Want To Tell The Copyright Office To Stop Abusive DMCA Takedowns? Here's How

from the join-in dept

So, today's been DMCA 512 takedown day here at Techdirt. Today's the day that comments are due at the Copyright Office concerning the effectiveness (or not) of the DMCA's notice and takedown provisions. And, of course, no one's entirely happy with the DMCA, but they're unhappy in very different ways. We wrote about the legacy music industry whining that Google has built a successful service while they failed to adapt themselves. We wrote about Automattic reinforcing how DMCA takedowns are regularly abused to try to censor content (and how people are afraid to counternotice), and we wrote about our own filing, highlighting how the abuse of the DMCA process raises questions about how the current setup is Constitutional.

And, there are tons of other filings and comments flowing in, often from industry groups, written by lawyers. But it's important that the Copyright Office hear from the public as well. So our good friends over at Fight for the Future have set up a wonderful website at TakedownAbuse.org that provides more information and helps you send your own comments to the Copyright Office about how DMCA abuse impacts you.

Also, the folks at Channel Awesome put together a great video that both details the problem and suggests some key points worth raising in any comment you send in (though, I take issue with his claim that this "flew under the radar," since the comment period was announced months ago... but...).
Either way please consider sending in a comment -- and doing so in as thoughtful and polite a manner as possible. I know that there are often temptations to say something angrily in such comments, but that will just open up a reason to ignore your submission.
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Filed Under: copyright, dmca, dmca 512, dmca abuse, notice and takedown, takedowns

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  1. icon
    Achenar (profile), 1 Apr 2016 @ 1:39pm

    Also contributed

    Here's my submission, focussing more on the long-term:

    Hello Lawmakers,

    I'm not from the US, but this is such an important issue that I feel compelled to write to you now. I don't think it's hyperbolic to say this is going to affect how we approach the future of global culture. Where once there were distinct fields sparsely populated by career professionals, now almost anyone can be a 'creator' and share their work with the world.

    Culture does not exist in vacuum, ideas do not spring forth without prior influence; people build upon the work of others by copying, transforming and progressing. Once this new content is released into the world, others may do the same with it. Limiting this through copyright has been a useful tool in the past to incentivise the production of new works, but over time is increasingly at odds with how people actually create. Re-evaluating copyright itself is for another time, but the first stepping-stone on that path is before you now: updating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to be sensible in 2016.

    Your Supreme Court has regularly mentioned that Fair Use is a 'safeguard' that allows copyright law to be compatible with the First Amendment. It is therefore incredibly worrying that the DMCA notice-and-takedown process is knowingly being abused on a regular basis to remove content that is actually covered by Fair Use rights. The reasons for this abuse are manifold, but they all stem from the same problem: there are no repercussions for doing so.

    US-based companies such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter need the legal tools to be able to fight back and actively discourage those who would seek to remove people's freedom of expression. Introducing such tools into the DMCA is paramount to solving this problem.

    Please, lead the way in protecting the future of human culture. The rest of the world is watching very closely to see where you take this.

    Yours sincerely,

    Duncan Hemingway

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