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Post at: Jul 19 2021

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

WHY IN NEWS

On 25th June 2021, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology was locked out of his Twitter account for an hour, allegedly over a notice received from Twitter for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
ABOUT DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT

  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a law passed in the US in 1998.
  • It is among the world’s first laws recognizing intellectual property on the internet.
  • This law was signed by the then US President Bill Clinton.
  • This law overseas the implementation of the two treaties signed and agreed up on by member nations of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 1996.
  • The two treaties are the WIPO copyright Treaty and the WIPO performance and Phonograms treaty.
  • The said protection, accorded by each member state, must not be any less in any way than the one being given to a domestic copyright holder.

SIGNIFICANCE

  • The DMCA Act criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices or services intended to circumvent measures used to protect copyright work.
  • It provides the necessary international legal protection to digital content.

WHO CAN GENERATE A DMCA?

  • Any content creator of any form, who believes that their original content has been copied by user website without authorization can file an application citing the violation of intellectual property rights.
  • In the case of social media intermediaries like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter content creators can directly approach the platform with proof of them being original creators.
  • Users can also approach the website on which the content has been hosted.
  • It also approaches to third party service providers like DMCA,  which utilize a team of experts to help take down the stolen content for a small fee.

HOW ARE DMCA NOTICES SENT TO COMPANIES and HOW IT WORKS:

  • Since these companies operate in nations which are signatories to the WIPO treaty.
  • They are obligated to remove the said content if they receive a valid and legal DMCA takedown notice.
  • However platforms also give the other users against whom allegations of content cheating have been made, a chance to reply to the DMCA notice by filling a counter notice. 
  • Therefore the platform shall decide which party is telling the truth. Hence the content either will be restored or kept hidden in accordance with.

CONCLUSION

Therefore DMCA was specifically crafted to govern content in the digital world but Twitter should follow the law of the land viz Indian laws thereby not violating the Indian IT rules in the name of freedom of speech.

Amit Gupta
 


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