The DMCA lets copyright holders send takedown messages to various sites, demanding allegedly infringing content be taken offline. It's been rather successful in doing that. A few years ago, a great site, Chilling Effects
sprung up to track all sorts of takedown notices (not just having to do with copyright, but any kind of cease & desist threats -- though DMCA takedowns are common). It's a joint effort by the EFF and a bunch of universities, and has been invaluable in tracking the efforts by some to threaten people into taking down various types of content. Now, in a similar effort, MIT is sponsoring a site that will track takedowns of videos on YouTube
. The site is creatively named YouTomb
. This isn't to say that the copyright holders are wrong in sending the takedown notices -- but it's important to collect information and data on how often these tools are being used and by whom to get a better understanding of whether the system really makes sense.