Consulting, Memos, Resources

Memo: DMCA & Copyright Infringement

February 3, 2020

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) & Copyright Infringement

On December 19, 2019, a jury awarded Sony $1 billion in damages against Cox Communications after ruling that Cox failed to protect its network against copyright infringement by the ISP’s subscribers. Generally, ISPs are allowed safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, an earlier court opinion concluded that Cox had not ‘reasonably implemented’ a policy for terminating repeat infringers, and therefore, was not protected by the DMCA. VPS recommends reviewing and following your company’s policies. This court ruling demonstrates how vital it is to abide by those policies.

The DMCA was signed into law in October of 1998. Title II of the DMCA creates limitations on the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement when engaging in certain types of activities. For a service provider to be eligible for the limitations afforded in Title II of the DMCA, they must (1) adopt and reasonably implement a policy of terminating, in appropriate circumstances, the accounts of subscribers who are considered repeat infringers; and (2) must accommodate and not interfere with ‘standard technical measures’ which are measures copyright owners use to identify or protect copyrighted works.

Download the full memo for additional detail on Updating Agent Designation.

Memo – DMCA & Copyright Infringement

Additional Information

For information on this issue or if you would like VPS guidance, please contact these members of the Vantage Point Solutions team:

Mikaela Burma, JD at 605-995-1742

Doug Eidahl, JD at 605-995-1750

Jill Weber at 605-995-1832