Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of legal

May 15, 2009, 9:46:36 AM (12 years ago)
Jamie McClelland



  • legal

    v1 v1  
     1= Digital Millennium Copyright Act =
     3This page describes May First/People Links experience with copyright law and our political position on the matter.
     5The [WikiPedia:Dmca Digital Millennium Copyright Act] is a US law that governs, among other things, the publication of material on Internet that include copyright infringements.
     7In short, the impact of this law on May First/People Link is that
     9 * We are legally responsible for any copyright infringements on any of our servers
     10 * We can avoid legal liability if we immediately take down material after receiving a legal letter claiming copyright infringement (aka the [WikiPedia:Dmca#Title_II:_Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation_Act safe harbor provisions].
     11 * In the event that we take down the content and the content is ''not'' a copyright infringement, we are protected from being sued by our members
     13As you can gather from these three points, the law makes it very clear to any provider of Internet services: if you get a legal take down notice from a lawyer claiming that material on your site is infringing on their copyright, you should take it down first and ask questions later. The impact of this law is devastating for activist. We've heard numerous stories of organizations that have had their web sites taken down at critical points during their campaigns based on spurious claims of copyright infringement.
     15Over the last several years, May First/People Link has been impacted by this law on three different occasions described below.
     17 * The Yes Men/British Petroleum. In February 2008 we received notice via our upstream provider that the Yes Men's spoof site on British Petroleum was infringing on the rights of British Petroleum. As is our policy, we got into contact with the Yes Men (documented [ticket:641 here). It turned out that the site was a spoof in progress - not yet fully developed and not ready for public consumption (they had only copied the site, but hadn't added the spoof elements). In the end, the Yes Men finished the spoof site and published it (the domain for the spoof site has since expired).
     19 * The [ NY Times Special Edition]. In October 2008, a collection of groups and individuals published a spoof of the NY Times, which included spoofs of various adverstisers. We received a DMCA take down notice from the New York Times. In addition, the group organizing the site also received a DMCA take down notice. The folks behind the web site contact the [ Electronic Frontier Foundation] who wrote a letter defending the site as legitimate free speech. May First/People Link replied to the NY Times stating that we refused to take down the site, attaching the EFF letter as further explanation.
     21 * [ Shell Jazz Fest]. In May 2009, [ Shell Guilty] began a campaign against the New Orleans Jazz Fest since their primary sponsor is Shell Oil (the company responsible for reaping incredible environmental and political destruction in Nigeria). The campaign came to an abrupt halt when their Internet Service Provider ([http://dreamhost Dream Host]), yanked their site after receiving a DMCA take down notice from the Jazz Fest Lawyers who complained about copyright infringement. Shell Guilty immediately joined May First/People Link and moved the site to our servers, after which we received a take down notice. Shell Guilty also contact the [ Electronic Frontier Foundation], who wrote a defense of the site under the Fair Use doctrine. We sent that letter to the Shell Jazz Fest lawyers indicating that we refused to take down the site. The lawyers then went to our upstream provider ([ BandCon] threatening them with legal action. We discussed the situation thoroughly with Shell Guilty indicating that we were willing to fight (including moving the site to a different colocation center). After much discussion Shell Guilty decided that is was not tactically strategic to fight this battle and instead decided to make modifications to the logo (which was the main point of contention between the lawyers).