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.


FarePlay.Org – An Open Letter

Below is an open letter from FarePlay founder Will Buckley – Support FarePlay.

An open letter.

FarePlay is an advocacy group supporting the rights of individuals to control the distribution and sale of their Intellectual Property.

Our mission is to confront the misinformation and misperceptions voiced by illegal downloading proponents to justify their actions.

The proponents of online piracy would have you believe that illegal downloading is a victimless crime and they are “entitled” to distribute anyone’s work without permission.  They talk about wealthy super-stars and corporate greed to justify their action and would have you believe that without unrestricted, unlimited free access to copyrighted material no one would be aware of the great music and film that’s out there.

It is time the truth be told by the people whose lives are directly impacted; the creative community.

We need to involve the musicians and filmmakers and empower them to have an open discussion with their fans about the impossible challenges they face when people are unwilling to pay for their music and film.  An online community where artists can communicate with their fans about the importance of fan support without the fear of ridicule and recrimination.

Most importantly, we need to change the conversation.
Will Buckley
founder, FarePlay