Magazine article Technology & Learning

Digital Millennium Act Revises Copyright Legislation

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Digital Millennium Act Revises Copyright Legislation

Article excerpt

On October 28, 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The law's principal goal is to protect copyrighted works against technological measures that may unfairly exploit authors and publishers by allowing unauthorized copying.

The "fair use" of copyright works has been preserved, and nonprofit libraries and educational institutions can use available technology to preview materials "for the purpose of making a good faith determination as to whether they wish to obtain authorized access to the work." In practical terms, this means you can borrow a colleague's copy of a computer program and try it on your computer to see if it is something you would like to buy. If the program has some kind of protection, such as a password or key disk, you may legally use the password or key disk for this purpose.

Perhaps the most important section limits the liability of nonprofit educational institutions when their technology is used by a student or staff member to "pirate" copyright material. …

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