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The Internet Government United States Politics Your Rights Online

10 Years Later, Misunderstood DMCA Is the Law That "Saved the Web" 205

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-perfect-the-understatement-of-the-year dept.
mattOzan writes "On the tenth anniversary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [PDF], Wired Magazine posits that the DMCA should be praised for catalyzing the interactive '2.0' Web that we enjoy today. While acknowledging the troublesome 'anti-circumvention' provision of the act, they claim that any harm caused by that is far outweighed by the act's "notice-and-takedown" provision and the safe harbor that this provides to intermediary ISPs. Fritz Attaway, policy adviser for the MPAA weighed in saying 'It's not perfect. But it's better than nothing.'"
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10 Years Later, Misunderstood DMCA Is the Law That "Saved the Web"

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  • DMCA saved me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BountyX (1227176) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:04AM (#25537857)
    Being a Tor server operator, I get a couple copyright infringment letters and take down notices here and there...I just reference DMCA and they go away. Seems to work well.
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOsPAM.Gmail.com> on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:05AM (#25537869) Homepage Journal

    It's kind of like praising No Child Left Behind. Something like it was necessary, but did we have to have the result?

    In an economy where knowledge, software, and creative work is paid for, you do have to have some legal protection for those works. Despite what some may wish, this isn't a Brave GNU World where everything is free as in give it all away. People want paychecks.

    That said, what we desperately need is a system that both protects the copyright of these works, and allows common sense fair use for the end customer. We don't have that with a Wild West kind of no-copyright system, and we don't have that with the DMCA.

  • by devloop (983641) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:12AM (#25537911)

    TFA is a total fallacy, there is not even a weak attempt at justifying the conclusion
    that the DMCA has had any sort of beneficial effects on technology, much less
    "catalyzing the interactive '2.0' web".

    There is as much of a cause/effect relationship between the two as
    there is between the DMCA being enacted and my balls growing gray hairs the same year.

    Here's a link to the definition of Non sequitur: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_(logic) [wikipedia.org]

    Just your typical lame eyeball whoring by Wired, nothing to see move along.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:35AM (#25538033) Homepage

    A variant of the DMCA that merely granted ISPs the safe-harbor in exchange for identifying who placed the content online, and required a court order from a federal judge for a takedown, would have worked just as well in terms of enabling content hosting providers like YouTube. The RIAA and MPAA would certainly have not liked it. So while the safe-harbor aspect of the DMCA certainly had its benefits, other aspects of the DMCA clearly do not.

    It's time to make some revisions on the DMCA, such shortening the takedown period, and requiring a federal judge's temporary restraining order to extend it. There should also be a minimum base damage liability for a false or fraudulent takedown (I propose $250 per day). Thus, even for individuals not making any money from content, there is something to recover from all those embarrassing days their content was gone. There should also be $25 processing fee paid to the ISPs per takedown. No more freebies.

    I'm sure a lot of people reading this would argue that it should just go away. Well, that is very unlikely to happen.

  • by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:37AM (#25538047) Homepage

    It is neither desirable nor easily practical to conceal the identity of the accused; in fact, it is desirable and practical for the opposite to happen.

    What do you have against people being able to publicly confront their accusers and be confronted in turn?

  • Excuse me... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WoollyMittens (1065278) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:57AM (#25538111)
    Web 2.0 flourished DESPITE the chokehold the greedy fat cats of imaginary property hold on our culture.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @02:15AM (#25538183)

    It is neither desirable nor easily practical to conceal the identity of the accused; in fact, it is desirable and practical for the opposite to happen.

    What do you have against people being able to publicly confront their accusers and be confronted in turn?

    What do you have against anonymous speech?

  • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @02:52AM (#25538315)
    It is absolutely critical, in many cases, to conceal the identity of the accused. Otherwise, political and satirical material, which is some of the most protected speech, may be blocked by fears of discovery for using completely 'Fair Use' quotes or video, and taken down immediately and with little recourse with fraudulent 'DMCA' notices.
  • by zakezuke (229119) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @03:28AM (#25538475)

    I have to really wonder about this. The DMCA only applies within US borders. Piracy is alive and well. There is thepirate bay, somewhat lame video sites tudou.com and youku.com, and I can still find a ton of infringing material on Youtube. I can't for example upload a 20 second clip that Sony owns an interest in without it getting pulled based on keywords. I've had to deal with offline storage sites that to be fair take a takedown notice as license to terminate an account period without resolve.

    Without the DMCA I have to wonder if the web would still be the wild wild west of 2000, and if so would it actually be better. Piracy is pretty damn good advertising.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @03:56AM (#25538573)

    Forget about any kind of website relying on user-generated content. As far as I can tell, the laws on the books would've held websites liable for every incident of infringement - thus any user video website (Youtube) couldn't exist, Wikipedia possibly couldn't as well (numerous instances where content was plagiarized), blog hosting (any user posting copyrighted content could shut down the provider), etc.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @03:59AM (#25538583)

    In an economy where knowledge, software, and creative work is paid for, you do have to have some legal protection for those works. Despite what some may wish, this isn't a Brave GNU World where everything is free as in give it all away.

    The question is: if such protections didn't exist, and every piece of "intellectual property" would thus be created either because someone wanted to or someone wanted it to exist enough to pay someone else to make it, would the world be better or worse off ?

    People want paychecks.

    At this point, I wonder if we'd be better off by repealing the copyright laws and simply paying the MAFIAA an annual "protection" cost equal to its current profits. The MAFIAA would get its paycheck, we'd end up paying less money overall due to less waste, and get rid of the perverting effects the copyright cartels have on our society and technology (such as DRM). It would be a net win for everyone.

    That, or we could simply point out that people wanting to be paid doesn't mean that they should be. Unless, of course, I'm entitled to be paid every time someone views this comment.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @08:58AM (#25540637)

    What do you have against anonymous speech?

    The fact that is dissociates action from responsibility, and in this context, allows the speaker to break the law with impunity.

    I don't believe in absolute free speech either — and neither does any contemporary legal system that I know of — but in any case, if something is important enough to broadcast to the world like this, then it is important enough to put your name to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @09:37AM (#25541077)

    The deregulation started in the 1970's. Learn your history. He only continued doing what everyone else was. Besides, Bill couldn't have vetoed that bill since it was passed as a veto-proof majority.

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