11
April
2016

AAP Addresses Online Infringement in Filing to the Copyright Office

The online ecosystem today is much more active, diverse and complicated than Congress could have anticipated when the DMCA was enacted, and the assumptions underlying the statutory framework for promoting  online distribution of works of creative expression with the good-faith cooperation of Internet service providers is seriously in need of re-examination and targeted revision.
Allan Adler, General Counsel & Vice President of Government Affairs

AAP recently filed comments for the Copyright Office’s Study of Section 512 of the Copyright Act, the section of the law that Congress enacted in 1998 to facilitate cooperation between Internet service providers and copyright owners in combatting online infringement of copyrighted works. The comments address topics relevant to publishers and those working within the creative industries, including the responsibilities of internet service providers and the effectiveness of the DMCA notice-and-takedown process.

The study comes at a pivotal time where the burden of addressing online copyright infringement is disproportionately on the shoulders of creators and copyright owners of all sizes. Some of the most important points that AAP made are:

  • Sites that set their business model to profit from the infringement of individual users should not benefit from the limited liability that rightfully shields neutral legitimate internet service providers.
  • The notice and takedown system is only one of the tools that Congress provided in Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to address online copyright infringement. Some of these tools require the active cooperation of service providers in exchange for limiting their liability for infringements by their users on their sites or systems.
  • The ballooning number of notices that copyright owners are sending and that service providers are processing reveals the DMCA is not functioning effectively to limit online infringements.
  • Technology-based solutions, such as digital fingerprints and filters, are available for service providers to play a more active role in addressing online infringement accurately and effectively.

“The online ecosystem today is much more active, diverse and complicated than Congress could have anticipated when the DMCA was enacted, and the assumptions underlying the statutory framework for promoting online distribution of works of creative expression with the good-faith cooperation of Internet service providers is seriously in need of re-examination and targeted revision,” said Allan Adler, General Counsel & Vice President of Government Affairs at AAP. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to participate in the study, and hope that the process helps create a more effective system.”

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Marisa Bluestone*
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