communiqué #25: balancing act
Well. I received another DMCA takedown notification last night. The first in several long, quiet months.
This time with a major difference. I logged into the dashboard to be greeted directly with a dispatch from Blogger Support:
\” As a result, we have reset the post(s) to \”draft\” status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post – and any images, links or other content – is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again.\”
The notification was duplicated by email.
In my opinion, Google has at long last got it right. The resetting to draft status, rather than gung-ho deletion, affords the administrator the opportunity to directly address a reported issue without suffering the abuse of having original work expunged on some McCarthyist whim. This is a major step forward, on balance, and Blogger are to be congratulated.
I am unsure to what degree Larisa Mann – student of Jurisprudence at U.C. Berkele y – contributed to this recent development, but her perseverance in the dialogue between EFF, the Stanford Fair Use law clinic, and Google itself is to be applauded. Thank you, Larisa.
The issue, however, with regard to making transparent offending material remains unresolved. In this, those parties invoking DMCA action continue to do so without publicly delineating cause for complaint.
A practice both offensive and grossly unjust.