Google Provides Numbers On Just How Often DMCA Takedown Process Is Abused

from the quite-frequently,-it-appears dept

Some entertainment industry lawyers have been going around lately, pitching a fable that the DMCA isn't really that bad, since bogus takedown notices are somewhat rare. However, some new evidence from Google suggests quite a different story. Reader Slackr points us to some news about Google filing a comment on New Zealand's proposed new copyright law that would kick file sharers offline based on accusations rather than convictions. While New Zealand has agreed to hold off putting the law into place, while it hopes to work out a compromise, the government is accepting submissions from interested parties. While it's interesting alone that Google is participating in the process, even more interesting is what it has to say about its experience with DMCA takedown notices:
In its submission, Google notes that more than half (57%) of the takedown notices it has received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, were sent by business targeting competitors and over one third (37%) of notices were not valid copyright claims.
Google's point is that these types of laws are widely abused, and setting up such a system where punishment is handed out without any real due process is going to lead to an awful lot of mistakes. But, these stats are worth discussing just for what they say about the DMCA itself, and that myth that the process is rarely abused. From the numbers Google has seen, it's quite clear that the DMCA isn't just abused, it's regularly abused in ways that are both anti-competitive and chilling.
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Filed Under: abuse, dmca, new zealand, takedowns
Companies: google

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  1. identicon
    Chris Brand, 18 Mar 2009 @ 1:55pm

    The actual report

    Out of interest, I followed the various links from new stories, etc. It seems that Google told the NZ government about the findings of the paper at, from the University of Southern California. Those of you speculating about overlapping numbers and the like might like to read the actual report.
    The numbers cited in the press seem to come from here:
    57% of notices sent to Google to demand removal of links in the index were sent by businesses targeting apparent competitors;
    37% of the notices sent to Google targeted sites apparently outside the United States.
    which is, of course, just one possible reason why a claim could be invalid.

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