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.

Filed Under: barack obama, copyright, dmca, fair use, john mccain
Companies: public citizen


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  1. identicon
    discojohnson, 20 Oct 2008 @ 1:04pm

    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?

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