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10 Great Resources for Learning Copyright, Fair Use, and DMCA

Copyright, Fair Use, and DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) are issues that webmasters need to be aware of and familiar with. The fair use doctrine and the DMCA are both parts of the US copyright laws. They are very applicable to what we do and need to be referred to on a regular basis. These laws are very important, but they are not very easy to understand. There seems to be a lot of gray areas (especially within Fair Use) that are determined once a problem arises. Copyright laws apply to many different aspects of websites from pictures and videos to quotes and citations. The laws are meant to protect the originator of the work without limiting free speech. This isn’t always the case however.

You can read up on a few of these cases where the copyright laws were used against a website. Recent coverage has been of the AP filing DMCA takedown notices against the Drudge Retort, which sparked a lot of commotion from major sites like TechCrunch. Universal Music Group also filed a DMCA takedown for a video of a girl dancing to a Prince song posted on YouTube.

In order to learn and have a better understanding of Copyright, Fair Use, and DMCA, here are 10 great resources to help you out. These sites cover all of the specifics of the laws as well as highlighting the major points that are typically referred to when dealing with them.


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