Copyright Consultation on ContentID

Automated takedown tooks are a pain. They’re very much a case of "If X = Y Then do Z"

As such, they’re really unsuitable for anything beyond automated detection of something, and they certainly shouldn’t be used as a means of automated enforcement of anything.

Shira Perlmutter doesn’t think like that though, as we discussed in Episode 4 of Tetch Talk, when she was lobbying heavily for SOPA/PIPA on behalf of the IFPI. As the Register of Copyrights for the US though, she’s now in a position to do something about it now.

That something is to use a letter by Sen Patrick Leahy (who, again, we discussed as being behind SOPA/PIPA) as an excuse to try and push automated tools on to more services, like the EU ‘upload filters’ requirement in the shockingly bad Article 17.

Thus the consultation

Even before I start reading other responses, I can tell you what the overall response will be, based on the questions. They’re going to listen to every lobby group for major artists claim they absolutely need them to maximize profits. They’re going to ignore every privacy and legal expert that says they are on shaky legal ground, and bad for privacy; laugh at every technical expert that says ‘what you want just isn’t possible’, and we’ll end up with a directive to – as always when you have policy driven by lobbyist lawyers – just “nerd harder and make it work”.

How do I know that? Simple, the questions.

1. Rightsholders: Please identify any technical measures currently used or in development by you, your organization, company, industry, or sector to identify or protect copyrighted works online. How do these technical measures affect your ability to protect your copyrighted works online?

2. Online service providers: Please identify any technical measures currently used or in development by your organization, company, industry, or sector to identify or protect copyrighted works online. How do these technical measures affect your ability to provide services to your users?

3. Users: How are you, or your organization, company, industry, or sector affected by technologies implemented by rightsholders and service providers to identify or protect copyrighted works online?

4. To what extent are any of these technical measures being adopted or discussed as part of any within-industry or cross-industry endeavors, initiatives, or agreement(s)?

5. Are there any other processes that are ongoing for identifying voluntary solutions or to identify and implement technical measures? Are there alternative processes, other than those that may currently be in place, that would better identify and implement technical measures? Please be specific, as different technical measures may have different solutions in different industry sectors.

6. To what extent would the adoption and broad implementation of existing or future technical measures by stakeholders, including online service providers and rightsholders, be likely to assist in addressing the problem of online copyright piracy? What are the obstacles to adopting and broadly implementing such existing or future technical measures? Would the adoption and broad implementation of such existing or future technical measures have negative effects? If so, what would be the effects, and who would be affected?

7. Is there a role for government to play in identifying, developing, cataloging, or communicating about existing or future technical measures for identifying or protecting copyrighted works online? Can the government facilitate the adoption or implementation of technical measures, and if so, how? Are there technical measures or other standards used to protect copyrighted works online of which the government should be aware when implementing statutory or regulatory provisions, such as requirements for procurement, grants, or required data inventories?

8. Please identify any other pertinent issues not referenced above that the Copyright Office should consider in these consultations.

Technical Measures Consultation Document at Regulations.gov

Yeah, the main pertinent issue is that you’ve not asked is it feasible/possible, you’ve assumed it is, and that it’s a good thing, and why we haven’t already done it.

Anyway, as always, I left it a bit late, and with a bit of mental fog, left it really to the last second which is why I only did 22 pages for it (when people say ‘oh, I could give a 30min talk off the cuff on xxx’, I really can on copyright and filters.) in the 6 hours I had.

You can read my submission here at Regulations.gov, but to make it easier, it’s embedded here