Castle Calls Out Congress On Safe Harbor

Attorney and blogger Chris Castle writes in The Huffington Post that it is the government’s responsibility to define the intent of safe harbor provisions in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Arguing common-sensically that these safe harbors could not have been designed to shield massive and repeated infringements, like the volume that exists on YouTube, Castle says that it is time for the government either to close this gaping loophole or to state that, yes, the intent of safe harbors in the DMCA was indeed expected to foster the 350 million notice and takedown requests Google receives in a single year.  Writes Castle:

“The one thing that nobody thought was that it was the intention of Congress that there would be ad networks, multinational corporations and international piracy rings whose business model is in large part built on exploiting a loophole in that safe harbor. What once was a reasonable exception is now tainted as a massive loophole that the government has done little to nothing to correct.”

Meanwhile, William Buckley at FarePlay has launched a petition demanding Congress close the safe harbor loophole and make take down mean stay down.  As I have stated multiple times on this site, the narrative that rights holders abuse the DMCA notice and take down provision to silence criticism or infringe speech in any way is a gross distortion from reality.  These incidents of abuse or improper take down are in the single to low double digits; examples cited are often not even in the U.S.; and these incidents are dwarfed by hundreds of millions of legitimate notices that must be sent and re-sent by rights holders futilely trying to use an outdated system that was designed to be a reasonable, cost-free means of enforcing their rights.

To view and sign the petition, go to

© 2015, David Newhoff. All rights reserved.

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