Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Hate The DMCA

I've been hit with a DMCA complaint about an article I wrote last year. For those not familiar, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) has provisions that are supposed to protect the copyright and trademark rights of content producers from infringement by other online content producers.

I have only a couple of things to say about this at the moment. First, if you see something either here or at another blog that you think is your intellectual property, and you object to its use there, it's probably going to be more quickly resolved if you try to contact the blog's author(s) first. Blogger/Blogspot's notice is an e-mail with a bunch of boiler plate, followed by the URL of the article in question. That's it. I don't know who objected to the article or why. Supposedly, I'll know more later, but no more information is available at this point.

Second, I don't see this as being about what I wrote in that article. There are no particularly controversial points there, and empires will not rise and fall based on any of the content of it. It's simply some sort of dispute, the nature of which is, at this moment, beyond me.

Blogspot handles these things now by putting the article back into "draft" status, which means that it still exists, but it's no longer readable from the Internet. This part of the procedure seems right to me. What I wish they would do a better job of, though, is explaining just what the heck the problem is. It's hard to fix or dispute until I know.

I was trying to find where I'd written about this issue before, and can't find it, so I'll write this here: Whatever the copyright status of what content I use here, if I'm not parodying, criticizing, or analyzing it, then if it's yours and you object to its being here all you have to do is comment or e-mail (and possibly prove that it's your stuff), and I'll remove it. If you produced it, you have that right. If that process fails, there's always the DMCA complaint route.

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