What is DMCA?

What is the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act"?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a U. S. copyright infringement law (October 1998), inspired by two treaties of 1996 from a United Nations specialized agency: the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


In international law, intellectual property has two branches: industrial property and literary and artistic property consisting of copyright.

There are two ways of approaching copyright in the world.

The common law countries (United States, Commonwealth countries) use copyright, while the Romano-civil law countries (Europe, part of the Asian, African and South American continent) refer to copyright.

These two concepts are of different inspiration but since the adoption of the Berne Convention, copyright and copyright have been partially harmonized.

The Berne Convention, signed in 1886, is the first multilateral treaty (184 countries) on the protection of works and authors' rights in their works. This Convention was revised several times and amended in 1979. This treaty is currently administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency within the United Nations.

WIPO was established in 1967 and has 191 members. The international reference text is the WIPO Copyright Treaty of December 20,1996. It recognizes the protection of computer programs and databases by copyright. It partly takes over the provisions of the Berne Convention and adapts them to the digital world.

This treaty was the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Its equivalent in the European Union is the EUCD (European Union copyright directive).

On the one hand, DMCA protects access to copyrighted works in the digital age.
On the other hand, it provides webhosters and Internet service providers with a safe haven against claims of copyright infringement if they implement certain notification or removal procedures.

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