Copyright Office Proposed Rulemaking on Designation of DMCA Agents For Takedown Notices

The Copyright Office has announced a proposed rulemaking to update the procedures and requirements for online service providers to designate an agent to receive notices of copyright infringement under the DMCA safe harbor provisions.

One of the key proposed changes is the Office’s move to electronic filing of the designations, which would be stored in a publicly accessible online database.  This would be a great improvement over the current paper-based system.  The Office also proposes requiring each online service provider to verify the accuracy of the designation every two years, and allowing OSPs to delegate maintenance of the designations to third parties.  There are lots of other proposed changes (and lots of new proposed fees), and specific requests for public input.

The Office has published proposed new regulations, and is seeking public comments, which may be submitted at the Copyright Office website.

Here is a copy of the Notice from the Federal Register, with all the details:

 

MP3tunes Summary Judgment Decision: Defendants Only Liable For Specific Songs In Takedown Notice That Were Not Taken Down


Creative Commons License photo credit: Tac Anderson

The Southern District of New York has issued its ruling in the Capitol Records v. MP3tunes case, granting partial summary judgment for each side. The bottom line is that MP3tunes and its founder, Michael Robertson (also the founder of MP3.com), are only liable for the infringement of sound recordings that were specifically identified in DMCA takedown notices but not removed from users’ accounts.

One amazing nugget hidden in the first footnote of the decision (page 12), is the court’s holding that the DMCA safe harbor applies to pre-1972 sound recordings, even though such recordings are not protected by federal copyright. This holding, if noticed and followed by Justice Kapnick, should destroy the claims brought by UMG Recordings against Grooveshark in New York State court. UMG brought these claims in state court, limited to common law copyright infringement for pre-’72 recordings, as an attempted end-run around the DMCA.

There are lots of other points of interest in the decision, which I will get to soon. In the meantime, I wanted to post the decision as quickly as possible for your reading enjoyment:

 

DMCA Does Not Like This Flava: Injunction Granted Due To Insufficient Repeat Infringer Policy

Lovely City Snap, but for...
Creative Commons License photo credit: cobalt123

A district court in the Northern District of Illinois granted a preliminary injunction on July 27, against an online video service, finding both (1) knowledge of infringement sufficient to support contributory liability and (2) unavailability of the DMCA safe harbor defense based upon the defendant’s failure to enact and enforce a reasonable repeat infringer policy. [Read more…]

Copyright Act Preempts All State Law Claims Based On Fraudulent DMCA Notice

Horse by Paul Jackson
Creative Commons License photo credit: dcbaok

I guess you could call this the law of the virtual horse.  In a new copyright preemption case, Amaretto Ranch Breedables, LLC v. Ozimals, Inc., the District Court for the Northern District of California held that any of the plaintiff’s state law claims premised upon the defendant’s alleged fraudulent DMCA takedown notices were preempted by the Copyright Act.  [Read more…]

Third Circuit Issues Important DMCA and Fair Use Ruling

The Third Circuit issued important rulings on the issues of DMCA  Section 1202 copyright management information and fair use on June 14, in the appeal of Murphy v. Millenium Radio Group LLC, reversing the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the defendants on both defenses.  In Murphy, the plaintiff was a photographer who was hired by a local magazine to take a cover photo of two radio show hosts, Carton and Rossi.  In that issue, the two hosts were given the dubious honor of being named the “best shock jocks” in New Jersey.  Plaintiff Murphy retained copyright ownership of the cover photo.

An unknown employee of Carton and Rossi’s radio station scanned and cropped the cover photo in a way that removed Murphy’s photo credit, and placed the copy on various websites, including the station’s website, inviting the public to make digital alterations to the photos and submit the new versions to the station.  A number of fans submitted altered version of the photo and the radio station displayed 26 of the submissions on the station’s website. [Read more…]