As it promised it would earlier this year, the U.S. Copyright Office is reviewing current safe harbor policies that say that YouTube and other internet companies cannot be held liable when their users upload and distribute content without licences, provided that they take it down when informed of the infringement.
To help guide their decision, the Copyright Office has opened a new comment period that it says will provide, “an opportunity for interested parties to reply or expand upon issues raised in written comments (previously) submitted and during the public roundtables held in May.
Source: U.S. Copyright Office Reopens DMCA Takedown and Safe Harbor Debate, Asks For Comments – hypebot
The recent appellate decision in the long-running lawsuit brought by record labels and music publishers against MP3Tunes didn’t get a tremendous amount of attention, but Google, Facebook, eBay, Twitter and other digital giants are aghast at the result and warning of dire consequences without a do-over.
On Oct. 25, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals gave copyright holders some big victories by narrowing the circumstances whereby internet service providers can claim safe harbor from copyright liability.
Source: Internet Giants Warn of Mass User Terminations If Recent Appellate Ruling Left Untouched | Hollywood Reporter
The U.S. Supreme Court wants to hear more about the legal issues underpinning a dispute over a takedown notice sent to a mother who posted a 29-second video clip on YouTube of her toddler dancing to Prince’s 1984 hit, “Let’s Go Crazy.”
The high court hasn’t yet granted review of the nearly decade-old dispute between Stephanie Lenz and Universal Music, but on Monday in a strong sign that the justices are at least entertaining the possibility, they invited the U.S. Solicitor General to express the government’s viewpoint about this case.
Source: U.S. Supreme Court Wants Government’s Take on Copyright Takedown Case | Hollywood Reporter
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act shields a service provider from liability upon certain conditions including the adoption of such a policy. However, both sides debated whether certain MP3Tunes users truly qualified as “repeat infringers.” The trial judge held that only those who are “blatant infringers” are subject to banning, but Lohier agrees with the copyright holders that this doesn’t match with the text, structure or legislative history of the DMCA.
Tuesday’s opinion comes to the view that a definition of “repeat infringer as limited to willful infringement is too narrow,” and that a repeat infringer “does not need to know of the infringing nature of its online activities, or to upload rather than download content.”
Source: Content Industry Gets Favored Interpretation of “Repeat Infringers” in MP3Tunes Appeal | Hollywood Reporter
The overwhelming majority of notices sent to Google are sent by a small group of copyright owners. The top 10% of senders are responsible for well over 90% of notices, and this group is also responsible for the large increase in notices being sent over the last five years.
Importantly, each notice can contain thousands of requests for individual URLs to be removed. When we look at discrete URLs, we see that the top 0.1% of copyright owners are responsible for most takedown requests. This proportionally tiny group currently requests that Google remove over 76 million URLs per month, compared to approximately 50,000 URLs per month for the bottom 99.9%. These massive numbers are attributable to the use of automated notice sending systems, which are used frequently by higher volume notice senders.
Source: Who Polices the Internet?
For those wanting to have content removed from the Bing search engine, Microsoft is now providing a new system that can be utilized by copyright holders both big and small.
“Lack of communication is a leading cause of divorce. Communication is vital, and sharing the status of a copyright infringement notice is no exception. Which is why Bing just made this easier,” the company announced. “A new online dashboard provides insight into the status of a copyright removal request, as well as providing overall historical submission statistics. This dashboard is now available for users who submit DMCA notices via our online form or API.”
Source: Microsoft Bing Debuts New DMCA Notice Dashboard – TorrentFreak
Film studio Warner Brothers has asked Google to remove its own website from search results, saying it violates copyright laws. It also asked the search giant to remove links to legitimate movie streaming websites run by Amazon and Sky, as well as the film database IMDB.
The request was submitted on behalf of Warner Brothers by Vobile, a company that files hundreds of thousands of takedown requests every month.
Source: Warner Brothers reports own site as illegal – BBC News