Copyright Office Fucks Over Thousands Of Sites With Plans To Remove Their DMCA Safe Harbors

from the so-dumb dept

If you run any kind of website it's super important that you file with the Copyright Office to officially register a DMCA agent. This is a key part of the DMCA. If you want to make use of the DMCA's safe harbors -- which create a clear safe harbor for websites to avoid liability of infringing material posted by users -- then you have to first register with the Copyright Office. Larger corporate sites already know this, but many, many smaller sites do not. This is why for years we've posted messages reminding anyone who has a blog to just go and register with the Copyright Office to get basic DMCA protections (especially after a copyright troll went after some smaller blogs who had not done so).

A few months back, we noted, with alarm, that the Copyright Office was considering a plan to revamp how it handled DMCA registrations, which had some good -- mainly making the registration process cheaper -- but a really horrific idea of requiring sites to re-register every three years or lose their safe harbor protections. Despite many people warning the Copyright Office how this would be a disaster, on Monday the Office announced it was going ahead with the plan anyway, not even acknowledging that thousands of sites are likely to get fucked over by this move:
The United States Copyright Office has completed development of a new electronic system to designate and search for agents to receive notifications of claimed infringement, as required under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Accordingly, the Office is publishing a final rule in the Federal Register tomorrow to implement that system, replacing an interim rule that the Office had adopted after the DMCA’s enactment. A prepublication version of the rule is available for public inspection here. The rule is effective on December 1, 2016, the date that the new online registration system and directory will be launched. In the meantime, users can begin to acquaint themselves with the new system by watching the video tutorials available here. Any service provider that has previously designated an agent with the Office will have until December 31, 2017, to submit a new designation electronically through the new online registration system.
Got that? Even if you followed the law and registered before, if you don't re-register (and pay another fee), then you will be kicked off the list of registered DMCA agents, meaning that you will lose your DMCA safe harbors. Basically, the Copyright Office is announcing that it is kicking EVERY SINGLE site that registered for DMCA safe harbor protection OFF THE SAFE HARBOR LIST.. That's horrendous. You have until the end of 2017, but really, how many sites (especially smaller sites or one person blogs) who don't follow copyright law are going to realize they need to do this? This is a recipe for disaster, and is basically the Copyright Office giving a giant middle finger to the DMCA's safe harbors for the sites that need them the most: smaller blogs and forum sites.

The Copyright Office's stated reason for doing this is nonsensical. It complains about outdated information in its database:
Since the DMCA’s enactment in 1998, online service providers have designated agents with the Copyright Office via paper filings, and the Office has made scanned copies of these filings available to the public by posting them on the Office’s website. Although the DMCA requires service providers to update their designations with the Office as information changes, an examination of a large sample of existing designations found that 22 percent were for defunct service providers, while approximately 65 percent of nondefunct service providers’ designations had inaccurate information (when compared to the information provided by service providers on their own websites).
The correct way to deal with this is to create a campaign to encourage sites to update their info -- not to kick everyone off. This is the goddamn Copyright Office, whose whole job is about "registering" information about people. Does the Copyright Office threaten to dump someone's copyright if a copyright holder's information is out of date? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. But it's now going to do that to any website that doesn't remember to constantly re-register a DMCA agent. This is a recipe for disaster, and for no good reason at all. And the idea that false or outdated info is a problem doesn't make much sense either. If a site has incorrect info, then they risk missing DMCA takedown notifications, meaning that they already face problems in not keeping their info up to date. The "solution" is not to make life worse for lots of other sites.

The final rule insists that this is no big deal because outdated info is "functionally equivalent to not designating an agent." However, as Eric Goldman points out, that's a total non sequitur. While it's true that those with outdated info may not have an official registration any more, that's no excuse for kicking off all those sites that do have valid registration. Those sites are fucked, for no reason other than the Copyright Office decided it has the right and power to just dump the entire list as of December 1.

