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UPDATED: Music Labels Ask Blogs to Post Songs to Promote Artists, Ask Google to Erase Blogs for Post

February 11, 2010 DMCA , Fair Use , Filtering , Network Neutrality , Piracy

Today's news that Google shut down music blogs that were accused of copyright infringement is rightfully getting plenty of coverage. Mostly, it is being held up as another in a long line of examples of problems with the DMCA notice-and-takedown system. This is a great example of a problem with the DMCA because, at least according to The Guardian, the notices that Google relied on to delete the blogs were woefully incomplete. Google should not have acted until it had proper notices from rights holders, including the name of the actual work allegedly infringed. Since many of the notices did not even include this information, there was no way for the bloggers to file a DMCA counternotice. For an update on the DMCA part of this story, check out Wired and Google's own post. Of course, the DMCA confusion does a great job of illustrating the points about filtering below.

It is important that this story is being used to point out problems with the DMCA, and with Google's policies for dealing with DMCA complaints. how complicated DMCA implementation can be. What it equally important, if less commented on, is what it can tell us about copyright filtering.

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Landmark Australian Ruling Deals a Blow to Three Strikes Down Under

February 4, 2010 BitTorrent , DMCA , Filtering , Safe Harbor , Three Strikes

For those of us who believe that the Internet should remain an open, democratic and non-discriminatory platform, with few exceptions, the last two years have brought a steady stream of bad news from Down Under. First, there were rumblings that Australia was seeking to implement a “three strikes” policy toward those accused of online filesharing. Next, New Zealand came close to instituting its own three strikes mandate, though thanks to the efforts of activists, that deeply-flawed law was struck down at the last minute. Finally, after a number of previous, failed attempts, the Australian government announced that it plans to mandate the use of real-time filtering technologies on public ISPs sometime during the next year. Just when it seemed like no one in the Australian and New Zealand governments appreciated the damaging effects of such policies, an Australian federal court judge has ruled that the ISP iiNet is not responsible for the actions of its subscribers. In the landmark ruling (full text here), which will likely have ramifications in the U.S. and elsewhere, the judge rebuffs Hollywood’s attempt to require iiNet to act as a copyright cop, dealing a blow to three strikes in the process. Let’s take a closer look.

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2010 State of the Net Three Strikes Panel — what MPAA and RIAA don’t want you to know

January 28, 2010 Broadband , DMCA , Fair Use , FCC , MPAA

Yesterday, the MPAA and RIAA made a giant political misstep by refusing to participate in a debate about three strikes. In doing so, they exposed the public and a number of US policy makers to policy that would strip Internet subscribers of their constitutional due process rights.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I attended this year's State of the Net Conference beautifully orchestrated by Tim Lordan and his crew at the Internet Caucus Advisory Committee.

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Streaming, Sports, SOC, and Stuff.

December 18, 2009 DMCA , FCC , P2P , Piracy , SOC

Although overshadowed by Joe Biden's big party for his Copyright buddies, the good folks at the House Judiciary Committee staged their own holiday party for Hollywood. Since "p2p" is now passe, the Judiciary's Secret Santa brought Hollywood a whole new villain to attack in the name of piracy, streaming media. (Hey everyone, remember when 'streaming media' was the good way to get content online because it could be protected unlike that evil peer-2-peer stuff so Hollywood pretended they loved streaming media so they could outlaw peer-2-peer? Boy, we were so young back then . .

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce uses the DMCA to silence critic

October 27, 2009 DMCA , Fair Use

Copyright owners have often used the DMCA’s notice and take down procedure to silence criticism instead of preventing copyright infringement. A recent DMCA take down involving the group Yes Men is yet another example of this phenomenon. On October 22, a website created by the Yes Men which parodied the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s stance on a climate change bill was taken down pursuant to a DMCA notice.

The Yes Men is a group that exposes corporate greed by posing as corporate representatives and pulling off the “world’s most outrageous pranks.” Their most recent prank that caused the ire of the Chamber involved the Kerry-Boxer climate change bill. The Chamber opposes the bill even though its decision to do so has been controversial.

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