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    Better to Switch Than Fight?

    David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 03, 2010

    Abstract: The New York Times today (page B1) is reporting that "more than one-third of the two billion views of YouTube videos with ads each week are ... uploaded without the copyright owner's permission but left up by the owner's choice." The content owners are choosing to not request that the posted material be taken down because YouTube splits the ad revenue with them. The Times notes that "[h]undreds of these [content] partners make more than $100,000 per year."

    While Chilling Effects is primarily concerned with the negative effects of the DMCA on legal content, the huge quantity of illegally posted material leads to a shotgun approach by content owners to takedown everything without an evaluation of fair use or, worse, the use of automated tools that block content from even being uploaded. The result is the baby (legal uses of content) gets thrown out with the bathwater (illegal uploads). This article shows that there is an alternative to the Sisyphean task of tracking copyright violations and sending DMCA takedown notices. This alternative to the DMCA takedown regime benefits content owners without restricting the public's right to enjoy content based on legal uses of copyrighted material. Link to New York Times article.

    (My apologies to Tareyton smokers for this Weather Report's title.)


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