As Goldman notes in his write-up of this clusterfuck, there's a simple solution here that the Copyright Office could have done, but didn't:
And when the Copyright Office disingenuously says the renewal requirement “should in many cases actually assist service providers in retaining their safe harbor, rather than serving to deprive them of it,” it mockably conflates its ability to communicate helpful information to registrants with draconian substantive policy effects. Here’s an alternative: send out the reminder notices but don’t make the consequences of non-renewal COMPLETE FORFEITURE OF THE DMCA SAFE HARBORS. Similarly, the analogies to other recurring obligations, like business licenses, ignore (1) the frequently less draconian consequences of non-compliance, and (2) the reality that many of these recurring obligations are nevertheless frequently mismanaged by both big and small companies.
Goldman also notes another horrifying part of the plan. The Copyright Office -- ostensibly to "help" those sites who forget to renew their DMCA agent - will list those sites on a public website of "lapsed" safe harbor registrants. Except, it's likely that instead of "helping" those sites, it will actually just be presenting a target list for copyright trolls to go searching for any infringing material on any site with a lapsed safe harbor registration.

There are questions about what can be done here. It's possible with new management coming to the Copyright Office that it may reverse this move, but that seems unlikely. It's quite likely, however, that there will be some lawsuit over this, especially as the Copyright Office is single-handedly removing protections for a whole bunch of sites. Another option is that Congress could get involved, but that would likely create an even bigger mess (Congress touching copyright law -- especially anything to do with the DMCA's safe harbors -- is not likely to end well).

This just seems like yet another example (in a ridiculously long list) of how screwed up the Copyright Office is these days.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 7:23am

    Fuck you, pay us

    A few months back, we noted, with alarm, that the Copyright Office was considering a plan to revamp how it handled DMCA registrations, which had some good -- mainly making the registration process cheaper

    Which brings in more money:

    A) A larger, one-time payment.

    or

    B) Smaller, but repeated payments.

    Cheaper in the short term does not mean cheaper in the long term, changing it from a larger, single payment to a 'smaller' but repeated payment is likely to bring in quite a bit more money.

    I'm not sure if it's blatant double-standards and stupidity, greed, or some delightful mix of the two but I think it's pretty clear that the Copyright Office is hellbent on screwing over a ton of people here and doesn't care in the slightest the damage they're going to cause.

    That they're actually making a site of targets- oh my mistake, 'lapsed registrations' almost has me hoping that this is malice, because the alternative is truly staggering incompetence and/or idiocy, such that every single person involved should be fired and blacklisted from ever being put in charge of any decisions more important than deciding what to eat at the moment.

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

    • icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 11:30am

      Re: Fuck you, pay us

      Cheaper in the short term does not mean cheaper in the long term, changing it from a larger, single payment to a 'smaller' but repeated payment is likely to bring in quite a bit more money.

      I have basically ignored the advice to register myself mainly because most of my vanity domain sites are run by a single, trusted, individual, and mostly because I am paying for all my websites. There are no corporate backing on my websites, and I make no money off of them, so why should I pay the government yet another fee to deal with something I doubt I'll ever see. Besides, my ISP has a registered DMCA agent.

      But if they are now making it a 3 year thing, why don't they just get together with ICAN and throw that as an additional requirement on the fee I already pay for the domain name registration?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2016 @ 6:01am

      Re: Fuck you, pay us

      Nice blog you got there. Wouldn't want anything to happen to it ... (pay us our safe harbor fee and we will 'protect' you).

      The government has turned into a legalized racketeering organization. Just like the mafia, ran by the MAFIA (RIAA/MPAA).

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

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 1 Nov 2016 @ 8:50am

    Dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

    Don't forget to go register for your First Amendment rights now.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:29am

      Re: Dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

      Where have you been?

      There has been so much ass wiping with the Constitution that the original no longer even exists.

      There is not a single constitutional right regarded with any significance by either the Federal Government or American Citizens.

      What we have is an entire nation full of People that have taken everything for granted and do little to help each other.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:43am

      Re: Dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

      Something something inalienable...

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

    • identicon
      SpaceLifeForm, 1 Nov 2016 @ 11:12am

      Re: Dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

      Just another attack. You
      should not have to register
      at all.

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

  • icon
    Nathan F (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 8:57am

    Um.. wouldn't it be the Courts decision to determine if a website falls under Safe Harbor rights? DMCA notices are sent to the provider who can forward them to the users in question. If the Copyright Office is acting as a middleman in this and receiving notices from rights holders then forwarding them to the service provider.. its no wonder they are overworked and over budget.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:03am

    Mike,

    Cursing makes you look so cool.

    Love,

    The Internet

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      get over yourself.

      While foul language is not the best thing to participate in, I find that people getting their undies all up in a wad about it are quick and simple tools!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      Never trust a man who doesn't curse.

      Trust me when I say, fuck you.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re:

        Hey, I curse too. I just don't do it unprofessionally.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hey, I curse too. I just don't do it unprofessionally.

