NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 22, 2007

With more self-publishing web sites comes a boom in "takedown notices," legal warnings that the material is infringing a copyright and needs to be removed, says the Washington Post.


  • YouTube, a video hosting site, has been sued by many parties for hosting videos alleged to violate copyright, recently started using a filter to try to identify such content before copyright holders notice it.
  • A group of other content holders, including NBC Universal and Microsoft, recently announced standards for how companies should deal with material that people post online.

Hosting sites like YouTube aren't the only ones on which copyright law is sometimes allegedly abused.  The online auction house eBay has been the setting of many of these infringement claims, but generally over the "first sale doctrine" -- a portion of copyright law regarding legal resale of licensed goods -- rather than fair use.   But backlash among Web users and advocacy groups who say copyright holders are abusing the law and wrongfully taking down content has led to an increase in challenges to these copyright claims.

Source: Catherine Rampell, "Standing Up To Takedown Notices," Washington Post, October 19, 2007.

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