Will Either McCain Or Obama Commit To Reforming The DMCA?

from the unlikely dept

With the McCain campaign upset at how the DMCA (which he voted for) makes YouTube take down videos even if they might not have infringing content, we wondered if he would go beyond asking YouTube for special treatment, and instead push to fix the DMCA. So far, the campaign has been pretty quiet on that issue, but Paul Alan Levy from Public Citizen has written a letter (pdf) to both campaigns, asking them to commit to having the DMCA reformed in a few significant ways once Congress is back in session.

The suggested changes would definitely be a big step in the right direction -- effectively moving the system from a "notice-and-takedown" system to a "notice-and-notice" system, which allows whoever posted any content to respond before it's taken down. It would also require a lot more openness in the process, including an initial notification to whoever uploaded the content, as opposed to just the service provider, and a system for making the takedown notices public. As it stands now, the system allows anyone to claim infringement and get the content taken down, without the original uploader or the public understanding why. The proposal would also make it easier to punish those who send false takedowns, which might help alleviate some of the problems. Somehow it seems unlikely that either campaign will get behind these proposals, but considering that they've both now seen how the DMCA has worked against them, it would be nice for them to make a concerted effort to fix it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 20th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Nope

    Obama doesn't have much of a record there, but Biden is a big pro-monopoly guy. The Industry likes it, so it's staying.

    McCain may chafe, but he voted for the damn thing and he's not a flip-flopper!

     

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  2.  
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    alex Minkin, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 11:41am

    Re: Nope

    not a flip flopper? this isnt 2004, and no one cares that you vote for a bill one way before they change it and you have to vote another way.

    but under your understanding, mccain isnt flip flopping because he voted for it...and then he asked to be exempt from it...

    right.

     

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  3.  
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    Jeanette, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Doubtful McCain is for this type of "Change"

    I wish I could have saved the link or a screenshot of a news story I read about this time last year related to this topic-- Unfortunately it appears to have disappeared!

    The story in question went into detail about Cindy McCain's social circle, which extended to Hollywood Entertainment Lawfirms. The story existed, I just can't find it!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Nope

    Sarcasm 101 Mr Minkin??

     

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  5.  
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    John Doe, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 11:57am

    Re: Doubtful McCain is for this type of "Change"

    I smell a conspiracy!

     

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  6.  
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    discojohnson, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    no so fast...

    there's real danger in a notice-notice system. primarily the concept of anonymity. if there's something that a copyright holder claims is in violation, they write a notice to the hosting company. that company, as a way of protecting their users, doesn't log that information. now what? or maybe they do log it and the send the information along (but who made the platforms responsible for hunting down the people?). But the real danger is where someone puts up something that's damaging to someone, like, say, evidence of someone committing money laundering. If the offender sends the takedown notice, and the information was put up there by an anonymous watch-dog group...then what? Does the inside source have to be revealed?

     

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  7.  
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    Bob, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    I have long been considering an OPEN LETTER TO OBAMA/BIDEN suggesting that in the event of their election, Biden should rethink some of his previous positions on things like "the WAR on Drugs", Net Neutrality, copyright etc.. One can DREAM, I suppose...

     

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  8.  
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    TX CHL Instructor (profile), Oct 20th, 2008 @ 4:07pm

    Choice?

    Everyone seems to think the only choice is between a Communist trying to sound Moderate, and a Liberal trying to sound Republican (with the Communist definitely doing a better job of presenting his lies). I wouldn't waste my vote on either Tweedledum or Tweedledee.

    You want some real action against H1b corruption, DCMA bullshit, or RIAA jack-booted-thugs? Then vote Libertarian.
    --
    www.chl-tx.com Nothing deters violent crime like a would-be victim capable of shooting back. Nothing.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Nope

    It's so hard to smell the sarcasm in the tubes...

     

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  10.  
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    Mike (profile), Oct 20th, 2008 @ 10:51pm

    Re: Choice?

    You want some real action against H1b corruption, DCMA bullshit, or RIAA jack-booted-thugs? Then vote Libertarian.

    You realize that the VP candidate on the Libertarian ticket is a patent troll?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    MadJo (profile), Oct 21st, 2008 @ 1:29am

    I'm afraid the only change that either Obama or McCain will push for is exemption from the DMCA for political speech.

     

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  12.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 1:48am

    Re: Re: Choice?

    Hi Mike

    I realise that Wayne Root may or may not be a patent hoarder and that that's one of your main bug bears, but seriously - is this the highest priority in this election?

    You've got two 'main' candidates who whilst they differ greatly in style are basically the same when it come to content

    They agree on wars on nouns, bases in Iraq, furthering the fight in Afghanistan, expanding the fight into Pakistan, leaving 'all options on the table' for Iran, paying $70Billion in bank bonuses from the publics pocket, impeachment (or lack thereof), spying on communications and retrospective immunity for telecoms companies, bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO....

    It's hard actually finding any truly important issues that they differ substantially on, again any differences are more style than substance

    Compared to this is a bit of patent hoarding really a vote swinger?

    Not trying to flame you but surely you can see my point?

     

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  13.  
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    pawn, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Choice?

    I'm missing the point?

    Are you saying that someone who is so frustrated with the 2 big parties that they decide to cast a protest vote for a 3rd party, should somehow compromise his beliefs in any area that's important to him.

    Besides, one could argue that the patent/copyright issue illustrates one of America's larger problems. We aren't the innovators anymore.

    If we aren't leading the world, all we offer the world is our incredible consumption. That sort of business model will fail over time. And our response is to legally protect outdated business models? Not to innovate. That could spell bad things for the future.

     

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  14.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Choice?

    Unless you can find a candiate which matches your beliefs 100% (Amazingly unlikely) then yes you're going to have to drop a few, it's called prioritisation and it's what happens in the real world all the time

    "Besides, one could argue that the patent/copyright issue illustrates one of America's larger problems."

    One would argue that if you truly believe that's one of America's larger problems then you have perspective issues

    Patent hoarding can eventually be sorted by due process if enough will is used - the other issues erode due process altogether removing this possibility altogether

    Besides to the best of my knowledge none of the other candidates has stated their position on patent hoarding (how do we know they are against it?). Just because they don't engage in it themselves is no indication they would do anything about it

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 6:32am

    Re:

    agreed and I say no exemption, its all or nothing, if we should be held to these standards so too should they.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 7:12am

    Ummm, hopefully they are a bit more concerned with other things than the DMCA.

    Is that topic even an afterthought for them right now?

     

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  17.  
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    Paul Alan Levy, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 7:59am

    Takedowns and Anonymity

    In comment no. 6, Discojohnson raises an interesting point about the interplay between the DMCA takedown procedure and anonymity. We have seen several occasions in our practice where rights holders have sent takedown notices that seem calculated to obtain the identity of the critic, daring him or her to submit a counternotice providing that identity. It is worth thinking about fixing that problem too.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike (profile), Oct 21st, 2008 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Choice?

    I realise that Wayne Root may or may not be a patent hoarder and that that's one of your main bug bears, but seriously - is this the highest priority in this election?

    I didn't say it was the highest priority. But the original comment suggested that the Libertarians would fix a lot of these IP problems that we discuss. I just don't think they will.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Oct 21st, 2008 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Choice?

    Fair enough - I doff my hat and stand corrected, my apologies kind sir

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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