It appears that I and the recording/movie industries finally agree on something: The DMCA sucks. Unfortunately, that's where our agreement ends.
Personally, I believe the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is skewed too far in favor of content owners -- that is, the music and movie conglomerates, who are not to be confused with content creators, the artists without whom those conglomerates would not exist. But the RIAA seems to think the 14-year-old law has doesn't go far enough to shield flailing entertainment industry dinosaurs against the scourge of file swapping.
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During a panel discussion at the New York Entertainment and Technology Law Conference, RIAA senior VP of litigation Jennifer Pariser said courts interpreting the DMCA have been too lenient on service providers, whom it seems have not done enough to protect the recording industry.
I think Congress got it right, but I think the courts are getting it wrong... I think the courts are interpreting Congress' statute in a manner that is entirely too restrictive of content owners' rights and too open to [Internet] service providers.
We might need to go to Congress at some point for a fix. Not because the statute was badly drafted but because the interpretation has been so hamstrung by court decisions.
The DMCA gives ISPs safe harbor, absolving them of responsibility for hosting copyrighted content, provided they play nicely and cooperate with legal requests to turn out suspected pirates. ISPs are also required to act on behalf of the content owners if they know of infringing activity. This is where Pariser and the RIAA have their big beef: The ISPs are allegedly ignoring these "red flags," and the courts have allowed them to do it.
Two words: Boo hoo.