Study Identifies Flaws In Internet Take-Down Process
- Thirty percent of notices demanded takedown for claims that presented an obvious question for a court (a clear fair use argument, complaints about uncopyrightable material, and the like);
- Notices to traditional ISP’s included a substantial number of demands to remove files from peer-to-peer networks (which are not actually covered under the takedown statute, and which an OSP can only honor by terminating the target’s Internet access entirely); and
- One out of 11 included significant statutory flaws that render the notice unusable (for example, failing to adequately identify infringing material).
- Over half—57%—of notices sent to Google to demand removal of links in the index were sent by businesses targeting apparent competitors;
- Over a third—37%—of the notices sent to Google targeted sites apparently outside the United States.
"The surprising number of questionable takedowns we observed," write the authors, "taken in conjunction with the ex ante removal of content, the minimal remedies for abuse of the process, and the lack of knowledge about the counternotice procedures, suggest that few are well-served by the current Section 512 process, and some or many individuals, as well as public discourse and the Internet’s value as an expressive platform, may be harmed."