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United States Copyright Office
US Copyright Law is based on the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, which provides “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to the respective Writings and Discoveries.” Any creative work, to include text, images or graphics, is copyrighted upon its creation and offers the owner the right to seek actual damages for infringement (unauthorized use) by filing a civil lawsuit in a Federal district court. Registration of the creative work with the United States Copyright Office offers certain additional advantages in cases of infringement. These include, but are not limited to, the right to seek statutory damages (specified amounts in excess of or in lieu of actual damages in cases of willful infringement for profit) and recovery of certain expenses involved in successful prosecution of a lawsuit.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
The DMCA was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1998. It recognizes the numerous new technologies associated with the Internet and digital technology in the recording industries and broadcast media. It updates US Copyright Law to protect copyright owners from infringement on the Internet and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), search engines, etc. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are protected from claims of copyright infringement if they are registered as Designation by Service Provider of Agent for Notification of Claims of Infringement AND they follow rigid procedures for takedown of infringing material upon demand by owners of infringed material.