Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Free Speech Costs Exactly $105

Welcome to the latest copyright scam in the U.S. In order to be protected under the DMCA safe harbour law, a web site must register with the U.S Copyright Office. Not all web site owners are even aware that they have to register to be protected. A copyright troll called Righthaven is already taking advantage of this ignorance. Well, at least now we know that free speech costs exactly $105.

This is just so unbelievably broken. Why is there a requirement to register anything in the first place? Apparently, this was done so that the rights holder can find the contact information of the person who handles DMCA requests without too much work. This could have been satisfied a far simpler solution: require that the contact information to be available on a well know URL (e.g. /dmca-contact) for the site to be compliant. But of course, the lawyers making the laws would have no idea that would even be technically possible.

This kind of stupidity just increases my belief that copyright is hopelessly broken and cannot be fixed.

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