Thursday, March 19, 2009

Google takedown takedowns

Giving evidence to the New Zealand Telecommunications Carriers Forum as part of investigations in the nation's Copyright Code Section 92A, Google drops some statistics about the takedowns requested under the American DCMA:

Google notes that more than half (57%) of the takedown notices it has received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, were sent by business targeting competitors and over one third (37%) of notices were not valid copyright claims.

That stuff attracts unfair takedown notices isn't a surprise - you'll have read stories about people putting their own, non-commercial music online only for Blogger to yank it at someone else's request. What is a surprise, though, is the extent to which the DCMA is being abused - nearly six out of every ten claims are spurious? Bloody hell.

Google took the advantage of the opportunity to put its stance on copyright into the public domain:
"While inadequate copyright protection can reduce incentives to create, excessive copyright protection can stifle creativity, choke innovation, impoverish culture and block free and fair competition. As both an intermediary and an innovator in online technologies, Google supports a flexible and adaptable legal framework that provides those who create and invest in new technologies the freedom to innovate without fear that their efforts will be hindered by an overly restrictive approach to copyright. Copyright must have sufficient flexibility so that new, legitimate and socially desirable uses, enabled by new technologies, can flourish."

Also so that Google can make money. Probably best to not mention the making money bit.