The DMCA safe harbors are again in the spotlight, with extensive new research and an upcoming Copyright Office notice of inquiry drawing attention.
On New Year’s Eve, the Copyright Office announced a request for comment into the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Section 512 “safe harbors,” which concludes tomorrow. (It also announced roundtables in May in New York and Stanford.) As regular DisCo readers may remember, the DMCA’s safe harbors provide that an Internet service cannot be held responsible for copyright infringement by Internet users, provided the service quickly takes down individual content if a copyright holder claims that content is infringing.
In addition to the Copyright Office’s inquiry, scholars Jennifer Urban, Brianna Schofield, and Joe Karaganis published a sweeping survey of DMCA data earlier this week, “Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice.” This report provides extensive empirical analysis of the use of the notice and takedown system. The report also provides the most extensive empirical evidence of DMCA misuse to date, something frequently covered here at DisCo (e.g., , , ), but which has been getting attention from mainstream journalists as well (, , ).