[Foundation-l] Deleting blatant copyright violations from the database

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Mon Aug 13 06:12:49 UTC 2007

Brian wrote:
> On 8/12/07, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
>> Anthony wrote:
>>> On 8/12/07, Brian <Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu> wrote:
>>>> http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512
>>>>> In order to qualify for safe harbor protection, an OSP must:
>>>>>    - have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, the infringing
>>>>>    activity
>>>>>    - provide proper notification of its policies to its subscribers
>>>>>    - set up an agent to deal with copyright complaints
>>>>> Reverting a copyright violation seems to violate the first point.
>>> Only if you have actual knowledge that the version is indeed a
>>> copyright violation, which would require at the very least knowing
>>> that the material is copyrighted, knowing that it is being used
>>> without permission, and knowing that it is not fair use.
>>> <blockquote>Actual knowledge is not an opinion about infringement i.e.
>>> "I think this is infringing" or "this is copied from another site,
>>> therefore it is infringing".</blockquote> - [[OCILLA]]
>> I strongly agree.  While there are reasons and times times when it is
>> prudent to act on suspicion the important factor remains the need to
>> have standing.  From that same chillingeffects site: "[OCILLA] protects
>> online service providers (OSPs) from liability for information posted or
>> transmitted by subscribers if they quickly remove or disable access to
>> material identified *in a copyright holder's complaint."  *That last
>> factor is especially important.  There is more to determining whether
>> there has been copyright infringement than simply identifying two
>> identical passages.
> I personally feel that the foundation should be proactive in developing
> technologies that allow potential copyright violations (for example, edits
> that were reverted because someone thought they were copyright violations)
> to be removed from the database. It also seems to me that a lot of dangerous
> interpretation of untested law is going on. This particular instance appears
> to be a blatant violation of rights, and unless you are suggesting that we
> should be the ones who test it in court, why not just go through the steps
> of creating a procedure to remove this and all others like it?
"Blatant" is only your perception.  There is a wide difference between 
"blatant" and "potential", and we are nowhere near to a court test of 
the issue. 
even the most aggressive among us should not hold our breaths waiting 
for a court action.

There is more to determining whether something is a copyright violation 
than someone's guesswork.  That kind of guesswork leads to such things 
as taking down material when it was really the other site that was in 
violation of our copyrights.  As Wikipedia ages that will be an 
ever-growing problem. We should not leave that task to mindless 
technologies and speculators.

Ironically, the more the Foundation involves itself in hunting down 
copyright violation, the less it will be able to act objectively in such 
circumstances.  It can and should have policies for dealing with 
identified copyright violations, but it should not actively seek them 
out.  The factual determination in such situations should rest with the 
communities and the actual copyright owners.
> I am still waiting for the fair use analysis of scientific journal
> abstracts. I actually bothered to read their copyright claims before coming
> here, and they require you to get explicit permission (via a third party)
> before using the material, although using an abstract on the web is free
> once you get that permission.
Fair use claims do not require explicit permissions.  You don't need to 
"wait" for that fair use analysis, you can do it yourself.  Which of the 
four criteria is troubling you?
> If the attitude is: we are going to push safe harbor to the untested limits,
> I have nothing more to say, because there is nothing I can say.
No-one is even suggesting taking this to the limit.  There are plenty of 
more aggressive actions that we can take without even getting near to 
the limits.


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