Monday, May 12, 2014

Opining On Last Week's News (relating to authors' rights)

The USPTO hosted a six-hour long forum last week with the noble goal of exploring whether DMCA TakeDown notices can be standardized in the interests of greater efficiency and accuracy.  

Videos are available here:  

Presentations were made by The Copyright Alliance, Google, EFF, Deviant Art, MPAA. RIAA, a fan-fic site and others.

Sensible ideas included a wish that the process could be fair, non-intimidating for those seeking to either enforce copyrights or dispute Take-down Notices. Copyright owners asked whether recipients of TakeDown notices could be encouraged to refrain from editorializing or otherwise stigmatizing senders of TakeDown notices.

(One example of this is the sad face that YouTube posts with a note naming the copyright claimant)

Many speakers and audience members asked everyone to consider the proposition that a TakeDown should be permanent, and the same ISP should not allow users to re-upload files that have been taken down. Representatives of smaller hosting sites pointed out that this could be expensive for them. Musicians and movie-makers pointed out that "whack-a-mole" places an unreasonable burden on creators.

Google explained their process which is designed through an online questionnaire to funnel complainants to the correct one of six forms for their DMCA purposes. It is reported (elsewhere) that Google receives a million TakeDown notices every day.

Much laughter ensued when one presenter showed how advertising sites force would-be copyright enforcers to view screen after screen of sexually charged advertisements and incontinence products (and also to solve Capchas) before they are able to reach a TakeDown form.

Aside... presumably the Diaper makers are paying for views and have no idea that they are wasting their advertising budget!

Amazon funny business....   Authors' Guild reports that the New York Times reports that, "In an apparent dispute over sales terms with big five publisher Hachette Book Group, Amazon is slowing delivery of select Hachette titles."

Hachette authors who see particular formats (ebooks haven't been reported as affected) of their own print works affected by long restocking times might like to contact AG.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry

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