Transfer Pricing Associates

The DMCA: An Imperfect Law

post Tuesday December 3, 2013

Tags: contentid, dmca, ip law, patents, u.s.a.


In the past there have been many cases in which it was disputed whether one could use the work of artists legally or illegally. The DMCA brought change in that dispute. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is an American law, founded in 1998, extending copyright law to the technology of the digital millennium. The law also increases the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. However, there are some cases where the DMCA battles legitimate misuses of an artist’s content. The case of Jeremy Lim (described in the next paragraph) is one of them. Luckily, his situation does not happen often, but when it does, DMCA is a reasonable solution.

Jeremy Lim is an upcoming artist with a dream, but that dream turned into a nightmare. One day, Jeremy was informed by YouTube  that he had violated the copyrights of Joseph Ti’s work. Apparently, this Joseph Ti downloaded the songs of Jeremy on SoundCloud, changed the name of the artist and song titles and uploaded them to every music service in the world (Amazon, Spotify, YouTube, ITunes), all while receiving money from ads and royalty payments. To make matters worse, YouTube even blamed Jeremy for violating Josephs copyrights. The claim was filed by a company named Kontor New Media. Jeremy immediately filed a counter-claim to Youtube and Kontor eventually resolved the problem and removed the offending material.

Although the DMCA was crucial in removing the offending material off YouTube, Jeremy Lim had to wait 19 days before the dispute was finally over. Therefore, it takes a lot of patience and persistence to rely on the DMCA. The law tends to benefit the big artists and puts the burden of proof with upcoming artists.

However, there is hope. Nowadays tools like LicenseID allow artists to upload videos to YouTube with the license information already attached, so that when a false DMCA claim is made, it can be automatically screened out by the information in the video.  Although Jeremy won the case, the wronged parties are still bound to follow the rules of an imperfect law and this requires persistence, proof to the situation and patience before the dispute can be resolved. 

Source:  pandodaily

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