Sunday, 20 January 2013

USA: Record labels explore what lies beyond takedown notices

Music Week reported a few days ago that a bunch of major record labels have filed in a US court for summary judgment in a long-standing claim against Vimeo, described by Digital Music News (which also has the court papers on its site) as "the cleaner cousin of YouTube that never played the copyright game as slickly."

Following last April's appeal judgment in Viacom v YouTube, which made clear that copyright owners are not hidebound by the notice and takedown procedure set out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the labels claim that Vimeo knew, encouraged, and facilitated widespread infringement of musical copyright on a recurring basis. Capitol, which seems to be the lead label in this action, asserts in its filing that Vimeo failed a list safe harbor tests, and is not therefore eligible for immunity under the DMCA. Their statement goes on:
Confining the DMCA to a 'notice and takedown' statute places the burden entirely on the copyright owner and ignores the remaining safe harbor requirements. That is not what the statute says, nor is it the construct reiterated in Viacom. Congress made clear that copyright owners need never provide takedown notices, an often futile process.

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