          I curse professionally.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It makes you look unprofessional. And attention-desperate. My two cents. It's not helping you.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 11:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Funny, same thing I would say about you!

              It's not helping friend.

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

            • icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 11:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It makes you look unprofessional.

              Do you think I give a fuck what you think?

              And, of course, the fact that you no longer sign in makes it impossible for me to point to all the "professional" times that you went around our comments typing "bawk bawk" right?

              I'm sure your current employers would find that super professional.

              Fuck off with your career advice.

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

            • icon
              JMT (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 4:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "It makes you look unprofessional."

              Did we all walk into a business meeting by mistake and not realize?

              "And attention-desperate."

              The only attention Mike's getting from cursing is from you, and I'm pretty sure he's not desperate for that.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 5:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sure you don't, average_joe.

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

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:46pm

      Re:

      Mike,

      you know you're obligated to care about our opinion.

      Love,

      Anonymous Cowards.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2016 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      Anonymous Coward, I guess being a Grammar Nazi is way cooler!! Changing your name to cowardly moron.

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

  • identicon
    Jason, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:04am

    Then again...

    Does the Copyright Office threaten to dump someone's copyright if a copyright holder's information is out of date? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.

    Would it?

    Wouldn't that be a pretty great solution to the problem of "orphan works"? Not necessarily the best solution, maybe, and probably not after only three years, but definitely a solution.

    Renew your copyright after, say, 17 years or so, or lose it. I wonder where I've heard of that before...

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

    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:19am

      Re: Then again...

      Registering copyright works always was a no-brainer - but that is not the issue here. It's registering a DMCA agent.

      Copyright cultists managed to change the law from registered works only to "everything" years ago - because they don't care about workable solutions and think they can profit by it. Probably their hands guiding this idiocy as well.

      I suspect a BETTER idea would be to get Congress to apply that solution to DMCA registration:
      - No idiots at the copyright office screwing things up
      - No-on loses safe harbour
      Problem solved.

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

    • icon
      Oninoshiko (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:07am

      Re: Then again...

      Before the US became a signatory to berne in 1989, registration was required. depending on the specific law at the time, reregistration may have been required to cover extended periods.

      US Public Domain Rules

      America, it used to be a silly place.

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

  • icon
    Geno0wl (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:05am

    I wish they would do this

    > Does the Copyright Office threaten to dump someone's copyright if a copyright holder's information is out of date?

    To be honest I *wish they would do this*. Every 10-20 years if you don't re-register you copyright...you lose it. Of course they could add some type of buffer window for an appeal maybe, but overall this could actually be a HUGE benefit to wrestle back orphaned works while keeping the big dogs happy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:21am

      Re: I wish they would do this

      Multi-billion dollar industries would collectively shit themselves all at once and then proceed to dump unlimited money into getting the law changed back in their favor. It's not something that's going to happen. It would benefit the public far too much and the public doesn't have money.

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

  • identicon
    Cowardly Anonymous, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:16am

    The correct way to do it

    "The correct way to deal with this is to create a campaign..."

    No. The correct way is to give DCMA safe harbour to *all*. Blanketed. No registration required.

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

    • icon
      Violynne (profile), 3 Nov 2016 @ 6:20am

      Re: The correct way to do it

      "The correct way to deal with this is to create a campaign..."

      "No. The correct way is to give DCMA safe harbour to *all*. Blanketed. No registration required."

      No. The correct way is to remove the DMCA from copyright law as it has *nothing* to do with copyright.

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

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:21am

    Prenda just found their new business model!

    Dear [name],

    Your DMCA Safe Harbor expired on [date]. Please send us a check for [amount] in order to bring your website back into DMCA compliance.

    Failure to pay this amount promptly will result in multiple copyright actions against your firm. Please note that the U.S. Copyright law allows for penalties up to $150,000 per infringing work.

    Sincerely,
    John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, and Paul Duffy

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

    • icon
      Niall (profile), 10 Nov 2016 @ 6:26am

      Re:

      I'd be impressed if Paul Duffy could do this! On the other hand, it would be like "Hans all over you and Steele your stuff, Inc." to use a dead man as their front man - makes him unsueable!

