Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Court Says DMCA Users Don't Need To Investigate Sites They Take Down

from the wait-a-second... dept

Yet another ridiculous ruling surrounding the always popular DMCA rule. This one says that a copyright holder does not need to "investigate" the site they claim is distributing their copyrighted works, as long as they have a "good faith" belief that the site is infringing. This means that a group like the MPAA or the RIAA could force a site to shutdown without even looking at it. The actual case was about a company named InternetMovies.com that offered movie trailers online (something you would think the movie industry would appreciate - since it is free publicity). However, the MPAA accused them of distributing the actual full-length movies in violation of the DMCA and ordered a takedown. InternetMovies points out that if anyone just looked at their site, they would realize there was no infringement going on, but the court has said that doesn't matter. The MPAA's scraping bots believed there were illegal downloads, and (thanks to the DMCA) that's all that's necessary. This is particularly scary considering that the RIAA recently admitted (though, after some denial) that they've been sending out takedown notices accidentally when no infringement was occurring. Once again, the DMCA is pushing the belief that, in the eyes of the entertainment industry, everyone is guilty (and deserves to be punished) until proven innocent.

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  • identicon
    Joe, 20 Apr 2005 @ 4:37pm

    Man accused of "Time Travel" by the MPAA takes his

    Man accused of "Time Travel" by the MPAA takes his case to the Supreme Court!
    InternetMovies.com Files Petition with U.S. Supreme Court in Case Against the Motion Picture Association of America to Change the Good Faith Provision of the DMCA KAHULUI, Hawaii, April 19, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Michael Jay Rossi, President of InternetMovies.com Inc., has filed a Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case "Rossi vs. Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)" for the wrongful shutdown of his Website, http://www.InternetMovies.com in 2001. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that good faith belief under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is subjective and not objective. According to Rossi, "The Ninth Circuit Court's subjective interpretation of good faith belief stated in the DMCA is unconstitutional, allowing copyright holders to abuse people's rights without conducting proper investigation on alleged violations." In the Ninth Circuit ruling, Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson states, "Applying the subjective good faith standard of #512(c) and viewing the record in the light most favorable to Rossi, Rossi failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding the MPAA's violation of the DMCA." http://www.internetmovies.com/DMCA_9th_circuit_ruling_04.htm According to Rossi, his attorney James Fosbinder did indeed raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding the MPAA's violation of the DMCA. Fosbinder states in his Appellant's Opening Brief to the 9th Circuit Court, "Plaintiff Rossi did not ever offer any movies for download from his site, contrary to the MPAA's express statements to the contrary in their violation letters, and in fact he could not have done so given the server space available for his site at that time. Interestingly, one of the movies he was accused of having available for download in 2001, 'Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King' did not even come out until December of 2003!" http://www.internetmovies.com/rossi-vs-mpaa-opening-brf-9th-circuit.htm In the Ninth Circuit ruling, Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson also states, "The record reflects that the MPAA's actions were certainly not beyond all bounds of decency in communicating with Rossi and Rossi's ISP." Rossi's question to the Supreme Court now is, "How can the MPAA's communication that I was distributing a movie from 3 years in the future not be beyond all bounds of decency in communicating with me and my ISP?" Rossi believes, "The Ninth Circuit had to have overlooked my attorneys opening brief, which pointed out my alleged time travel abilities!" According to Rossi, "My fear is that if the Ninth Circuit court's ruling that the DMCA Good Faith standard is subjective is not overturned, is that copyright owners will continue to abuse the law unjustly shutting down online publications like mine giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace and abridging free speech. Also in danger is the right given by the Fifth Amendment to due process in cases of lost life, liberty or property. The freedom to defend oneself is being curtailed by the 'shoot now, ask later' style of shutting people down when offenses may not be occurring. Any industry or person should not have the power to curb the rights of another under the protection of the DMCA's subjective interpretation of good faith belief." CONTACT: InternetMovies.com Inc. Michael Jay Rossi, President (808) 283-2885 FreeThePress@InternetMovies.com

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

  • identicon
    Joe, 20 Apr 2005 @ 4:38pm

    Man accused of "Time Travel" by the MPAA takes his

    Man accused of "Time Travel" by the MPAA takes his case to the Supreme Court!

    InternetMovies.com Files Petition with U.S. Supreme Court in
    Case Against the Motion Picture Association of America to
    Change the Good Faith Provision of the DMCA

    KAHULUI, Hawaii, April 19, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Michael Jay Rossi,
    President of InternetMovies.com Inc., has filed a Writ of Certiorari to
    the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case "Rossi vs. Motion Picture
    Association of America (MPAA)" for the wrongful shutdown of his
    Website, http://www.InternetMovies.com in 2001. The Ninth Circuit Court
    ruled that good faith belief under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
    (DMCA) is subjective and not objective. According to Rossi, "The Ninth
    Circuit Court's subjective interpretation of good faith belief stated
    in the DMCA is unconstitutional, allowing copyright holders to abuse
    people's rights without conducting proper investigation on alleged
    violations."

    In the Ninth Circuit ruling, Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson states,
    "Applying the subjective good faith standard of #512(c) and viewing the
    record in the light most favorable to Rossi, Rossi failed to raise a
    genuine issue of material fact regarding the MPAA's violation of the
    DMCA." http://www.internetmovies.com/DMCA_9th_circuit_ruling_04.htm

    According to Rossi, his attorney James Fosbinder did indeed raise a
    genuine issue of material fact regarding the MPAA's violation of the
    DMCA. Fosbinder states in his Appellant's Opening Brief to the 9th
    Circuit Court, "Plaintiff Rossi did not ever offer any movies for
    download from his site, contrary to the MPAA's express statements to
    the contrary in their violation letters, and in fact he could not have
    done so given the server space available for his site at that time.
    Interestingly, one of the movies he was accused of having available for
    download in 2001, 'Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King' did not
    even come out until December of 2003!"
    http://www.internetmovies.com/rossi-vs-mpaa-opening-brf-9th-circuit.htm

    In the Ninth Circuit ruling, Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson also states,
    "The record reflects that the MPAA's actions were certainly not beyond
    all bounds of decency in communicating with Rossi and Rossi's ISP."
    Rossi's question to the Supreme Court now is, "How can the MPAA's
    communication that I was distributing a movie from 3 years in the
    future not be beyond all bounds of decency in communicating with me and
    my ISP?" Rossi believes, "The Ninth Circuit had to have overlooked my
    attorneys opening brief, which pointed out my alleged time travel
    abilities!"

    According to Rossi, "My fear is that if the Ninth Circuit court's
    ruling that the DMCA Good Faith standard is subjective is not
    overturned, is that copyright owners will continue to abuse the law
    unjustly shutting down online publications like mine giving them an
    unfair advantage in the marketplace and abridging free speech. Also in
    danger is the right given by the Fifth Amendment to due process in
    cases of lost life, liberty or property. The freedom to defend oneself
    is being curtailed by the 'shoot now, ask later' style of shutting
    people down when offenses may not be occurring. Any industry or person
    should not have the power to curb the rights of another under the
    protection of the DMCA's subjective interpretation of good faith
    belief."

    CONTACT: InternetMovies.com Inc.
    Michael Jay Rossi, President
    (808) 283-2885
    FreeThePress@InternetMovies.com


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


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