• John J. Leppler, Esq.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Protections awarded to Internet Service Providers under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal statute that criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works of “authorship.” The DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement by the Internet, specifically Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Who are considered Internet Service Providers (ISPs) under the Digital Millenum Copyright Act (DMCA)?

An Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) is defined under §512(k)(1)(A) of the DMCA as “an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s choosing, without modification of the content of the material as sent or received.” An ISP is a provider of “online services or network access, or the operator of facilities.” Courts have considered entities who is an “ISP” under the DMCA broadly. . To be considered an ISP under the DMCA, the internet service provider must engage in the following activities; (1) transitory communication; (2) system caching; (3) storage of information on systems or networks at the direction of users; and (4) information location tools.[1]

If the internet service provider engages in these four activities, the internet service provider is considered an ISP under the DMCA, and is awarded greater protection from copyright infringement. However, under the DMCA, the ISP then must; (1) adopt and reasonably implement a policy of terminating in appropriate circumstances the accounts of subscribers who are repeat infringers; and (2) accommodate and not interfere with ‘standard technical measures’. If the ISP fails to do these two things, they violated the DMCA and

Regardless of whether or not the ISP violated the DMCA, an ISP may have infringed on your copyrighted work and have gotten away with this unlawful activity. If you feel an Internet Service Provider infringed on your copyrighted work, please call use at 410-727-7555 for a private consultation.

[1] See Wilse, Jennett supra Note 1 at 16. See also The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998: U.S. Copyright Office Summary,U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE.

(Dec. 1998), http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf.

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