DMCA Safe Harbor is NOT a “License to Infringe”

Thanks to Music Tech Policy for alerting us to this post from The Association of Independent Music Publishers:

Apparently, some internet users interpret the DMCA “safe harbor,” which is designed to strike a balance between copyright and technology, as something quite different, a “license” to post anything you like, even if you know it is infringing, unless and until the copyright owner complains.

The distinction may seem small, but it may represent how the general public regards copyright on the internet.  Instead of avoiding infringement and respecting copyright, the concept of the “DMCA License” is that you don’t have to respect copyright.  Do what you like, and at the worst the copyright owner might force your ISP to remove the material.

There is no such thing as a “DMCA License” because under the DMCA, copyright owners are not in any way consenting to unauthorized use.  They are simply trying to keep up with the millions of infringements, using what the law gives them to work with.