July 01, 2020

Copyright Office Issues Report on DMCA Safe Harbors: Section 512 is “Unbalanced”

TCAM Today

When the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) was enacted, the stated goal was to bring federal copyright law into the 21st century by providing certain immunities to internet service providers while preserving and even streamlining the ability of copyright holders to enforce their rights.

In the years immediately following the passage of the DMCA, things seemed to work smoothly. In particular, the notice-and-takedown procedure set forth in Section 512, which allows copyright owners to send written notices to parties who have allegedly used copyrighted content without authorization and which requires the recipients of such notices to promptly remove the content, was a useful tool that enabled parties to reach quick resolution of copyright disputes while avoiding costly litigation. However, no one in 1998 could have predicted how the internet would grow exponentially and how it would dramatically increase in importance as a means of communication, advertising and marketing, and become a platform for retail sales, banking, and other commercial transactions as well as a source of entertainment, education, news and other information.

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