Jesse Wendel - Publisher (Seattle)
Sara Robinson - Managing Editor (Vancouver)
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Group News Blog
PO Box 809
Bellevue WA 98009
We welcome story ideas, great finds, and links to interesting news. Please feel free to send these to one or more of us. Please do not send your ideas to everyone. At most, two or three should be sufficient.
We regret we're not currently accepting unsolicited submissions.
We attempt to answer your emails personally. Sometimes we don't have time to reply especially if we've received many pointers to one topic. We always appreciate your suggestions, stories and links. Please keep them coming.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notices:
The Group News Blog takes its copyright responsibilities seriously and complies in every particular with the requirements of the DMCA. Upon receipt of a compliant DMCA takedown notice, GNB acts promptly to remove any materials listed.
In a similar manner, we promptly restore materials listed by DMCA counter-notice.
In order to protect the rights of everyone involved, the DMCA requires that a takedown notice be in writing and include each of the following pieces of information:
- (i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
- (ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
- (iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.
- (iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
- (v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
- (vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
- See 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(A).
In addition, the law requires that all of these elements must appear in a single communication, rather than spread across numerous email messages. See Perfect 10, Inc. v. CCBill LLC, 488 F.3d 1102, 1113 (9th Cir. 2007).
Takedown notices that contain misrepresentations may expose you to liability (including attorneys fees) pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 512(f). This would include not only notices that misrepresent your authority to act on behalf of rightsholders, but also any notices that target activities (such as the inclusion of small excerpts of copyrighted material within larger original works) that are plainly noninfringing fair uses. See Online Policy Group v. Diebold, Inc., 337 F.Supp.2d 1195, 1204 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (imposing liability for sending DMCA takedown notices targeting obvious fair uses).
Prior to sending a takedown notice, you may wish to review the most recent ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (GNBs' primary place of business is in Bellevue, Washington, in the Ninth Circuit) on the DMCA, which presciently predicted the harm users may suffer as a result of noncompliant notices:
In order to substantially comply with 512(c)(3)s requirements, a notification must do more than identify infringing files. The DMCA requires a complainant to declare, under penalty of perjury, that he is authorized to represent the copyright holder, and that he has a good-faith belief that the use is infringing. This requirement is not superfluous. Accusations of alleged infringement have drastic consequences: A user could have content removed, or may have his access terminated entirely. If the content infringes, justice has been done. But if it does not, speech protected under the First Amendment could be removed. We therefore do not require a service provider to start potentially invasive proceedings if the complainant is unwilling to state under penalty of perjury that he is an authorized representative of the copyright owner, and that he has a good-faith belief that the material is unlicensed.See Perfect 10, Inc. v. CCBill LLC, 488 F.3d at 1112 (emphasis added).
The law clearly entitles the Group News Blog to ignore noncompliant DMCA notices entirely. See 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(b)(ii). Consequently, anyone submitting a takedown notice which fails to meet the requirements of the statute, runs the risk that their notice(s) will be rejected in their entirety (including any legitimate allegations of infringement that they may include), an outcome that would be unfortunate for any rightsholders represented.
Further information on how the process works can be gleaned from the below letter by writer/blogger Denise McCune.
GNB requires a DMCA letter valid in every particular in order to protect both you and us from liability.
If you have DMCA questions, please send them to Jesse Wendel.
On SFWA v scribd.com, the DMCA, and online copyright violation
Denise McCune - Scribd
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