Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Suggestions From Author X For Copyright Reform

These suggestions are not mine, but I have permission to share them.



1. I have to provide a name, email, address, and phone number with every DMCA I issue to ask for my work to be taken down.

Proposal: Require every site to mandate every uploader provide the same information, publicly available. 

2. I have to prove that my work is mine, by providing where it can be found, the ISBN, and, in some cases, my publisher's information.

Proposal: Have every site mandate that every uploader provide the same information, as well as the same clause I must sign that states I realize I may be subject to the penalties of perjury if I lie. 

3. Require that every "forum" make searches visible to everyone, including links where authors might remove their work. That will make tehparadox.com, viprasys.org, dpgroup.org and other sites easier for authors to search.

4. Require that every site offer an "opt-out" clause to authors. Those who choose to be pirated, under the mistaken assumption it boosts their sales, can be pirated. The rest of us can opt out.

5. Require that every site offer a "three strikes you're out" policy to uploaders. If you've had a DMCA filed against you three times by the same author, you're banned. (That will clue some uploaders in that some authors don't want to be pirated.) 


Go after the uploaders. 
You've got a mixed bag with downloaders, and many of them wouldn't pirate if their ready source dried up. 
Hit the source. Hit the uploaders.  
There should be mandatory steps a site should have to take when copyright infringement is reported: 
removal and warning to uploader, 
removal and blocking uploader account permanently/
reporting uploader to gov't office responsible for it, at which point that office issues a fine. 

Repeated offenses by the same person means loss of ISP, banning of ISP service to that person, more fines, and jail time. 

Make it expensive and uncomfortable to be a pirate, 
and start making parents responsible for their kids, 
internet cafes responsible enough to track what their customers are doing and drop the dime on them for it, etc. Take away the easy paths for pirates to get away with it on someone else's connection.

Take away safe harbor for sites that do not actively enforce copyright, by stated guidelines. 
That includes having a simple system for reporting copyright infringement AND maintaining a database where copyright owners can list all their IP, which the site can and should take action on without constant monitoring by the copyright owner. 

Make it expensive and uncomfortable to be a safe harbor/haven site. 
Start with fines, blocking, removal from search engines...
 As long as they're following the steps, they don't have to worry about it. The minute they don't, it starts with fines. 
After three times where they don't follow the steps properly, they start being blocked and removed from search engines or even have their sites seized, if it continues. Done. 

Of course, any and all of this will really only work well for US persons doing it. The US will have limited success in enforcing this overseas, and some countries overseas will not support this line of thinking.


4. Require that every site offer an "opt-out" clause to authors.

(comment from Rowena... many authors feel that it should be an "OPT-IN" clause)

 Those who choose to be pirated, under the mistaken assumption it boosts their sales, can
be pirated. The rest of us can opt out. 


5. Require that every site offer a "three strikes you're out" policy to uploaders. 
If you've had a DMCA filed against you three times by the same author, you're banned. 
(That will clue some uploaders in that some authors don't want to be pirated.) 


(Comment from Rowena...  some authors feel that "5" should probably require more than one author requesting takedowns, otherwise; the uploader can claim they are being persecuted by someone. Moreover, not every author most hurt by piracy early in their career necessarily has 3 works.)

If you would like to get involved in shaping Copyright Reform,  be aware that the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property is beginning to hold hearings in order to review the Copyright Act. Get in touch with your Representative in Congress to ask him or her to become a member of the Creative Rights Caucus.

Thanks to Author X.

No comments: