Material presented here is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Specific legal questions pertaining to Eastern Michigan University should be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act1 (DMCA) was signed into law by President Clinton on October 28, 1998. The DMCA is a dramatic change to copyright law in that it updates the copyright law for the digital environment. It also implements two 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization treaties.

Two parts of the DMCA are of particular importance to EMU: the limitations on infringement liability for "service providers," and the prohibitions on circumvention of technological protection measures. (TPMs)

Limitation on Infringement Liability for "Service Providers"

Title II of the DMCA (section 512 of the Copyright Act, as amended, enacted on November 3, 1998) establishes certain limitations of copyright infringement liability for online service providers (OSPs). The DMCA provides protection from liability if certain actions are taken by the university and also provides takedown procedures for materials on our web servers.

To be protected under the DMCA Act we have registered an agent with the Copyright Office. For our polcies go to:

Multimedia Fair Use Guidelines

The act provides guidelines for use of multimedia materials, including:

Video Up to 10% or 3 minutes (whichever is less)
Audio Up to 10% or 30 seconds (whichever is less)
Text Up to 10% or 1000 words (whichever is less)
Poetry Up to 250 words (or entire poem if work is less than 250 words)
Images Up to 5 complete images from one artist or 15 from a single collected work

 Review full act for more information.


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Julia Nims
Subjects: History, Technology