Tag Archives: Safe-Harbor

The Dropbox DMCA Controversy Explained

The Dropbox DMCA Controversy Explained

Dropbox LogoOn Saturday, Darrel Whitelaw, a designer and Dropbox user sent out a tweet that quickly caught fire on the Internet.

According to Whitelaw’s Tweet, Dropbox, which is a popular cloud storage and synchronization service, had removed content from a “personal folder” due to a DMCA request. He claimed that it raised issues about whether or not content uploaded to Dropbox was private or not.

However, that turned out to be exactly be what happened. Dropbox can be used both for private storage and for sharing files with others. Whitelaw had apparently shared a link on his dropbox to a folder that contained a copyrighted video. When he shared the link, Dropbox detected that some of the content was a match to another file that had received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice and shuttered the link instantly, posting the DMCA warning.

This automated content matching is called hashing and it’s something that Dropbox has done for years. Historically though, it’s been used for de-duplication, meaning that if you and another person try to upload the same file, Dropbox only keeps one copy to save on storage costs.

But as the number of DMCA notices Dropbox received began to rise, it used the hashing system to proactively block links to infringing material. Once a file has become the subject of a DMCA notice, any future attempts to share it publicly are shut down instantly, preventing the rightsholders from having to file a second notice and also eliminating questions about whether Dropbox was complying with the DMCA, questions contributed to Megaupload’s fate.

So what exactly is Dropbox doing and is it unethical? The answer is no and, if anything, it’s a good role model for other cloud services to follow.Continue Reading

3 Reasons MP3Tunes Matters to Copyright

3 Reasons MP3Tunes Matters to Copyright

A jury verdict in the MP3Tunes case could be one of the most important copyright decisions of the decade, especially for hosts that rely on safe harbor.Continue Reading

3 Count: Willfully Blind

3 Count: Willfully Blind

MP3Tunes, founder found liable for willful blindness in infringement, court rules not all authors need be listed on registrations and more!Continue Reading

Questions Unanswered by the Google/Viacom Settlement

Questions Unanswered by the Google/Viacom Settlement

Now that Viacom and YouTube/Google have made peace, a lot of difficult questions raised in the case will go unanswered for a long time.Continue Reading

3 Count: Settlement Day

3 Count: Settlement Day

Google and Viacom settle the infamous YouTube lawsuit, Goldieblox and The Beastie Boys settle their dispute and HarperCollins wins key ebook ruling.Continue Reading

CafePress, Self-Publishing and the DMCA

CafePress, Self-Publishing and the DMCA

A recent ruling against CafePress threatens to strip the site of its safe harbor protections, putting other self-publishing sites in the crosshairs.Continue Reading

Some Thoughts on DMCA Safe Harbor

Some Thoughts on DMCA Safe Harbor

With the recent hearings on the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, it’s time to look at the law and ways that it might be improved.Continue Reading

3 Count: Going En Banc

3 Count: Going En Banc

Garcia’s Innocence of Muslims copyright registration is denied, House Judiciary Committee has a hearing on DMCA notices and hip hop show draws a lawsuit.Continue Reading

3 Count: Lawsuit Liberation

3 Count: Lawsuit Liberation

Lawrence Lessig and Liberation Music settle their DMCA spat, Glasgow bar found liable for playing Sky Sports matches and a spa does not provide healthcare.Continue Reading

The Troubling ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Ruling

The Troubling ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Ruling

When Cindy Lee Garcia claimed copyright in a film she played a role in, no one took her argument seriously, until the 9th Circuit ruled in her favor.Continue Reading