The Digital Millennium Copyright Act offers a safe harbor for service providers
By Peter Lemire
These days most websites and other online service providers accept and host some sort of third-party content. The hosting and display of user-generated content can potentially subject the website or service provider to liability for its users’ online copyright infringement.
Seeing that this potential liability may stifle the development of interactive environments and the restriction of user-generated content by service providers, Congress enacted a safe harbor for service providers with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The safe harbor limits a service provider’s liability if it is in compliance with the act and follows a certain protocol, which has become to be known as Notice and Takedown.