      Maybe they could call themselves "Grab them by the Duffy, Inc."...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:24am

    sounds like a shakedown for more cash

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

  • icon
    KWW (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:25am

    USPTO

    Yet another example of the differences between the USPTO and the Copyright Office. The USPTO has started providing e-mail reminders about registration renewal documents. For the people. Given how horrible the Copyright Office website is (including the e-file system), I'm not holding my breath that they even have the infrastructure or know-how to do something similar.

    https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/trademark-updates-and-announcements/uspto-now-issuing-courte sy-email-reminders

    "On January 27, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") began sending courtesy email reminders of upcoming post-registration maintenance filing deadlines for §§8 and 71 declarations and §9 renewals to registration owners who have (1) "live" registrations on the date of sending; (2) provided a valid email address to the USPTO; and (3) authorized email communication. No reminders will be sent by regular mail, and no follow-up emails will be attempted for undeliverable emails."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:29am

    Does this only apply to US sites or is it a global thing?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:35am

      Re:

      The rules are written so that prosecution can be brought under either circumstance. Get a creative lawyer and it will definitely be a global thing.

      Just look at the Kim Dotcom case if you need evidence that they see themselves as global enforcers of IP Law.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:31am

    Mike, I'm perplexed as to why you think new management for the Copyright Office won't result in this rule being reversed. The new Librarian of Congress seems like the kind of person who'd try to prevent a rule like this from going live.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:35am

    This is why for years we've posted messages reminding anyone who has a blog to just go and register with the Copyright Office to get basic DMCA protections (especially after a copyright troll went after some smaller blogs who had not done so).

    ...

    Since the DMCA’s enactment in 1998, online service providers have designated agents with the Copyright Office via paper filings, and the Office has made scanned copies of these filings available to the public by posting them on the Office’s website.

    Reading these two things together appears to suggest that the author of an anonymous blog is legally required to dox himself in order to avoid legal liability.

    Surely that can't be right...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 3:08pm

      Re:

      It would only matter if the blog allows user-generated content. The DMCA doesn't grant safe harbor to material that you post on your own site. It would only cover material posted by someone else, like a comment.

      Even then, it's not required that you list yourself as the registered agent. You could list anyone that could either handle the removal themselves, or get the notice to you so that you could remove it (for example, your lawyer).

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:35am

    Well with this 'ZOMG OUTDATED INFORMATION!' push, does that mean the Copyright Office is going to start yanking Copyrights of content owners who fail to keep their data updated?

    I mean whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 9:36am

    Who said there isn't money in copyright?

    "and pay another fee"

    Now the gov't wants to make money off copyright.

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

  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:06am

    It's all about making it hard for the little guys

    This is not about the USPTO collecting money.

    It's about making it difficult - more in terms of paperwork, bother, and legal risk, than money - for individuals running websites and blogs.

    Because independent voices are harder to control and make trouble for the powers-that-be. They'd shut them down entirely (or license a few for show) if the First Amendment didn't prevent that (thank your 250 year old white male slave-owning founding fathers for that).

    They've been doing the same thing with independent non-employee workers for 100 years - piling on the taxes, paperwork, and legal risk until the vast majority give up and become easily-controlled employees.

    Nothing new, really.

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

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:34am

    I rather imagine they know that hardly anyone will be aware of this. I bet that if every site operator actually (re)registered, the db couldn't handle it, if it didn't just effectively DDoS their site in the first place. I honestly doubt they could even serve their informational video effectively if the actual traffic even approached a small percentage of the theoretical.

    It seems more like a simple plan to strip most of the net of safe harbor via "It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard"." Yes, in the basement with no lights or stairs. I really don't imagine a page of the Copyright Office site and a mention in the Federal Register is as broadly far-reaching as your average FBI "leak".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:39am

    and exactly which one (or more) of the Entertainment Industries is the Copyright Office pandering to now then? has anyone actually challenged what is intended? it's fairly obvious that the MPAA and RIAA will be at the forefront of instigators/backers of this move so how about getting them to actually own up and face the music? also, how about making the Copyright Office fully aware of what it's actual purpose is and being a lick ass for the entertainment industries shouldn't be anywhere on that list!!

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 1 Nov 2016 @ 11:11am

    Since the copyright office already has the current list of DMCA agents, you would think someone there might actually send a notification to the agent that their registration is going to expire.

    This is not a complex workflow - send a notification in advance of the registration expiring that they simply need to respond to if their information is correct.

    If the notification does not get to someone, their agent information must be bad.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 12:54pm

    Opportunity knocking...

    Hang on a minute. Can we use this twisted logic on copyrights? Imagine how many orphan works would enter the public domain...

