by Mike Masnick
Mon, Aug 6th 2007 1:38am
One of the more well known parts of the DMCA law in the US is the so-called "notice and takedown" process. Basically, if a copyright holder discovers any infringing content, it can alert the service provider hosting the content (the "notice" part), and that service provider must immediately takedown the content. This immediate takedown process has problems -- especially when people with no rights to content abuse the notice and takedown system to force content they don't like offline. Of course, the entertainment industry doesn't mind it when they accidentally takedown legitimate content. To them, it's no problem if innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire. So it's no surprise to find out that in the effort to put DMCA-like laws around the world that the "notice and takedown" system would be proposed as well. Apparently, that's exactly what's happening in New Zealand. However, the good news is that ISPs there are fighting back against the proposal, questioning why they should need to waste their time on this. Instead, they suggest a much more reasonable "notice and notice" process, whereby the ISP would pass on notification to the user responsible and give them a chance to respond, contest the charge, remove or change the content in question. That seems like a much more reasonable process that avoids the problem of legitimate content being taken offline without any verification to the legitimacy of the claim. Of course, the entertainment industry will argue that such a system would never work, probably using its standard line about "irreparable harm" in letting people actually defend their innocence.
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