The Computer & Communications Industry Association has told the Copyright Office that it supports attempts to improve the notice and takedown regime for online content that is determined to have run afoul of copyright protections, especially to the degree that it will "promote efficiency, expedite processes, and reduce costs."
But CCIA says in comments filed this week with the Copyright Office that the proposed changes include ones that could impose unnecessary new compliance burdens that would hurt investment in the Internet.
“As we said in our comments, exposing these tens of thousands of companies to massive liability risks, merely to induce them to re-submit information that the Office already possesses, is a drastic response to a poorly documented problem," it said.
The Copyright Office is proposing reregistration of the agents designated to receive the takedown notices for Web sites and online services, and require reregistration every three years. The notice and takedown regime gives those sites safe harbor status under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
CCIA sees the changes as weakening the harbor for those Web sites.
"Even for established companies, not to mention young startups, a recurring renewal requirement would present additional burdens on top of existing requirements, all in contravention of Congress’s goals. Indeed, Congress intended the DMCA’s safe harbor protections to foster, not stymie, innovation. The NPRM’s proposal to require regular renewals would increase the barriers that smaller service providers face to retaining safe harbor protection, and would impede this objective."
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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