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An Overview Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Of 1998

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.187.1 - 6.187.6

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Salvatore Marsico

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793


Salvatore A. Marsico Penn State University


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) supplements the Copyright Act of the United States. The DMCA is the enabling legislation required to implement two international treaties of 1996; namely, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright Treaty and the World Intellectual Property Organization Performances and Phonograms Treaty. These treaties provide protection of copyrighted works on an international level. Participating countries must give equal protection to citizens of their country as well as to citizens of participating member countries. In addition, the DMCA addresses other copyright related issues. The objective of this article is to address the impact of the DMCA on educational institutions. The analysis focuses on the movement toward webcasting of material by institutions and their faculty. More specifically, as more faculty utilized the capability of the Internet a possibility arises that copyrighted material is broadcast without the copyright owner’s permission. And the age-old question of whether an exception exists must be answered. Does fair use apply in light of DMCA? If so, to what extent and what hurdles must one overcome.

I. Introduction

The copyright act1 protects intellectual property that is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression2.” The intellectual property that is of concern for faculty is that of copyright and the rights that flow from its ownership. The copyright protects original works of authorship such as notes, texts, and multimedia works amongst others. As with any property the owner has certain rights and these rights are often referred to as the “bundle of rights”. The bundle of rights includes the rights to own it exclusively, exclude others from having or deriving any benefit from it, and alienating it; that is, to convey to others any rights which you may have in the property. However, many faculty projects are considered “work made for hire”3 and as such are generally the property of the educational institution.

As technology has eroded the physical borders between countries the need has arisen to protect authors of intellectual property from foreign parties using it without permission. Foreign nations have also seen a need to protect4 their own authors from infringement by others, as such legislation was signed into law: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 19985 (DMCA). The legislation is enabling in nature and implements two 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties, one of which is the WIPO Copyright Treaty. This treaty makes technical amendments to U.S. copyright law; that is, to protect works subject to previous treaties which fell into the public domain because of a failure to comply with formalities that then

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Marsico, S. (2001, June), An Overview Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Of 1998 Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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