Useful Notes: Digital Millennium Copyright Act
- In order to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, some tropes have been omitted from your search.
- 17 USC 1201, which makes it illegal to circumvent access-control technology, even for otherwise legal purposes. Playing DVDs and many formats of internet videos on Linux is illegal; playing the movie is legal in itself, but you have to break access control in order to play it on Linux. Likewise, it's illegal to play an import video game if you need to get around an access control, even though playing the game is legal in itself. The ostensible reason for this is to stop piracy; but even if you had no intention of copying the DVD or game, you can't play it on anything that works around the copy-protection scheme instead of through it. This also makes legally archiving videogames in formats that are no longer used that were made by companies that no longer exist almost impossible.
- This part of the DMCA requires that the Library of Congress grant exceptions every three years, but limitations on the exceptions, both in the letter of the DMCA and in the way it has been interpreted, make this useless for consumers (see this PDF link from the Electronic Frontier Foundation). (Note that the exceptions are often misinterpreted. Doing something covered by an exception doesn't violate the DMCA, but it can still be illegal for other reasons; even with an exception, you can't pirate stuff.)
- As of July 2010, removing the DRM for personal usage is now fair use—if you're in an area subject to the Fifth Circuit court, anyway (Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas).
- The DMCA clause of concern to internet posters is 17 USC 512, or the takedown provisions. These state that online service providers cannot be sued for copyright violation if they promptly take down copyright-violating material and are not liable to the customer for doing so. The customer can send a counter-notification, if they are aware that they can, but the material will be down for at least 10 days, and the legal burden is much lower on presumed copyright owners than on customers.