# Digital Millennium Copyright Act

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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States (opens new window) copyright (opens new window) law (opens new window) that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (opens new window) (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted (opens new window) works (commonly known as digital rights management (opens new window) or DRM). It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control (opens new window), whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright (opens new window) itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet (opens new window).[1][2] Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate (opens new window) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton (opens new window) on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 (opens new window) of the United States Code (opens new window) to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability (opens new window) of the providers of online services (opens new window) for copyright infringement by their users.

The DMCA's principal innovation in the field of copyright is the exemption from direct and indirect liability (opens new window) of Internet service providers (opens new window) and other intermediaries. This exemption was adopted by the European Union (opens new window) in the Electronic Commerce Directive (opens new window) 2000. The Information Society Directive (opens new window) 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty (opens new window) in the EU.