Congress To Gut DMCA? What Does This Mean?

Since the invention of the internet, people have uploaded millions of gigabytes of digital content. Digital content includes games, movies, music, and much more. The internet needed laws that would safeguard content creators from theft. As such, congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998. The provisions of DMCA protect content creators from copyright violators who may post their work online without their consent. DMCA provides a process that content creators can use to have violators of their legally protected work from a website. The internet is changing rapidly. Lawmakers now feel that DMCA is not keeping up with this pace. As such, congress plans to make changes to the DMCA. Read on to discover what this means.

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Effect on Webmasters and Online Service Providers.

The DMCA protects webmasters, and online service providers such as email services and forums from consequences of copyright violations committed by their users and customers. The DCMA shields webmasters and online service providers because most of them host content for others, and they may not monitor every content submitted by other internet users. For example, YouTube may not track every video that is uploaded. As such, the DCMA protects them from liability if someone uploads infringing content. When issued with a notification, the service provider removes the infringing material. Without the DMCA, webmasters may choose not to remove infringing content. Webmasters and online service providers may also violate copyright laws indirectly.

Collecting Information.

Most people argue that the most significant problem with the current DMCA is how the DMCA agents gather information. These people add that the DMCA agent listings are also outdated. Most companies that comply with DMCA are protected by their statute post contacts instead of paying for a listing in the copyright office database. As such, the Copyright Office needs to look for another way. An online-only system may be a faster way. The Copyright Office should also reduce the charges of registering with a DMCA agent.

DMCA outside the USA.

When someone violates copyright laws, the first thing is to issue them with a DMCA notice. However, there are concerns about whether the DMCA will work if the thief is outside the USA. Another situation is when you live outside the USA, and someone in the US steals your content. A DMCA is a notice that you send requesting the thief to pull down the content they have taken from you. If they comply, it ends there. If they don’t, then you can use the available legal channels to make them comply. As such, the DMCA may be used outside the USA. However, the process may be expensive and lengthy. The best thing to do in this case is to contact the site owner. If you do not get a response or he/she refuses to comply, then you can consult a lawyer.

DMCA is a powerful tool that can protect your content. Even as congress tries to fill the gaps left by the DMCA, they should draft laws that benefit internet users. Click here to find out more about DCMA.




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