If you are associated with any kind of online business, or you are an owner of the online business, you must be aware of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But how many of you exactly know what the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is in reality? If you are not aware of it yet, just read below, as we are here to share with you the details related to it. We buy and sell things on the internet; we share different pictures and videos with each other over the internet. And we even use graphics or content posted by others over the internet. But you should know that whether it is a content, it is a video, it is a picture, or it is any object, they all have an owner. The owner of the content or the objects or other such things owns the copyright to that particular content. Anyone using the copyright content without seeking permission is not permissible and it is said to be copyright infringement.
Many of us without thinking makes use of the copyright content. We sometimes post it on our social media account or our website. This is very commonly found with different social media sites as well as adult sites. Hookup apps that are bait and switch will often use content that is not original in hopes of enticing visitors. Even others may also make use of our content by posting it on their account or website. All these copyright-related problems are handled by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Let’s know in detail about this act.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The DMCA or the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed in the year 1998 in the month of October in the United States. This act was signed by then-President Bill Clinton. The act was made in favor of e-commerce so that it can grow and develop easily while protecting intellectual property rights. The existing copyright laws were expanded by the DMCA in 1988 to address all the issues that are associated with digital media and the internet. To understand it better you should also know about the five different sections of the DMCA which we have mentioned below. The five titles are:
Title I – This title leads to the implementation of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 1996 treaties. It mentions that it is unlawful to produce or distribute any kind of products, any services, or any technologies which are used to put the technological measure aside. And are which are made to control or gain access to any kind of copyrighted work, for examples encryptions or passwords.
Title II – It provides safe harbors to all the internet service providers who have limited liability towards any type of copyright infringement. This helps in saving the internet service providers from paying damage in case of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Title III – Under this title, a person or organization is exempted from the copyright infringement liability for copying the computer programs for different purposes like repairing, troubleshooting, or diagnosis. It allows one to reinstall the computer software copy in their computer system if they legally own the software or the application.
Title IV – This title covers different topics or you can miscellaneous provisions. Like granting an exception to make recordings for the transmissions by the radio broadcasters, ephemeral recordings, for libraries which have kept sound recording which uses sound recordings, and for transferring the rights to motion pictures.
Title V – This title covers the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act which means creating new or improvise protection laws for the Vessel Hull Designs.
What to do to defend the copyrighted content?
In case, if you have posted any design or any products or any written content on your website or any other e-commerce websites. And if one sudden day, you find that someone else is using your content like it, they are making use of your design, or written content without any changes, in that case, you can file a DMCA Takedown. By filing the DMCA Takedown, you will be able to defend your copyrighted content, especially, when someone is making money or profit out of it. To file the DMCA takedown, there are a few details which you may require. The information or details required are:
- Contact Information – Your contact information should be there in your takedown notice so that the OSP’s DMCA Agent can contact you or can follow up easily. You need to mention your name, your mailing address, your email address, your contact number, or any other such thing which they may require to contact you.
- Identifying the Infringed Work – You should be able to provide the details about the infringed work to the OSP. So, first of all, check and identify the infringed work for which you are filing this takedown notice. Mention the web address or the location of the infringed work in the notice, so that you can notify the OSP. If you find your work on different sites which means multiple infringements, in that case, mention the details about all the infringed work in the same list including their locations.
- Good-Faith Statement – Write a good-faith statement in your notice stating that you believe that the work or the material or the design which you have recognized is infringed on your owner’s copyright.
- Affirmation – Also, write an affirmation statement, stating that your claim is right and accurate. And you are the owner of the infringed work.
- Signature – Either sign this takedown notice by yourself or get it signed from the authorized agent who is representing you.
Penalties under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
If a person or an organization is found violating the DMCA rules, they have to bear the consequences of it. The consequences include both penalties that are civil penalties and criminal penalties. In the civil penalty, one need to pay for the damages. Whereas in the criminal penalty, one need to pay fine or have to face imprisonment. In the case of a criminal penalty, one may have to face imprisonment for around 5 years also. And may have to pay the fine of around $500,000 also.
It is not necessary that one has to face criminal charges or penalty. As criminal penalty is charged in case of wilful infringement. This means that the person has committed it on purpose or the person has the intent to commit it. With the help of the DMCA, the registered copyright owners are allowed to file the copyright infringement lawsuit. The infringement lawsuit is filed in Federal Court. The copyright owner can receive both the statutory and actual damages if they are successful at trial.