Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is legislation enacted by the United States Congress in October 1998 that made major changes to the US Copyright Act. These changes were necessary in part to bring US Copyright law into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances Phonograms Treaty. The DMCA also strengthened the legal protection of intellectual property rights in the wake of emerging new information communication technologies.
Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and File Sharing at Ozarka College
Downloading and sharing copyrighted material online without permission is unethical and illegal. Ozarka College is dedicated to addressing and resolving issues of copyright infringement, as well as implementing preventative measures and policies to ensure proper use of peer-to-peer (P2P) applications on the campus network.
In addition to sending complaints to Ozarka, copyright owners may also take direct legal action against alleged infringers, and subpoena the college for information about people sharing files. The No Electronic Theft (NET) Act provides for serious criminal penalties, including a fine of up to $250,000 and a potential jail sentence. Lack of knowledge about copyright infringement laws will not excuse one from legal consequences, or from action by the college. It is your responsibility to be aware of the legality of your actions.
How do I know what is legal and what is not when it comes to copying music?
Here is the bottom line: If you distribute copyrighted music without authorization from the copyright owner, you are breaking the law. Distribution can mean anything from "sharing" music files on the Internet to burning multiple copies of copyrighted music onto blank CD-Rs.
Is it illegal to upload music onto the Internet even if I don’t charge for it?
Yes, if the music is protected by copyright and you do not have the copyright holder’s permission. U.S. copyright law prohibits the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted creative work whether or not you charge money for it.
If all I do is download music files, am I still breaking the law?
Yes, if the person or network you are downloading from does not have the copyright holder’s permission. Peer-to-peer systems like KaZaa, Grokster, Gnutella, LimeWire, Morpheus, WinMX, Aimster, and Bearshare have music that is not legal for you to download.
What if I upload or download music to or from a server that is based outside of the U.S.?
If you are in the United States, U.S. law applies to you regardless of where the server may be located.
What if I download or upload poor-quality recordings?
The law prohibits unauthorized copying and/or distribution of digital recordings that are recognizable copies of copyrighted work. The quality of the recordings does not matter.
If I bought the CD, is it okay to make copies of it?
It is illegal to copy a CD for use by someone other than the original purchaser. This means it is illegal to loan a friend a CD for them to copy, and it is illegal for you to make mixed CDs and distribute them to your friends as well.
How do I know if something is copyrighted?
When you buy music legally, there is usually a copyright mark somewhere on the product. Stolen music generally doesn’t bear a copyright mark or warning. Either way, the copyright law still applies. A copyrighted creative work does not have to be marked as such to be protected by law.
Where can I legally download music?
Vist the Center for Copyright Information