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

  • identicon
    Spica, 1 Nov 2016 @ 1:29pm

    If copyright can automatically apply without registration...

    why can't safe harbor? Seems kind of one-sided to me.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 3:11pm

      Re: If copyright can automatically apply without registration...

      but you didn't pay for your "safe harbor"... The **AA's and others have spent billions and billions buying exactly the copyright law they wanted and we all just sat around and said, that looks like it's okay...

      The phrase, "You get what you deserve" comes to mind...

      They came for the safe harbors, and I didn't speak up, because I didn't have any safe harbors...

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

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 2:00pm

    Pseudonymous or anonymous blobs

    Pseudonymous or anonymous blobs. I guess this means that anyone who operates such a blog would be required to register with their real identity information.

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

  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 3:44pm

    New system

    The United States Copyright Office has completed development of a new electronic system to designate and search for agents to receive notifications of claimed infringement, as required under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

    I'm inclined to think the real reason for this is that their new electronic system is not designed to import data directly from the old directory.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2016 @ 6:42pm

    Correction: "If you run any kind of website in America it's super important..."

    Non-US sites hosted by non-US citizens are not bound by American laws, much as America wished otherwise. (MegaUpload, et al.)

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

  • icon
    Reverend Dak (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 6:59pm

    Did a copyright troll write this law?

    or was it the FBI/CIA/NSA/Facebook/Dianne Feinstein/Hillary Clinton (pick your privacy invading entity)?

    I assume that this DMCA policy takes precedence over basic Fair-use.

    Another case of Your rights, if you can afford them.

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

  • icon
    Woadan (profile), 1 Nov 2016 @ 8:45pm

    When I register my domain I have to provide details for:

    1) The Registrant Contact
    2) The Administrative Contact
    3) The Technical Contact
    -and-
    4) The Billing Contact

    If this DMCA Contact is so damned important, why not just add it to the domain registration?

    And if lack of copyright notice doesn't mean a copyright doesn't exist, why do I need a comment on my site for the DMCA?

    Why is the Copyright office involved in this non-copyright issue?

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

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 4 Nov 2016 @ 5:29am

      Re:

      >If this DMCA Contact is so damned important, why not just add it to the domain registration?

      For one thing, because domain != Website. It's entirely possible to have many different sites, controlled (at least in terms of day-to-day publishing decisions, and most likely in terms of legal responsibility) by otherwise-unrelated people, hosted under the same domain.

      It's true that most such services nowadays choose to implement the separate sites with URLs of the form 'site.domain.tld' rather than 'www.domain.tld/~site' or similar, but that doesn't erase the distinction; it just means it's less likely to be relevant in any given case.

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

  • identicon
    Châu, 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:59pm

    Great idea

    -- but a really great idea of requiring copyright owner to re-register every three years or lose their copyright protections.

    Probably get more money and force people cause problem pay for it. Also require include copyright registration number on product for people easy find them at copyright office.

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

  • identicon
    John Q Public, 2 Nov 2016 @ 2:46am

    We've hit WTF Factor 5000

    Instead of registering your copyrighted works with the copyright office in order to receive protection, thus providing the government with the opportunity to archive them in the Library of Congress and provide them to the citizenry under fair use when copyright has lapsed, citizens must instead register their individual publishing operations, such as websites, with the copyright office in order to protect themselves from the mere accusation violating a system of undocumented, self-proclaimed copyrights?

    What supposed benefit do I get out of this arrangement?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2016 @ 5:58am

    It's basically a tax on having a website or blog. Just like every other tax (ie: if you want to renew a license), you now need a license just to have a blog or website and you must pay your regular fees. That's not acceptable.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2016 @ 6:06am

    "Except, it's likely that instead of "helping" those sites, it will actually just be presenting a target list for copyright trolls to go searching for any infringing material on any site with a lapsed safe harbor registration."

    The intended effect. Like I said, this is a racketeering operation.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2016 @ 6:25am

    the copyright office needs to be charged with RICO and corruption on a vast scale.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2016 @ 10:35am

    This article will be censored from the Internet because it violates the "Think of the Children" law, which prohibits the usage of words such as "fuck", "shit", "trump" etc.

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

  • identicon
    Steven, 19 Dec 2016 @ 10:15am

    Check deposited, nothing filed

    Curious, had anybody else paid the fee in 2016 while never seeing their form scanned and uploaded? The $140 check cleared, but that's all that happened. Now I've paid again with the new system.

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


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