism piece, as have other publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Associated Press. During the Spring 2002 semester, was included as required reading in a New York University course on "Copyright and Censorship", and in 2003 webmaster Andreas Heldal-Lund received the 2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award by the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the US, an organization opposed to the Church of Scientology.

Ouellette v. Viacom International Inc.

Ouellette v. Viacom, CV 10–133–M–DWM–JCL; 2011 WL 1882780, found the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) did not create liability for service providers that take down non-infringing works (works having a fair use defense to copyright infringement). This case limited the claims that can be filed against service providers by establishing immunity for service providers' takedown of fair use material, at least from grounds under the DMCA. The court left open whether another "independent basis of liability" could serve as legal grounds for an inappropriate takedown. Thus, service providers can rest easier knowing that they do not have to do a fair use analysis of content suspected of infringing copyright.

The court's opinion was also noteworthy in its treatment of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The court held that online service providers would not be held liable for failure to provide services for disabled persons unless the company maintained a physical structure equivalent to the website. The order enforcing this magistrate judge's determination came out the same day as Young v. Facebook on May 17, 2011. In oddly parallel decisions, each court found that the service providers (Myspace, YouTube, and Facebook) were not places of public accommodation, so they did not have to meet the requirements of the ADA. Thus, a company does not have to worry about its website being accessible to the disabled, unless its online business replicates a physical space.

RealNetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Ass'n, Inc.

RealNetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc., 641 F. Supp. 2d 913 (2009), is a United States District Court case involving RealNetworks, the movie studios and DVD Copy Control Association regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claims on the manufacturing and distribution of RealDVD, and a breach of license agreement. The district court concluded that RealNetworks violated the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of the DMCA when the DVD copying software RealDVD bypasses the copy protection technologies of DVD.

This lawsuit is one of the many legal actions taken by the movie studios in an attempt to restrict the copying of DVDs.

Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. v. Hotz

SCEA v. Hotz was a lawsuit in the United States by Sony Computer Entertainment of America against George Hotz and associates of the group fail0verflow for jailbreaking and reverse engineering the PlayStation 3.

United States v. Elcom Ltd.

United States v. ElcomSoft and Dmitry Sklyarov was a 2001–2002 criminal case in which Dmitry Sklyarov and his employer ElcomSoft were charged with alleged violation of the DMCA. The case raised some concerns of civil rights and legal process in the United States, and ended in the charges against Sklyarov dropped and Elcomsoft ruled not guilty under the applicable jurisdiction.

Charges laid in the case were trafficking in, and offering to the public, a software program that could circumvent technological protections on copyrighted material, in violation of Section 1201(b)(1)(A)&(C) of Title 17 of the United States Code (the Copyright Acts, including most of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), as well as Sections 2 (Aiding and Abetting) and 371 (Conspiracy) of Title 18, Part I, of the United States Code (the Federal Criminal Code).

Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes

Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes was the first test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 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 Content Scramble System (a DRM scheme commonly used to protect DVDs.) It was produced and released without a license from DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), the trade organization responsible for DVD copy protection. DeCSS was released in October 1999 on LiViD, a mailing list focused on producing programming tools and software libraries relevant to DVD use on Linux. The motion picture industry became aware of the existence of DeCSS later that same month and began litigation on a number of fronts.

Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc.

Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., No. 07 Civ. 2103, is a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case in which Viacom sued YouTube, a video-sharing site owned by Google, alleging that YouTube had engaged in "brazen" and "massive" copyright infringement by allowing users to upload and view hundreds of thousands of videos owned by Viacom without permission. A motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal was filed by Google and was granted in 2010 on the grounds that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "safe harbor" provisions shielded Google from Viacom's copyright infringement claims. In 2012, on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, it was overturned in part. On April 18, 2013, District Judge Stanton again granted summary judgment in favor of defendant YouTube. An appeal was begun, but the parties settled in March 2014.

YouTube copyright strike

A YouTube copyright strike is a copyright policing practice used by YouTube for the purpose of managing copyright infringement and complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the basis for the design of the YouTube copyright strike system. For YouTube to retain DMCA safe harbor protection, it must respond to copyright infringement claims with a notice and take down process. YouTube's own practice is to issue a "YouTube copyright strike" on the user accused of copyright infringement. When a YouTube user has three copyright strikes, YouTube terminates that user's YouTube channel, removes all of their videos from that user's YouTube channel, and prohibits that user from creating another YouTube channel.YouTube assigns strikes based on reports of copyright violations from bots.Some users have expressed concern that the strike process is unfair to users. The complaint is that the system assumes guilt of YouTube users and takes the side of copyright holders even when no infringement has occurred.YouTube and Nintendo were criticised by Cory Doctorow, a writer for the blog Boing Boing, due to them reportedly treating video game reviewers unfairly by threatening them with strikes.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.