The Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (DMCA) was established by Congress with an aim to implement treaty obligations of the United States. Congress complied with the WIPO treaties by enacting legislation to deal with treaty regulations that were not appropriately addressed under the current U.S. law, which helps to facilitate the improvement of electronic commerce in the digital age. Not only does DMCA deal with the issues of copyright infringement faced by internet users but it also reinforces punishments for offenders.
There were other proposals apart from the provisions adopted by Congress in 1998, including amendments to sections 109 and 117, which were not adopted, but were regarded as the subjects of many studies mandated under the Act. Pursuant to Section 104 of the Act, the Register of Copyrights and the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information is required to report the impacts of the Act on the implementations of sections 109 and 117 and the connection between existing technology on the implementation of sections 109 and 117 of title 17 under the United States Code.
In terms of DMCA safe harbor, the Act supplies safe heaven to internet intermediaries and Online Service Providers (OSP) by protecting them from direct copyright infringement. Congress did approve four safe harbors, and there is a limitation to no copyright infringement responsibility for OSP in these cases, namely, system caching; information location tools; temporary digital network communication; and storing information at the user’s direction on system or network.