Yes, DMCA Safe Harbors Apply To Websites

from the not-this-again dept

Every once in a while, when discussing the DMCA's "safe harbors" someone shows up in the comments to insist that the safe harbors were never intended to apply to websites, but merely to ISPs. Tim Lee does a nice bit of work absolutely destroying that assertion, by pointing out how it doesn't make sense given the language of the law which clearly is designed to apply to websites as well as network providers (otherwise, as he notes, why would they ever suggest content would have to be "removed" rather than just "blocked").

But, more importantly, the focus should be on the overall intent of the law beyond just the specific scenarios on the mind of those who wrote it. Even if it's true that those who crafted the language weren't "thinking" about websites when they wrote it, the intent of the safe harbor is clear, and it should apply to websites as well as network providers. Why? Because the whole point of safe harbors was to make sure liability was properly applied to those who actually infringed, rather than an easy-to-target company. That it was the network providers who raised this concern in the first place doesn't mean that the same thinking wouldn't apply to websites as well. And, on top of that, while the safe harbors of the CDA (for things like defamation) haven't been harmonized with the DMCA's safe harbors -- the purposes are nearly identical, and the courts have granted extremely wide coverage of the CDA safe harbors, so there's no reason to think that they wouldn't apply the same broad interpretation to the DMCA as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    D., Jun 13th, 2008 @ 8:43am

    holy cow - no Anonymous Coward yet

    Maybe he's sick. To think he hasn't blabbered yet!@!

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2008 @ 8:50am

    Re: holy cow - no Anonymous Coward yet

    You do know that "Anonymous Coward" is the name that shows up when someone makes a post without filling a name in, right? There isn't just one guy running around posting messages all over the internet with the name "Anonymous Coward". If that were the case, he'd be one prolific dude.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 13th, 2008 @ 8:52am

    Anonymous Coward Test

    Really?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: holy cow - no Anonymous Coward yet

    I *am* prolific! See?

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Re: holy cow - no Anonymous Coward yet

    LOL

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Gen.R.E.Lee (C.S.A. Retired), Jun 13th, 2008 @ 7:57pm

    Oh No! Anonymous Coward is everywhere!

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


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