This story has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. In 2011 (yes, over 5 years ago), the Copyright Office announced that it was going to transition the designation of DMCA safe harbor agents from paper to electronic. The current paper-based system has been archaic since the beginning, so creating an electronic database is long overdue.
However, the transition raised the question of what would happen to the legacy registrations. Obviously the Copyright Office could scan them and feed them into the new electronic database, but that would cost some money (the Final Rule complains about the cost but doesn’t provide a number). Plus, the Copyright Office said that its initial interim rules indicated that reregistration would be required. So the Copyright Office proposed requiring all existing registrants to reregister or THEY WILL LOSE THE DMCA SAFE HARBOR.
If that isn’t troubling enough, the Copyright Office also proposed to require all registrants to re-register every 2 years–again at the peril of losing the DMCA Safe Harbor if the sites fail to do so.
The song, “Heathens,” was originally uploaded on June 15 to the file-sharing site Dropfile. That same day, the file landed on Reddit. According to a lawsuit (PDF) in New York State Supreme Court, the file was posted to the Twenty One Pilots subreddit with the title “[Leak] New Song – ‘Heathens’ The Poster submitted the link under the username “twentyoneheathens,” according to Atlantic.
Atlantic and its subsidiary label, Fueled by Ramen, want the IP address of the Reddit leaker. The company said the file fell victim to “widespread distribution” on the Internet, so the company released the single June 16, a week ahead of schedule; the label also said the early release hindered a planned rollout on Spotify, iTunes, and other platforms. Atlantic says the leaker must be an Atlantic employee who was contractually obligated not to leak the track, which is featured in the movie Suicide Squad that debuted earlier this month.
That system—which many originally feared would result in people having their Internet cut off—is now officially dead. The CAS, as it was known, didn’t have much teeth, and it didn’t really result in people losing their Internet access, either. Today, it’s no secret that online copyright infringement runs rampant.
The program primarily tried to combat infringement as follows: Internet subscribers could get two notices for “educational” purposes that their accounts had been used to commit infringement. Upon a third and fourth notice, the subscriber was required to respond and acknowledge it. On the fifth and sixth notices, consumers might have their Internet speeds throttled. The plan left it up to the rights holders if they wanted to sue copyright offenders.
The plaintiff’s vanity Google search results included the following snippet: “indecency with a child in Trial Court Cause N . . . Colin O’Kroley v Pringle.” The linked result (to Google Book’s indexing of Texas Advance Sheet–see image) contained a summary of the child indecency case preceding the listing for O’Kroley’s totally unrelated lawsuit. O’Kroley asserted that this search result snippet harmed him, so he demanded $19.2 trillion in damages (GOBOGH!). The trial court said no, citing Section 230. The appeals court, in a short but surprisingly published opinion, affirmed.
The amount of damages, if the Navy loses, could go up substantially. Bitmanagement also noted that, in addition to licensing fees, it is seeking pre- and post-judgement interest, punitive damages, legal costs, attorney fees, and statutory damages that could amount to $150,000 per infringement.
According to the lawsuit (PDF) filed in the US Court of Federal Claims: