Google Targeted in Improper DMCA Takedown Notices
“This is a summary report of findings from a study of takedown notices under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Section 512 grants safe harbor from secondary copyright liability … to online service providers (OSPs), such as Internet access providers or online search engines. In order to receive the safe harbor, online service providers respond to cease-and-desist letters from copyright complainants by pulling their users’ information—web pages, forum postings, blog entries, and the like—off the Internet. Because the OSP is removing material in response to a private cease-and-desist letter that earns it a safe harbor, no court sees the dispute in advance of takedown.
“In this study, we traced the use of the Section 512 takedown process and considered how the usage patterns we found were likely to affect expression or other activities on the Internet. [We] found some interesting patterns:
- Over half—57%—of notices sent to Google to demand removal of links in the index were sent by businesses targeting apparent competitors;
- Over a third—37%—of the notices sent to Google targeted sites apparently outside the United States.”
Jennifer M. Urban and Laura Quilter. Efficient Process or “Chilling Effects”? Takedown Notices Under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Summary Report). No date.
Search & Text Mining Report™ K. Matthew Dames & Stephen E. Arnold on the business, technology, and law of search.