Responsive. Diligent. Effective.

How businesses can use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Intellectual Property

For businesses that have intellectual property (and all businesses do), your copyrighted material is protected by law, even in the Wild West of the Internet. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a pivotal piece of legislation that governs the relationship between copyright and the Internet. It offers protections for copyrighted works in the digital realm, including intellectual property owned by businesses.

Understanding the DMCA

Enacted in 1998, the DMCA is a U.S. copyright law that broadens copyright protections while limiting the liability of online service providers for infringement conducted by their users. But, how does one use the DMCA to protect their copyrighted materials?

Using the DMCA

Businesses can leverage the DMCA in several key ways to protect their copyrighted content. First, the DMCA encourages digital distribution by providing legal safeguards against unauthorized access to copyrighted materials. This is done through the Notice-and-Takedown System.

Websites have a Notice-and-Takedown System in place. This mechanism allows copyright holders to notify online service providers about infringing content, who then must remove those copyrighted materials. The act also makes it illegal to provide false copyright management information or to alter such information on a work.

Practical steps for businesses

To effectively use the DMCA, businesses should follow these steps. Monitor the internet for infringement. This means regularly checking for unauthorized use of copyrighted materials. If you find infringement online, send a takedown notice to the service provider hosting the infringing content. Methods such as encryption and passwords can protect digital content from unauthorized access.

The DMCA offers valuable tools for businesses to protect their intellectual property online. By understanding and effectively using its provisions, New York businesses can safeguard their copyrighted works against infringement.