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.

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Comments on “Will Either McCain Or Obama Commit To Reforming The DMCA?”

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Jeanette says:

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!

discojohnson says:

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?

TX CHL Instructor (profile) says:


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.

http://www.chl-tx.com Nothing deters violent crime like a would-be victim capable of shooting back. Nothing.

Enrico Suarve says:

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?

pawn says:

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.

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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

Mike (profile) says:

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.

Paul Alan Levy (user link) says:

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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