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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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A.J.

DMCA is complicated and I don't have a better solution.

But much of the Marketplace content theft problem is due to the utter trifling laziness of LL to earn their paycheck off of that place. Selling on Marketplace should be a privilege that comes with some responsibility. Nobody should be selling on that place without some solid RL verification.

Then the lab should permanently ban anyone who is caught doing the copy/paste ad trickery that is mucking up Marketplace. Most of this is so blatant that it shouldn't require a DMCA. It just requires someone who halfway cares to manage the place.

There needs to be a way to flag stolen content on Marketplace without having to buy it and review it.

Vaki

I have said this many, many times, but I'll say it here again, regarding that first comment: I was not Curio's only lawyer. I'm not a litigator (in other words, I'm not the kind of lawyer that goes to court), and as most people remember, Gala was dealing with an actual lawsuit.

COPYRIGHT LAWSUITS ARE EXPENSIVE. Lawsuits in general are extremely hard on those involved. And settlements are often under mutual gag orders.

Continuing to insinuate that Gala was off sipping mai tais during that time is just willful ignorance.

Vaki

I promised Iris I'd comment again on the whole piece after I'd slept.

A lot of the responses seem to be focused on the frustration around the inability to get a malicious copier to take a copied item down and keep it down, and the desire for some sort of "takedown means staydown" process.

Google that phrase: "takedown means staydown." You'll quickly see that it's RIAA and the MPAA's new rallying cry, and is the cornerstone behind the rebranding of SOPA. And that's fair, because let's be honest: content creators, whether they're texture designers working for micropayments in Second Life or Michael Bay working for tens of millions of dollars in Hollywood, get really damn tired of playing whack-a-mole with every yahoo who wants to throw ripped copies up for free, and every time content creators issue a takedown notice, the bad guys just pop back up again somewhere else with the same ripped content, so the whack-a-mole game starts up again.

And the lobbying to Congress gets louder, and the copyright penalties get stricter, and the copyright laws get more draconian (again, SOPA / PIPA was a law aimed at copyright infringers), and the international trade treaties get tighter and tighter copyright restrictions built into them, and it becomes harder and harder for individuals and small businesses to protect themselves in court on copyright matters...

...and the group damaged the most is the public — all of us, everyone — because the more we fight to bend the law to fix one specific problem, the more we unsettle the careful balances the law has built into it.

Here's why.

Let's say, hypothetically, that we were able to build a "takedown means staydown" system into the DMCA. This could mean one of two things. One: it could mean that if a content creator sends a DMCA notice objecting to infringement of a work — let's say it's a texture — all copies of that texture should be removed from the grid and never be re-uploaded. Okay, so that would mean that anyone who bought the item would have it deleted from their inventory...when? At the moment of takedown notice? Do we give the other party time to counter-notice? How great would that be as an anti-competitive, griefing measure, if I could take my biggest competitor out by forcing LL to delete all their content, including content people had already legitimately bought, and never let them re-upload it?

Okay, maybe it wouldn't be that extreme. Maybe it would only mean that it couldn't be re-uploaded by that specific person, but it wouldn't be deleted from anyone's inventory. It'd still be a hell of a griefing tool, and that completely removes one of the DMCA's biggest benefits: the potential for the infringing side to /get permission/ from the rights holder, and then continue to use the work. The reason each side is given contact information for the other is so you have a chance to work out your differences and potentially license the work in question.

Finally, as much as /I/ would really like a system like the one Winter Seale proposes, it would only work as a voluntary, user-supported system. Linden Lab has to use the DMCA process as the law has established it, because that process (among some other stuff) gives Linden Lab immunity from copyright lawsuits. That process is a shield. When the law gives you a shield, you don't go messing with it, even if the shield doesn't work all that well for your business purposes. That's why you'll see the exact same basic process at any other user-generated content publishing site, like YouTube, Wordpress, Tumblr, or wherever.

Sorry. This was long. I did promise I'd comment, though.

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