Saturday, July 19, 2008

Universal Music: 'The law only applies to the little people, not us.'

Virtualy the only element of the DMCA, the American copyright law Harper's Conservatives are so eager to inflict on Canada too, that is designed to protect consumers is that there are legal consequences to rights holders for an illegally applied takedown notice. Now Universal Music argues that one protection was never supposed to be used against them.
SAN JOSE, California -- Universal Music told a federal judge here Friday that takedown notices requiring online video-sharing sites to automatically remove content need not consider whether videos are protected by the "fair use" doctrine.

The doctrine permits limited use of copyright materials without the owner's permission.

This is important, as takedown notices have been illegally used to suppress criticism of public figures like Pastor Hagee trying to hide video of his bigoted and extremist remarks and corporations like Telus suppressing criticism from its workers and customers.

If, as Universal is arguing, the one portion of the DMCA designed to limit their power to suppress speech does not in fact do so, than this is the very definition of privilege: Private law.

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