I am excited to announce that Copyright and Technology NYC 2016 will feature a special presentation of new research: Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice: Robots, Artisans, and the Fight to Protect Copyrights, Expression and Competition on the Internet. This is a landmark study on how the Notice and Takedown provisions of Section 512 of U.S. copyright law work in practice. It is the result of many interviews with copyright holders, service providers, and copyright enforcement services, as well as analysis of large numbers of takedown notices submitted to the Chilling Effects database. Authors of the study are Jennifer Urban and Brianna Schofield of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at BerkeleyLaw, and Joe Karaganis of The American Assembly at Columbia University. The talk at Copyright and Technology NYC 2016 on Tuesday, January 19th will be its first public presentation.
Until now, very little empirical research has been done on the effectiveness of the DMCA’s notice and takedown provisions in addressing copyright infringement as well as due process for notice targets. This talk will summarize research comprising three studies that draw back the curtain on notice and takedown: it gathers information on how online service providers and rightsholders experience and practice notice and takedown, examines over 100 million notices generated during a six-month period, and looks specifically at a subset of those notices that were sent to Google Image Search.
The findings suggest that whether notice and takedown “works” is highly dependent on who is using it and how it is practiced, though all respondents agreed that the Section 512 safe harbors remain fundamental to the online ecosystem. Perhaps surprisingly, a large portion of service providers still receive relatively few notices and process them by hand. For some major players, however, the scale of online infringement has led to automated systems that leave little room for human review or discretion, and in a few cases notice and takedown has been abandoned in favor of techniques such as content filtering. Further, surprisingly high percentage of notices raise questions about their validity. The findings strongly suggest that the notice and takedown system is under strain but that there is no “one size fits all” approach to improving it. The study concludes with suggestions of various targeted reforms and best practices.
Please come and see this important research presentation on January 19th — register today! Early bird registration ends December 11.