Thursday, October 16, 2008

Followup on YouTube/McCain interactions

EFF posts the letter YT sent in response, making a number of good points. Most notably, YT rejects the idea of giving certain channels more favorable treatment when responding to notices, agreeing that "U.S. Presidential election-related content is invaluable and worthy of the highest level of protection," but adding that "there is a lot of other content on our global site that our users around the world find to be equally important, including, by way of example only, political campaigns from around the globe at all levels of government, human rights movements, and other important voices."

As I expected, YT argues that it's the users who need to fight back: "You and our other content uploaders can play a critical role in helping us to address this difficult problem of takedown abuse. You are operating from the position of strength, with knowledge of exactly where the content in your videos comes from. You can file counter-notifications. You can seek retractions of abusive takedown notices. You can hold abusive claimants publicly accountable for their actions by publicizing their actions. You can hold claimants legally responsible for their actions by filing a lawsuit under 512(f)." While "position of strength" is a substantial overstatement, I do think that 512(f) and public debate over when takedown notices are appropriate will help facilitate what I hope is an inevitable recognition of the role of fair use in the DMCA process.

Finally, YT takes the opportunity to call for copyright reform: "we hope that as a content uploader you have gained a sense of some of the challenges we face everyday in operating YouTube. We look forward to working with Senator (or President) McCain on ways to combat abuse of the DMCA takedown process on YouTube, including, by way of example, strengthening the fair use doctrine, so that intermediaries like us can rely on this important doctrine with a measure of business certainty." I'd love to see more specific proposals from YT on this point.

No comments: