The U.S. Government’s Copyright Office has launched a new consultation seeking guidance on the future of the DMCA’s takedown process and safe harbor. The Office is hoping to find a balance between the interests of copyright holders, Internet services and the public at large.
Over the past year, the Government already received a lot of input on a possible reform of the DMCA safe harbor provisions. Various rightsholders weighed in, as expected, and so did technology companies, law scholars and civil rights groups.
The problem for the U.S. Copyright Office is that there’s little agreement on how to move forward.
The MPAA, RIAA, and other industry groups are calling for extensive revisions and don’t want services to hide behind their safe harbor protections. Among other things, they want a notice-and-stay-down policy to ensure that, once deleted, content doesn’t pop up elsewhere.
Many service providers, however, see this an unworkable solution and believe that the current system is capable of dealing with infringing content.
On the other end of the spectrum there are calls to implement penalties for abusive notices, so copyright holders can be punished for submitting takedown requests that are false.
The deadline for the submissions is March 8, after which the Copyright Office will try to reach its conclusions.