Subject: What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Content: The  Digital Millennium Copyright Act  ( DMCA ) is a  United States   copyright   law  that implements two 1996 treaties of the  World Intellectual Property Organization  (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as  digital rights management  or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the  Internet . Passed on October 12, 1998 by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate  and signed into law by President  Bill Clinton  on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended  Title 17  of the  United States Code  to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the  providers of on-line services  for  copyright infringement  by their users. On May 22, 2001, the  European Union  passed the  Copyright Directive  or EUCD, which addresses some of the same issues as the DMCA. But the DMCA's principal innovation in the field of copyright, the exemption from direct and indirect liability of  internet service providers  and other intermediaries (Title II of the DMCA), was separately addressed, and largely followed, in Europe by means of the separate  Electronic Commerce Directive . (Unlike U.S. federal laws and regulations, the execution of European Union directives usually requires separate legislation by or within each of the Union's member states.) More info on