Feeds

Study suggests DMCA takedown regs abused

Surprise surprise

High performance access to file storage

One third of all requests to Internet service providers to remove stolen copyrighted material from their servers could likely be defeated in court, according to a study of some 900 notices by two legal experts.

The survey examined takedown notices served to Google and another large Internet provider under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Section 512. Two provisions of that section require that hosting providers and search providers remove content and links to content in order to gain exemption from possible copyright lawsuits. The music and movie industry typically use a different provision of the section to ask for suspected infringers to be cut off from the Internet.

According to the study, thirty percent of the notices could be readily challenged in court on clear grounds, such as a substantial fair-use argument and the likelihood that the material is uncopyrightable. One out of 11 notices had such a significant legal flaw - such as not identifying the infringing material - as to render the notice unusable. Moreover, more than half of the notices for link removal that were sent to Google were sent by businesses targeting apparent rivals, the report said.

While the authors of the study admit it uses a small sample set, the conclusions support contentions that the DMCA has been used to hobble expression on the Internet, even among security researchers, who have an explicit exemption in the law. The row with media giant Sony BMG over its controversial copy protection technology had some researchers worried that investigating the protection would place them at hazard from a DMCA lawsuit.

If more Internet service providers published every takedown notice they receive, as Google does, a more statistically valid study could be performed, the authors stated.

Copyright © 2005, SecurityFocus

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.