Online Piracy Finally In the Crosshairs | William Buckley Jr. HuffPo

Written in 1998, with the intent of protecting both copyright holders and website owners, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, quickly became a devastating problem for copyright holders. Not coincidentally, barely a year later, in 1999, Shawn Fanning launched Napster, marking the beginning of online piracy and over a decade of artist abuse.

Now, fifteen years later, most pirate sites are still operating under the protection provided by the DMCA’s Safe Harbor; a loop-hole that has enabled pirate sites to thrive in a quasi-legal gray area. A safe harbor from which online pirates claim compliance by engaging in what is commonly referred to as whack-a-mole, a process where infringing sites comply with take down notices by taking down the infringing content only to have the same content reposted almost immediately from another source.

The proposed change referred to as Stay Down strives to eliminate the safe harbor loop-hole. Copyright holders and administrators, while still responsible for policing their work, are only responsible for notifying a website operator one time. Once that is accomplished, the hosting site is now responsible for blocking the infringing content. A process that can be managed by software programs. If a service provider fails to comply they are in violation of the law.


3 thoughts on “Online Piracy Finally In the Crosshairs | William Buckley Jr. HuffPo

  1. Who exactly proposed the “notice and stay down” provision? Has anyone offered a draft? Have any technology providers offered explanations of how it could work? I.e., just how real is this?

  2. This suggestion is a step in the right direction. However, there is no mention of compensation to creators for all the losses that will occur before the takedown. The Copyright clause in the constitution uses the words “exclusive right.” This means that the creator should be compensated at an amount they would set for a stream or download for any infringing streams or downloads that make it before the first take down. Technology companies will whine, but this would be closer to being consistent on how other laws protecting property rights are written. Other property laws would support this, but they would also had a penalty as a detterent. And really it is time that the technology indsutry learns to create a buiness model that does not rely on giving away things that do not belong to them and things they spent nothing to help create.

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