What is the DMCA, And Why is it Important?

Friday, 23 August 2019

What is the DMCA, And Why is it Important?

Posted by Madhu Gupta
The DMCA stands the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. It was created to bring together intellectual property treaties that were agreed upon internationally through the WIPO or World Intellectual Property Organization. 
What is the DMCA
WIPO is a U.N. body that has the mandate to handle intellectual property universally.  The core purpose of the DMCA is to provide clarity on copyright issues in the face of changing technologies. You can learn more about the DMCA on DMCAAgentservice.com/. With that background in mind, let’s look into some of the reasons why DMCA is important.

1. It Protects content creators and manufacturers

We live in a globalized world, and without the right rules in place, companies that depend heavily on intellectual property would suffer. That’s because, people in other nations would replicate their technologies with no regard to the source, or the investment that went into such technologies. 

While this happens even with DMCA and WIPO in place, it would be worse. For context., Title one of the DMCA anti-circumvention – 17 U.S.C. 1201 makes it illegal for someone to break security on copyrighted technologies to achieve similar results. This is very protective to companies in multiple industries. For instance, in the car industry, it helps protect against tampering and replication of computerized engine technologies by rivals.

2. It offers clarity in copyright infringement cases

While copyright protection is a noble idea, without the right guidelines, it can be misused. DMCA takes this into account and offers clarity on matters of copyright infringement. The DMCA takes care of these issues in title 2, also known as the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation. 

Under this title, there is something called the safe harbor, which offers clarity on what constitutes copyright infringement. For context, assuming you run a website or app that allows people to upload content. If your users upload copyrighted content, under this title, you would not be legally liable for the infringement. 

It is the person who did the upload that would be held responsible. This clarity is essential because it eliminates the need for unnecessary litigation, while at the same time, giving entrepreneurs the space to innovate.

3. It made electronics repair cheaper and more efficient

Under Title 3 of the DMCA – Computer maintenance competition assurance act, computer repair companies are allowed to make limited copies of copyright-protected code when making repairs. This has helped the repairs business a lot. 

That’s because, before this law, manufacturers could sue a repair shop for infringing on their copyrights. Getting a computer repaired was a complicated and near impossible process.

It is a law that has helped advance copyright issues in the internet age. Nonetheless, it has its controversies, mainly emanating from the fact that it has not been amended in a long time. The internet has evolved so fast that other issues such as privacy now take center stage. 

This may explain why, outside the U.S., more radical rules are coming up. For instance, in the E.U., the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is more comprehensive on privacy issues. However, the DMCA still serves its purpose quite well.

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