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ICYMI- Internet Association Hits Back At RIAA’s Desire To Wipe Away DMCA Safe Harbors

Tech Dirt
Internet Association Hits Back At RIAA’s Desire To Wipe Away DMCA Safe Harbors
Posted: Wed, May 29th 2013 @ 1:33pm

On Friday, we wrote about how the RIAA has already started pitching the terrible idea that we should do away with the important DMCA safe harbors, which make sure that liability for infringement is properly applied to those actually infringing, rather than tools and services. The RIAA, however, thinks that it should be everyone else’s responsibility to prop up their increasingly obsolete business model, so they want to do away with the safe harbors and make every internet service liable if anyone uses their service for infringement. Of course, what this would do is stifle innovation broadly, because companies would avoid any kind of user generated services, because the liability would be super high. Sure, some of the big players would stick around, because they’ve got enough money and lawyers, but new startups would be few and far between.

Thankfully, some are already pushing back against the RIAA’s crazy desires, and the Internet Association has pointed out that this move by the RIAA highlights the industry’s real end goal with SOPA: to make the internet responsible for propping up their business model.

“The DMCA provides a framework that appropriately balances the interests of copyright owners with the rights of users and the development of new and innovative products and services. The RIAA’s statement that it wants to change the DMCA lends support to those who suspected that SOPA’s stated objective of targeting offshore websites was really a stalking horse to achieve the RIAA’s true objective — to amend the DMCA by having Internet companies police user activities,” Internet Association CEO Michael Beckerman said in a statement to MT. “Congress should reject the RIAA’s invitation to amend the DMCA.”

Of course, a reasonable argument could be made that the DMCA’s safe harbors are already too far tilted towards copyright holders, considering the number of bogus takedowns we talk about regularly. A much more reasonable system would be a true notice and notice system, in which those accused of infringement would be given an opportunity to respond to a takedown notice before the content itself is taken down. That simple change would help prevent the all too common case of the DMCA being used for censorship.

Separately, the RIAA’s end goal goes way beyond just making internet companies police user activities. They want nothing less than to have the internet re-crafted in their own image, protecting an obsolete business model while limiting any competition and disruption they don’t like.


To read the original article, click here.