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Digital age changes all the rules on intellectual property

11 November 2017

From The Hill:

The newest parts of copyright law are the most antiquated, and they are choking creativity and innovation. But that hasn’t stopped some internet companies that benefit from the status quo from calling for the Trump administration to export those laws in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Those calls should be ignored. Moreover, Congress and the courts can and should do more to protect creativity and innovation in the digital age.

The DMCA reflects a distant digital past

The problem lies in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998’s notice and takedown system, which seemed well suited for the dawning internet age, but became outdated practically overnight and has not aged well.

. . . .

The burdens imposed on rights holders by this antiquated system are immense. For example, Google’s latest transparency report reveals that in 2016, Google alone received well over 900 million takedown requests.

The DMCA’s single file containment approach leads to an endless, futile game of whack-a-mole, where creators send the same takedown notice, for the same works, over and over and over.

. . . .

[C]ourts should more faithfully enforce the statutory conditions that must be met to qualify for the DCMA safe harbor protection. The courts should also stop ignoring and give effect to the DMCA provision that requires service providers to act to block infringements.

. . . .

[S]ervice providers should voluntarily implement systems ensuring that infringing materials are taken down and stay down.

Link to the rest at The Hill

PG suggests that legislation has a very difficult time keeping up with innovation in the technology world.

This does not mean he condones violation of the copyright laws, only that on a world-wide internet which is constantly sprouting new technologies, legislators can never keep up. Ditto for regulators.

Copyright/Intellectual Property

5 Comments to “Digital age changes all the rules on intellectual property”

  1. The burdens imposed on rights holders by this antiquated system are immense. For example, Google’s latest transparency report reveals that in 2016, Google alone received well over 900 million takedown requests.

    Seems the burden hits more than rights holders. 900 million is a pretty good burden.

    • Especially when the vast majority of those takedown requests are automated systems that are already skirting the spirit of the law regarding veracity of claims.

  2. “The courts should also stop ignoring and give effect to the DMCA provision that requires service providers to act to block infringements.”

    And there should be heavy fines for false DMCA notices. Funny how they don’t mention that bit of it …

  3. Am I the only one that gets a chill thinking about lawmakers trying to update copyright law? They manage to bungle everything they try to fix. I shudder to think what they would do to copyright law….

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