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What's the problem with DMCA takedown notices?

Grant Gross | March 21, 2014
A U.S. government effort to encourage agreement among copyright holders and Web-based services on how to improve the notice-and-takedown process in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act began Thursday with some disagreement about what direction the discussions should take.

Many infringing files shared on the Internet start with digital rights management, but those technologies are hacked, countered Sandra Aistars, CEO of the Copyright Alliance. "The cattle are branded," she said.

Some participants questioned the need for major changes to the takedown process, particularly changes that would make it easier for copyright holders to file more notices. If anything, the DMCA process is now "too efficient," with millions of notices filed each year, said Jonathan Band, a lawyer representing the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

"From the perspective of a lot of my clients, the DMCA is working really, really well," he said. "It's always important to fine-tune it, but in terms of the notion that this is a system that's terribly flawed, we just don't accept that premise at all."

The DOC and USPTO plan to have additional discussions about the DMCA every six weeks, with meetings alternating between the Washington, D.C., area and San Jose, California.

 

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