Category: Copyright

A flawed study on the DMCA – Peeling back the layers of the onion

Berkeley Law’s dubious study on copyright notice and takedown faces more scrutiny

Last month–a day before deadline for public comments on the U.S. Copyright Office’s study on the impact and effectiveness of the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), section 512–UC-Berkeley School of Law and the American Assembly (via the Google-funded Takedown Project) released a study purporting to give a “broad picture of how section 512 notice and takedown works on the ground.”

A day after its release I wrote quick post highlighting some initial concerns with the study, but hadn’t had time to fully digest the entire 160 page report.  Now, nearly a month later, others have taken the time to more carefully look at the study and uncover its (many) dubious findings.  Kevin Madigan & Devlin Hartline  scholars at the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) have published a detailed response to study, “Separating Fact from Fiction in the Notice and Takedown Debate,” and note:

The study reads more like propaganda than robust empiricism. It should be taken for what it is: A policy piece masquerading as an independent study.

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Box Office Profits NOT Proof Piracy Doesn’t Hurt

Piracy erodes audience options-forces studios to make fewer films

The movie industry makes record profits so piracy doesn’t matter after all.…that’s the gist of many headlines following MPAA Chief Chris Dodd’s recent speech at Cinemacon’s Las Vegas convention last week where he said, “the state of our industry has never been stronger.”  We’ve seen this phenomenon before.  Positive news about record global box office revenue is twisted into justification for the pro-piracy mantra that piracy doesn’t hurt filmmakers.

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Google’s “safe browsing” initiative is more bark than bite

Despite headlines, it’s still business as usual for Google — Piracy sites full of malware and deceptive ads top Google search

Last fall Google introduced a series of steps to strengthen its Safe Browsing initiative announcing it would include protection against, “social engineering attacks – deceptive tactics that try to trick you into doing something dangerous, like installing unwanted software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards).
Sounds like a positive step against online piracy since malware and deceptive advertising is online piracy’s bread and butter right? WRONG…

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Google-funded study on copyright takedowns drops the ball

Google-funded report generates desired headlines and conveniently downplays the role of DMCA counter-notices–ignoring fact the system is weighted against rights holders

A new report on the DMCA notice and takedown system, Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice, was released yesterday.  Co-authored by researchers at Berkeley Law and Columbia University (collaborators for The Takedown Project), the release is clearly timed to generate buzz to coincide with the April 1st deadline for comments to the U.S. Copyright Office on the state of the 512 statute.

The study is said to offer, “a rare, in-depth, empirical look at ways online copyright disputes are handled between Internet companies, such as Google and YouTube, and content creators, such as movie, music, and publishing companies.”  Hmmm, color me a tad suspicious of any piracy-related report funded by Google*.

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Google really, really doesn’t like you to send DMCA requests via email

The Google team doesn’t seem to appreciate email as a form of communication

I’ve written about Google’s laborious and time-consuming DMCA takedown maze, a process that forces creators to find, then fill out cumbersome online forms. I’ve also written about the fact that Google makes it difficult, if not impossible, to find the email address for its DMCA Agent–in apparent violation of  the law’s requirements.

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