Welcome to the website of the Digital Media Law Project. The DMLP was a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society from 2007 to 2014. Due to popular demand the Berkman Klein Center is keeping the website online, but please note that the website and its contents are no longer being updated. Please check any information you find here for accuracy and completeness.
A few recent intellectual property disputes have highlighted the
fact that the decision to pursue legal action is both a legal and a
moral choice. While concepts such as "fair use" help to ensure
protection of both intellectual property rights while promoting
creative expression, they can't replace a simple concept we all learned
in kindergarten: "treat others the way you’d like them to treat you."
Progress Illinois, which "provides online news and commentary on issues
important to Illinois working families and the progressive movement at
large," has had its YouTube channel terminated after receiving three notices of copyright infringement from Fox Television Stations, Inc. arising from the organization's use of news footage from WFLD-TV, the Fox affiliate in Chicago.
Today marks the ten year anniversary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which President Clinton signed into law on October 28, 1998. For background on the DMCA, see our legal guide here and here. Now that we've had a decade to get to know the DMCA, it's time to reflect on the changes this important law has engendered.
Last week we reported that the McCain campaign had sent a letter to YouTube complaining that its campaign videos were being removed from YouTube as a result of unjustified DMCA takedown requests sent by news organizations whose
footage was included in the videos.
A federal district court in California held on Wednesday that copyright owners must consider fair use before sending DMCA takedown notices to avoid liability for abuse of the law's procedures. The ruling is a huge victory for free speech advocates and may have far-reaching implications for the way content owners police infringement online.
The Scientology critic known as “Wise Beard Man” returned to YouTube this week after successfully filing counter-notifications to copyright claims that had earlier been made against his account. The takedown and delayed return illuminate another of the lesser-known shoals of the DMCA safe harbor, the 512(i)(1)(A) “repeat infringers” consideration.
We are looking for contributing authors with expertise in media law, intellectual property, First Amendment, and other related fields to join us as guest bloggers. If you are interested, please contact us for more details.