WORDPRESS WANTS STATUTORY DAMAGES FOR DMCA ABUSE

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WordPress.com is taking a sturdy stance towards copyright to takedown abuse. The organization recommends that the U.S. Copyright office introduce statutory damages and bonds to lower the frequency of fraudulent and abusive DMCA take-down requests.

WordPress Automattic, the organization behind the popular WordPress.com blogging platform, gets many take-down requests from rights holders every year.

A tremendous percentage of those notices incorporate inaccuracies, and numerous are clearly fraudulent or abusive.

The corporation highlights a number of the worst offenders in its “hall of shame” and has also sued takedown abusers inside the beyond.

In a recent submission to the U.S. Copyright office, Automattic’s popular suggest Paul Sieminski explains that “enforcement robots” and the lack of human review are in component guilty for among the erroneous notices.

“Whilst we understand that using computerized equipment may be vital concerning a few kinds of infringement on some styles of websites, private blogs aren’t the proper objectives for enforcement robots.”

“Copyright holders have an obligation to bear in mind truthful use before sending a takedown notice, and robots truely can’t inform honest use from foul in any but the maximum obvious situations,” Sieminski adds.

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Automattic does its first-rate to comply with the DMCA, but the company believes that greater have to be accomplished to prevent this sort of conduct in the future. The current guidelines are not sufficient to discourage the fraudulent and abusive, the enterprise argues.

Among other adjustments, the organization suggests adding statutory damages for DMCA takedown abuse, so the worst offenders can be punished accurately.

With statutory damages, businesses who’re sufferers of DMCA abuse could now not prove actual economic harm. Instead, the regulation will prescribe a hard and fast damages amount.

“Damages from abusive notices of claimed infringement can every so often be hard to quantify. Consequently, to further the goals of repayment and deterrence, statutory damages for abusive notices of claimed infringement and abusive counter notifications might be delivered either to phase 504 or to phase 1203.”

Similarly, WordPress.com’s discern organisation indicates the advent of bonds, as is commonplace in different components of the criminal system. This will suggest that copyright holders have something concrete to lose after they make false statements.

“This kind of bond can be the only manner to make certain that folks who reason harm thru misrepresentations are referred to as to account for their misdeeds,” Sieminski writes.

Automattic’s feedback (pdf) was submitted as a part of the government’s public session to evaluate the effectiveness of the DMCA’s secure Harbor provisions. The U.S. Copyright Office will use the feedback to evaluate whether the DMCA law should be reformed in the future.