Widespread DMCA abuse damaging entertainment industry and brands

DMCA takedown requests are being abused on a massive scale forcing legitimate content owners into the dark, who are powerless to stop automated actions.

Youtube, the world's largest video site is key to the DMCA saga, where content owners face video blackouts, channel shutdowns and other automatically implemented actions due to DMCA filings.

From Russia Today's Youtube Channel mysteriously disappearing this year due to "copyright infringement" to Sony's alleged takedown of a short film that is 100% unique content under a creative commons licence, it's clear that the system needs an overhaul.

Here are some ways in which legitimate DMCA takedown requests could be made without hurting content owners on Youtube:

1. Charge a small fee for DMCA takedown requests (And refund that fee if it is legitimate)
2. Prevent automatic content removals without a physical review (Unrealisitc at this point unless a system is put into place that discourages abuse)
3. Make it abundantly clear how a DMCA works, and when it should be used
4. Give content owners the opportunity to defend and prove the DMCA takedown is not legitimate (If no defense is available, then it should be taken down.

At this point this might seem unrealistic given the sheer volume of content on Youtube, or other video sites for that matter, but simply using this law to block content that is not liked by someone, an organisation or government, is wrong.

Content creators also need to be aware of music licences, using stock footage and other commercial footage in their work. Not all creative content that is "royalty free" can be used in more than one video. These are some of the grey areas that result in DMCA requests as well but the bottom line is, either the system of take down requests needs to be overhauled (especially on Youtube) or the law itself needs a revamp to be more stringent on what is considered copyright infringement. Then companies like Google or Vimeo can amend their internal systems to better direct users on how to make a proper copyright removal request.

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