Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project

IP: DMCA: Copyright Management Information

Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

According to the Library of Congress, the DMCA also

prohibits the knowing provision or distribution of false Copyright Management Information (CMI), if done with the intent to induce, enable, facilitate or conceal infringement. Subsection (b) bars the intentional removal or alternation of CMI without authority, as well as the dissemination of CMI or copies of works, knowing that the CMI has been removed or altered without authority. Liability under subsection (b) requires that the act be done with knowledge or, with respect to civil remedies, with reasonable grounds to know that it will induce, enable, facilitate or conceal an infringement.

Subsection (c) defines CMI as identifying information about the work, the author, the copyright owner, and in certain cases, the performer, writer or director of the work, as well as the terms and conditions for use of the work, and such other information as the Register of Copyrights may prescribe by regulation. Information concerning users of works is explicitly excluded.[LOC]



Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., 77 F. Supp. 2d 1116, 1121-23 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 1999):

Defendant operated a search engine which produced thumbnail and full size reproductions of images found on the Net, and warned users that content displayed may be protected by copyright. Plaintiff argued that the search engine violated the DMCA because the content management information in the form of the copyright notice on plaintiff's website was not included. Court concluded that the DMCA was not violated because (1) the DMCA refers to the removal or alternation of content management information from the copyrighted work itself; content management information next to the work on a webpage is not on or apart of the work and therefore cannot be removed from the work; and (2) there was no showing that defendant knowingly sought to induce copyright infringement through defendant's automated search engine.

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