Blogger Fixes Its DMCA Takedown Process

from the good-job dept

You may recall earlier this year that Google was accused of invisibly deleting entire blog posts on Blogger when the RIAA would send takedown notices alleging that the blog posts contained unauthorized music. This was troubling for a few different reasons. First, on the RIAA side, there seems to be something of a double standard here, as many of the record labels purposely send MP3s to music bloggers to help promote their music… but then they decide to take some down? But the bigger issue was the way that Google was handling the whole issue. Bloggers were upset that entire blog posts just seemed to disappear entirely without any notice at all. Google claimed that it was alerting the bloggers, but it didn’t seem to be doing a very good job of it, and making entire posts completely disappear based on the sayso of the record labels seemed to be a bit extreme. So it’s good to see that Blogger has entirely revamped its takedown process for Blogger posts that get takedown notices.

First, for those issuing the takedown, they’ve switched from a manual (send a fax or letter) process to an electronic one — which has the side benefit that Google can now get those takedown notices to much faster. Google always passes along takedowns to ChillingEffects, but when the notices were faxed or typed it took a while before ChillingEffects could get them up, meaning that if content was taken down, there was often no way for the blogger in question to understand what happened (Google says it always emails the bloggers, but not everyone’s email address is up-to-date).

On top of that, Google not only will notify people via email, but will put a notification in the Blogger admin dashboard, so the next time the blogger logs in they’ll see it. Finally, and most importantly, to handle the “takedown,” rather than totally deleting the posts as before, the posts are switched to draft mode, which allows the blogger to see the post and change it (if necessary). This seems like a much better policy than what Blogger/Google was doing before.

The one that that still seems to be missing (at least in this description) is the counternotice process. The process described in the announcement says that bloggers can adjust their post… but what if they don’t believe it’s actually infringing (fair use, authorized copy, different content, etc.)? It would be nice if Google also offered an easy counternotice procedure from directly within the Blogger admin as well — so that a Blogger who has been falsely accused of a copyright violation can quickly counternotice and get the content back up.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Blogger Fixes Its DMCA Takedown Process”

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Non-Legal AC says:

Re: Re:

“I hope Google doesn’t arbitrarily listen to the RIAA without actually spending some effort to consider if the material really does infringe.”

From what I have understood, that is one of the largest problems in the DCMA, the service provider is not allowed to make any judgment calls. If what I understand is right, the Notice is all, the Counter-Notice is all. Even if it is clear the content is non-infringing, I think the provider still has to respond by taking it down? And only by Counter-Notice can it be put up.

The companies are suppose to consider fair use before sending the notice, if I recall an earlier post, but, since to them there is no Fair Use unless the court says in this one instantaneous situation there is, they have nothing to consider.

Which, at least there is no legal penalty to filing a Counter-Notice falsely, at least that I know of. Does the counter notice allow for other ways to counter, other then ‘They do not own that?’ I am not sure myself.

If anyone can answer some of the final details, please! I would like to learn where I make mistakes.

Anonymous Poster says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, you’re pretty much on the money. A service provider cannot make a judgment call upon receiving a DMCA notice; under the current system, if they do not remove the offending content, they could possibly lose their Safe Harbor protections. The counternotice is the only method of fighting back against a DMCA claim.

I really, really wish this wasn’t the case.

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