Today, our friends at Public Knowledge launched the Internet Blueprint, where they will be hosting new ideas for positive policymaking where people can vote up or down ideas and help them draft legislation. We encourage you to take a look at all the bills, they’re proposing. We’ve found one in particular we’d like to support, right out of the gate.
A much needed amendment to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 has been proposed by our friends over at Public Knowledge to modernize and improve the legislation. The Strengthening and Protecting DMCA Safe Harbors Act would amend section 512 to penalize bogus takedowns -- like the takedown of an anti-SOPA Techdirt post we wrote about previously.
The amendments include penalties for anyone who knowingly or recklessly misrepresents that material or activity is infringing, including liability for damages incurred by the alleged infringer and reasonable legal fees if the takedown is proven to be without merit.
The proposed legislation would require proof that the alleged infringer was served with a notice, or an explanation of why this did not occur, as a safeguard against surprise takedowns. The legislation also calls for a free, publicly accessible, and searchable database of all takedown notices and counter notices to increase transparency and guard against bogus takedowns.
Finally, the proposed amendment seeks to protect subscribers to infringing sites with due warning of takedown and prompt return of files owned, in order to protect users who subscribe to services which turn out to be infringing.
Click here to read more from PK’s blueprint for DMCA Safe Harbors.
Now that the dust has settled after the fight against SOPA and PIPA, it’s time to take positive action in becoming involved in shaping future policies that protect an open and vibrant internet, one which is safe for commerce and property, and one that fosters innovation. Legislation like the Safe Harbors amendment, and others already listed on the Blueprint are the kinds we at Engine would like to see more of, and the sooner more work can be done on these important issues, the better.