Google: 37% of DMCAs Are Not Valid Copyright Claims, Or They Are, Or They Aren’t

19 03 2009

NZ PC World: Google Submission Hammers Section 92A [proposed NZ DMCA type regulation]:

Google has made a detailed submission to the Telecommunications Carriers Forum that heavily criticises the draft code of practice for ISPs in relation to section 92A of the Copyright Act.

In its submission, 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.

With regard to businesses targeting DMCAs agaisnt competitors, I think that’s neither here nor there.

With regard to 37% of notices not being valid copyright claims, When I first read this PC World article, my inital reaction was: I don’t see how Google evaluate the validity of a copyright based on the information provided in a DMCA notice. For example, neither the presence nor absence of a copyright registration is conclusive as to validity. If Google had conducted a survey of DMCA notices and came to that conclusion, then that is interesting but what was more likely was that the 37% number would simply become a ‘fact.’

Then I came across this article from TechDirt and if you dig through the comments, someone came across what appears to be the original survey that Google cited for the 37% number, and the situation is much more complex. These are findings from the executive summary:


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