The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) was enacted with the goal of bringing copyright law into the digital age. Through the DMCA, Congress attempted to balance the interests of what were considered to be the traditional copyright holders—musicians, film studios, record companies, and television networks—with those of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by combining key digital copyright protections with a series of “safe harbor” protections for qualifying ISPs. Over the past decade, conflicting and convoluted judicial interpretations of the safe harbor provisions have resulted in unpredictable legal standards and a deep divide between traditional media and new technology. This Note explores these judicial decisions and proposes a legislative amendment to the DMCA safe harbors. Further, this Note argues that to allow new technologies to evolve and to create an environment of economic prosperity for both old and new media Congress must amend the vague safe harbor provisions with specific definitions and provide a higher level of protection for ISPs.

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