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https://crsreports.congress.gov March 30, 2020Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Safe Harbor Provisions for Online Service Providers: A Legal OverviewIn 1998, Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Pub. L. No. 105-304, to usher copyright law into the digital era. The ease and efficiency of digital copying and distribution seemingly threatened to increase infringing activity and undermine the rights of copyright holders. Some internet companies feared that if they were held liable for infringing material hosted on their platforms, it would impair their business models and stifle technological innovation. As a compromise, Congress created the DMCA “safe harbor” provisions, codified at 17 U.S.C. § 512 (section 512). These safe harbors shelter online service providers (OSPs) from liability for indirect copyright infringement on their platforms under certain conditions, while also encouraging OSPs to cooperate with copyright owners in combating infringement onlin...