Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
aclu, copyright, dmca, eff, takedowns



EFF, ACLU Ask News Networks To Stop Sending DMCA Takedown Notices On Political Videos

from the right-idea,-wrong-approach dept

Following the McCain campaign's request to YouTube that it exempt both major presidential campaigns from the traditional process of notice-and-takedown to DMCA complaints (which YouTube rejected), the EFF and the ACLU have sent a letter to the various television networks who were responsible for the takedowns in the first place, asking them to stop sending bogus takedowns. On top of that, they ask YouTube to reconsider and start responding to counternotices and putting content back online more quickly.

While I can appreciate the stance taken by the EFF and the ACLU, and believe that they are correct that the networks' takedown notices are incorrect, I'm going to have to side with Public Citizen in suggesting that the real answer to this issue is fixing the DMCA, not through asking various parties to simply change their behavior. The real problem is the DMCA and the unclear boundaries of fair use today. While there's clearly not time to fix the law prior to election day, it doesn't seem right to just ask people to ignore the way the law works today. If the law is the problem, fix the law -- don't ask everyone else to play by different rules. That just sweeps the problems of the law under the rug, where they'll get a lot less attention.

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  • identicon
    matt, 21 Oct 2008 @ 5:03am

    eh

    I doubt the companies they sent the letters to even got a glance from corporate. Networks know exactly what they are doing and why they are letting their lawyers go ballistic on the slightest possibility of infringement (if they even wait for that much info).

    ethics + plausible deniability = sorry, what were you accusing me of? I didn't do that, you have no proof.

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

  • identicon
    Matthew, 21 Oct 2008 @ 5:19am

    Stopgap Measure

    I agree that the full solution is to repair or repeal the DMCA. On the other hand, if the operation of the law is interfering with the dissemination of information that is relevant to the presidential election, which will be over LONG before the law can be changed, then it is worthwhile to promote a behavioural change for the time being.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2008 @ 6:17am

      Re: Stopgap Measure

      So you're saying that the law maker that is FINALLY getting a taste of what John Q. Public is suffering though, should be exempt from the laws he's supporting and creating? Wouldn't this be a great thing for McCain to lose this election, blame DMCA and start a mission to resend DMCA establishing a more fair policy for fair use?

      I mean don't get me wrong, I think it's wrong for people to download any and all music they listen to with out paying for it. Or to burn netflix movies so they don't have to pay full price. But I also think its wrong for me to be required to buy a second, third, or fourth copy of a movie I paid for already because I was not allowed to make a backup copy for my children to watch, keeping the original safe. Or sampling an entire album to verify that its all good and I'm not spending $17 for one song.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2008 @ 6:44am

        Re: Re: Stopgap Measure

        And until the industry provides a means of legitimate back up and viable sampling for the whole album, feel free to do what the rest of the world is doing and 'pirate' before you buy.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2008 @ 7:54am

        Re: Re: Stopgap Measure

        "So you're saying that the law maker that is FINALLY getting a taste of what John Q. Public is suffering though, should be exempt from the laws he's supporting and creating? Wouldn't this be a great thing for McCain to lose this election, blame DMCA and start a mission to resend DMCA establishing a more fair policy for fair use?"

        What a deal, we get a fixed DMCA in return for a broken country let by "the one". PASS

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2008 @ 5:46am

    well hopefully the news networks will have a similar response to youtube's, perhaps that would encourage the EFF and the ACLU to push for an update to the DMCA.

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

  • identicon
    Benjie, 21 Oct 2008 @ 6:15am

    Takes downs

    Just require a judge and jury before a take down notice is sent out.. problem solved

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2008 @ 6:45am

      Re: Takes downs

      That seems like a really good idea. Make it so that sending a takedown notice requires almost as much red tape as getting a warrant (though publicly available) and you'll have far less FUD takedowns.

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

  • icon
    chris (profile), 21 Oct 2008 @ 6:21am

    fix the DMCA? yeah right.

    the DMCA is too useful as a tool to limit free speech. there is no way it will be "fixed" in this lifetime.

    too many people need the DMCA to shutdown criticism, dissent, and satire for it to be changed in any meaningful way.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2008 @ 7:49am

    If youtube and the broadcasting companies were smart they'd deny all requests and tell them "sorry, this is the law thats in place so its what we have to do". Then maybe the law would get looked at. Maybe.

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


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