The head of the US Senate Subcommittee on intellectual property, Thom Tillis, raised the issue of the need to update the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – DMCA) – the law that ensures copyright compliance in the digital age.
The update aims to modernize the DMCA to make it easier to protect copyrighted content while still preserving the right to fair use.
In response to the industry’s call for feedback, the Internet Archive organization asked lawmakers to leave things as they are.
Tom Tillis suggested reviewing copyright law to understand better how the modern Internet has evolved and new technologies and user rights.
The changes discussed are aimed at keeping up with modern technologies and the way users interact with them.
Tillis wants to simplify removing copyright-infringing content and turning it into a so-called “staydown system,” in which the copyright holder only needs to notify the online service provider (OSP) once about the copyright-infringing material. After that, tracking repeated violations and deleting content will become the responsibility of the OSP, not the copyright holder.
Also, he noted that the needs of small rights holders and OSP have common features, which should be reflected at the law level.
The Internet Archive did not agree with the proposed update and said that they do not see problems in the DMCA’s current implementation. Moreover, they consider it quite working.
Other proposed changes
Other changes that have been discussed include creating better mechanisms for challenging requests for the removal of copyrighted content and automating the process of removing it. To do this, it is proposed to transfer litigation on these claims from federal courts’ jurisdiction to courts that deal with smaller issues.
Do I need to update the DMCA?
More than 22 years have passed since the introduction of the DMCA. A lot has changed since then, both in the way the Internet works and how users interact with and share content.
According to some experts, proposals such as moving DMCA lawsuits to smaller courts and improving the copyright protection system are definitely worth considering.
However, not everyone agrees with these proposals, and some organizations, including the Internet Archive, consider the current system to be quite effective.