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Protection and Prosecution of Intellectual Property Rights

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal law that addresses copyright issues that arise from the use of new technologies and the Internet. These include digital rights management (ways to stop infringement), certain rights and privileges (safe havens), and protection of Internet ISPs.

The DMCA has been praised for making many needed changes to copyright law, but it has also been increasingly criticized for being overprotective in a number of ways, including limiting consumers’ ability to use products that they understand.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed Public Law 105-30, which brought the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty of 1996 into the laws of the United States.

It combines four bills and other amendments to copyright law to fill loopholes in US law that the WIPO Copyright Treaty addressed. Some of the most important revisions in the DMCA increased protections against new methods of infringing copyrighted works, especially those through the internet.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) implementation of the WIPO Copyright Act of 1998 added Title 12 of the Copyright Act to the system of protection and copyright management. While US copyright law may comply with most of the provisions of the WIPO treaties, it does not address technological measures that help deter copyright infringement or manage rights of authors in the system.

The DMCA first decided to classify the circumvention of technological measures to obtain copyrighted works as infringement and then to criminalize trade in equipment designed to circumvent technological measures to obtain works or to infringe copyright. There are several exceptions upon request, as well as a three-year exemption from the Library of Congress for categories of copyrighted works.

The Network Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act adds Section 512 to copyright law, providing four different safe harbors for ISPs. Service Provider will not be liable for monetary damages for copyright infringement if Service Provider’s conduct meets any of the specified safe harbor requirements, although a future injunction may be issued to stop the infringement. The safe harbor of user information maintained in the service provider’s system includes a deletion clause whereby the service provider deletes the information after receiving adequate notice from the infringing copyright owner and reinstates the copyright claim if the user objects to the deletion after a sufficient time. infringement claims.

When most people refer to the DMCA, they refer to one or both provisions. But it contains many other things, some of which are not even related to digital information or copyright. The Vessel Hull Design Protection Act adds Chapter 13 to Section 17, which, while not a copyright requirement, gives the Copyright Office the ability to protect “original designs of useful materials’ (where ‘useful materials’ is limited to structures).

With the enactment of the Computer Maintenance Competency Assurance Act, the DMCA also expanded Section 117 of the Copyright Act to allow third-party maintenance organizations to use software licensed to owners or lessees of computer equipment in their maintenance activities, overturning the Ninth Circuit’s 1993 decision in MAI v. Peak.

The DMCA also includes several changes to copyright law, including updating the Section 108 exemption for libraries and archives.

All that means is that this is a complex system to navigate. Our attorneys are well-equipped so that you don’t have to.

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