The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: A Review of the Law and the Court's Interpretation


Neil A. Benchell


VOL. XXI • Fall 2002 • NO. 1 (table of contents)

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In this review of the Titles I and II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the author first discusses recent case laws affecting the Act. Then, he analyzes sections of the Act, such as the anti-circumvention provisions, constitutionality of the Act, the ISP safe harbor provision, etc. Within each sectional reviews, the author discusses case laws that exemplify courts' interpretation of the Act. In the end, the author discusses the future of the Act. First, he argues that the Act would be challenged under constitutional grounds. The Framers of the Constitution never intended to grant a perpetual monopoly for copyright holders. The second problematic area is the criminal sanctions under the Act. Also, the Act does not provide fair-use provisions. Second, the author argues that the case laws broadened this provision to cover entities more than just the traditional ISPs. All in all, these problems, argued by the author, are fundamental to the purpose and implementation of the Act. They might be addressed by amendments to the Act or by lawsuits. In sum, a balance must be found between protection copyright owners' rights and the free transmission of copyrighted materials.

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