Stopping IP theft should not be this difficult, or so costly, to the individual artist, who is ultimately the victim.
In the first six months of 2013, the largest search engine received more than 100 million DMCA takedown notices. The numbers are staggering, but don’t reflect the reality that most indie and small creators struggle to keep up with issuing notices and have simply given up trying to prevent illegal profiting from their work. Independent artists cannot afford employing an entire legal department to monitor the unauthorized use of their content on a daily basis.
And the profits are staggering — a recent study by the Digital Citizens Alliance estimates that the top 596 pirate sites raked in $227 million in advertising revenues last year. These sites had a profit margin of between 80 and 94 percent. Content thieves rely on stealing the rights-protected work of others and distributing on low-cost sites. It’s a low-risk, high-reward business.
This week, the House Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property will examine the “Notice and Takedown” process, and to us, it is clear that a very hard look is necessary.
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