DMCA “safe harbor” up in the air for online sites that use moderators

28 05 2017
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s so-called “safe harbor” defense to infringement is under fire from a paparazzi photo agency. A new court ruling says the defense may not always be available to websites that host content submitted by third parties.

The safe harbor provision is what has given rise to sites like YouTube and various social media platforms. In essence, safe harbor was baked into the DMCA to allow websites to be free from legal liability for infringing content posted by their users—so long as the website timely removes that content at the request of the rights holder.

But a San Francisco-based federal appeals court is ruling that, if a website uses moderators to review content posted by third parties, the safe harbor privilege may not apply. That’s according to a Friday decision in a dispute brought by Mavrix Photographs against LiveJournal, which hosts the popular celebrity fan forum “Oh No they Didn’t.” The site hosted Mavrix-owned photos of Beyonce Knowles, Katy Perry, and other stars without authorization.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/04/dmca-safe-harbor-up-in-the-air-for-online-sites-that-use-moderators/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Revisiting If Suing Bloggers For Copyright Infringement Can Be Profitable–BWP v. Mishka

6 03 2017

Ever since the Righthaven debacle, I’ve been wondering about the profitability of copyright enforcement actions against bloggers. Bloggers aren’t the deepest pockets, and numerous copyright doctrines make wins and big judgments expensive and unlikely, plus a single 505 fee shift can erase accumulated profits from many small-scale wins (see, e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4).

Today’s case gives us some additional numbers to crunch. Mishka runs a fashion blog. She included 2 photos to which BWP owned the copyrights. (BWP is a familiar name on this blog). BWP sued in August 2013. As usual in these circumstances, BWP didn’t send any takedown notices, and Mishka deleted the photos upon receiving the complaint. In March 2016, BWP accepted an offer of judgment for $7,500 plus “costs and attorney [sic] fees in the amount to be set by the Court.”

Case citation: BWP Media USA, Inc. v. Mishka NYC LLC, 2016 WL 8309676 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 2016)

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/02/revisiting-if-suing-bloggers-for-copyright-infringement-can-be-profitable-bwp-v-mishka.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Forget DMCA takedowns—RIAA wants ISPs to filter for pirated content

28 02 2017
The Recording Industry Association of America and other rights holders are urging US copyright regulators to update the “antiquated” DMCA takedown process. They want Internet Service Providers to filter out pirated content.

What the RIAA and 14 other groups are telling the US Copyright Office is simple: The 19-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act isn’t working. They say the process of granting legal immunity—or “safe harbor”—to ISPs who “expeditiously” remove copyrighted content upon notice of the rights holder needs to be supplanted with fresh piracy controls. That’s because, they say, the process creates a so-called “endless game of whack-a-mole” in which an ISP will remove pirated content only to see it instantaneously reappear at the push of a button by a copyright scofflaw. This requires the rights holder to send a new takedown notice—often again and again.

The groups say (PDF):

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/forget-dmca-takedowns-riaa-wants-isps-to-filter-for-pirated-content/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Copyright Office Q&A Session About The New Online DMCA Designated Agents Directory

25 02 2017

By guest blogger Franklin Graves

Last week, at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting in Miami, Florida, the Section of Intellectual Property Law’s Computer Program & New Technologies Committee hosted a Q&A event with the U.S. Copyright Office to discuss the new online DMCA Designated Agent Directory.  [Eric’s most recent blog post on this topic.] Attorney-Advisor Jason Sloan joined via telephone to answer a set of questions collected in advance, as well as field live questions from attendees.  Below is a transcription of the Q&A session, moderated by the Committee Vice Chair Franklin Graves, published in an effort to provide answers and insights into common issues and scenarios facing practicing attorneys working with the new system.

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/02/copyright-office-qa-session-about-the-new-online-dmca-designated-agents-directory.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Copyright Office Gratuitously Kills the DMCA Safe Harbor For Thousands of Websites

7 02 2017

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.

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2016/10/copyright-office-gratuitously-kills-the-dmca-safe-harbor-for-thousands-of-websites.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.