Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Bill Number: HR-2281
Public Law Number: 105-304
Enacted - Signed by the President
Once the president signs a bill, it becomes a law.
To amend title 17, United States Code, to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty
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Bill Text (Reading difficulty: Hard)
Other names for this bill...
This law usually is referred to by the acronym for Digital Millennium Copyright Act - DMCA.
The stated purpose of the DMCA is to protect creative works.
The main provision of the law made it illegal to circumvent the digital locks on copyrighted music, movies, books, and software. But the wording is broad, and can prevent things that could be considered legitimate. For example, the law made it illegal to alter a cell phone that you own to allow it to run software not sanctioned by the manufacturer (a process known as jailbreaking or rooting).
Therefore, it allows the U.S. Copyright Office and the Library of Congress to grant exemptions.
Some other provisions of the DMCA...
Controversial uses of the DMCA
The DMCA has been used in extremely restrictive ways to stifle competition, research, and information detrimental to various companies.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has documented such abuses in this 2013 report.
You can find more details about this bill at GovTrack.us.