Category Archives: Takedown Notice
I know I have not been writing much lately. I have actually been busy doing things like, oh… practicing law. I did get this question the other day, which I think is worth writing about
Dear Ask a Cyber Lawyer,I posted a service manual for an old Honda lawnmower (around 1983) I own on scribd; it was my first upload there. A few weeks later I received an email from scribd indicating it had been removed at someone’s request. A little digging found it was some law firm. I had in fact poked around scribd looking for similar material (i.e. service manuals for mowers, tractors, etc) before posting. There are plenty of similar manuals with copyright notices on their pages so I figured it was OK.Will it most likely end here or am I going to get sued by someone now?
Will it end there? Most likely. As long as you weren’t making any profit from the posting, and as long as Honda was not losing money because of the posting, there is not much financially they can go after you for. It would definitely cost Honda more to go after you for liability then they would ever receive in return. So this will probably end here, and you won’t get sued. Now, if you decided to put the entire Harry Potter collection on Scribd, that would be a different story.
I am a heterosexual male. I have pretty much no interest in Pinterest save one. I am married and my wife uses Pinterest. It has come in handy to figure out birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, and oops I majorly f*cked up day presents. So, I have a somewhat vested interest in making sure it sticks around.
Pinterest is a website which people post images of items they are interested in, sort of a virtual cork board for nerds. Since women are more likely to post goals on an old fashion white board, they are more likely to be engaged in Pinterest.
In a nutshell, every image posted on the internet is the intellectual property of someone (unless they are in the public domain… but that is a different topic for a different post). One would figure that there would be a problem with posting copyrighted images on a website, without notice or proper attribution. (Note- Tumblr WILL have this problem in the future… again another topic for a different post).
Now it seems that Pinterest is attempting to prevent copyright violations. PC magazine is reporting that Pinterest is adding a widget which can be added to a websites code, if the owner does not want to have their site or images posted on Pinterest. From PC Mag:
Website owners can add a snippet of code that will disable the Pinterest “Pin it” button found near the Facebook “Like” and Twitter “tweet” buttons.
In a Monday blog post, Ben Silbermann, Pinterest co-founder, said “we care about respecting the rights of copyright holders,” and insisted that the company works hard “to follow the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] DMCA procedure for acting quickly when we receive notices of claimed copyright infringement.”
We all know about the DMCA, the shoot first, ask questions later law which requires sites to remove material at the mere allegation of a copyright violation. But the fact of the matter is, Pinterest drives a lot of business to a lot of sites, so how would it make sense for a business to try to prevent people from posting on Pinterest? It’s free advertising!
PS- Feel free to post this blog to your Pinterest!
See also: Why Pinterest isn’t just for girls on The Guardian.
A reader from Illinois asks via facebook:
Dear Ask a Cyber Lawyer,
Is it legal to write blog postings about something I was reading in a book, if I say its from that book?
One of the services I provide through Skyles Law Group, LLC is training for journalists and bloggers on basic copyright law, so I am very familiar with copyright issues involving using outside sources.
In general, you can quote all you want from articles, as long as you cite where it is from somewhere in the article. If you are quoting from something you find online, it is a courtesy to link back to that webpage. Copyright is a tricky issue because technically, the use of copyrighted material is a violation of the owners copyright. The law has created a large amount of defenses to copyright violations, most prominently “fair use”, which allows for many exceptions where copyrighted sources can be used. Here are a few rules to follow.
1) If you block quote from an article, do not make it more than a few paragraphs.
2) In each blog post, make sure the original content is greater than the quoted content. This ads weight to the argument that the piece is an original work.
3) Again, if you cite an online source, always link back. They will appreciate the increase in SEO and traffic to their site.
4) Do not quote from Reuters or AP as a source. Reuters and AP are wire services that share articles only with sources that subscribe to their service. They are very trigger happy, and under the DCMA, it is shoot first, ask questions later. Once you get a DCMA takedown notice, you MUST COMPLY within 24 hours.
Other than that, have fun blogging!
Disclaimer: It is difficult to dispense comprehensive legal advice on the internet. If you find the information on this site interesting and insightful, great. But before you rely on any of this advice, please consult a legal professional with the specific details of your case or controversy.
This is a first for this blog. I am linking to an article from TMZ.
TMZ reported on Monday that youtube.com has taken down all of videos of Canadian pop singer, Justin Bieber, aka the Biebs, aka “What’s a Bieber”?
If you don’t know who Justin Bieber is, you probably live in a hole, and you definitely do not have a tweenaged daughter.
Reportedly, youtube received a complaint from a company called iLCreation claiming to own the copyright to the videos, including the famous (or infamous) “Baby” video, which has received over 600 million hits. That’s right, it has the number of hits equal to 10% of the world’s population. From TMZ:
YouTube has a yank first, ask questions later policy when a copyright claim is made — so they simply pulled the videos off the site … until the dispute is resolved.
This is where TMZ and its lawyer head guru Harvey Levin gets it wrong. Youtube doesn’t pull the video only because of its policy. It pulls the video because they are required to BY LAW.
Once a hosting site has received takedown notice, or a copyright infringement complaint, they MUST remove the video within 24 hours, in accordance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 (DCMA), or more specifically, Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA).
The process is simple, they receive the complaint, they must take down the video. Once the video is down, they notify the person who posted the video. Only then can the person who posted the video challenge the removal. It is a classic example of shoot first and ask questions later.
This provision of DCMA is very controversial because it is always in the hosts best interest to remove the video and wait for the situation to pan out. This gives incentive for businesses to use this provision of the DCMA to target their competition by sending false copyright claims. According to PC World, as of March 2009, 57% of complaints received by google were by businesses targeting their competitors, 37% of the complaints were invalid copyright claims.
Is this really what the law was intended to do?