PFF Congressional Seminar Looks at DMCA Notice-and-Takedowns
WASHINGTON D.C. - Internet sites where users can post content are all the rage, but that content isn't always created by the user; sometimes it belongs to someone else. These services, not envisioned when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was crafted almost a decade ago, are increasingly popular but much of that popularity is driven by copyrighted content. The resulting tensions have occasionally led to litigation. Is there a way for users to enjoy online content while ensuring creators have a say in the use of their works? This and related questions will be examined in " What Goes Up Must Come Down: Copyright and Process in the Age of User-Posted Content," a Progress & Freedom Foundation Congressional Seminar Friday, March 16th.
Section 512 of the DMCA, crafted for Internet service providers, requires those providers to take down infringing content when notified by the content owner. On massive file-posting sites, however, owners are often required to submit numerous takedown requests, only to see the same content reposted within minutes or hours of the provider's compliance. The copyright owner also can be criticized if someone else's content is inadvertently taken down. An L.A.-based news service is suing a major file-hosting site for copyright infringement, arguing that the site is not a service provider as defined in the DMCA but rather a content provider, and thus not eligible for Section 512 protection.
A distinguished panel of experts will examine the current state of user-posted sites and copyright law. Is there merit to the news service's case? Does the DMCA need a clearer interpretation from the court? Does defining a content-hosting web site as a service provider give that site unfair advantage in negotiating with content owners? Is there a role for Congress to play? Are there technological solutions that can work in place of new legislation or litigation? Is there a role for intermediaries? Is there even a problem?
“What Goes Up Must Come Down: Copyright and Process in the Age of User-Posted Content” runs from noon to 2 pm on Friday, March 16 th in Room B340 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Lunch will be served. Those wishing to attend can register online. General questions can be addressed to Jane Creel at 202-289-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Media enquiries can be addressed to Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or email@example.com.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.