Copyright.net's Peer-to-Peer Solution Automates Notification of Copyright Violations According to DMCA
On Friday, September 29, Tennessee based Copyright.net began the beta launch of its new peer-to-peer copyright protection and notification software that operates according to the procedures defined by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The patent pending software "legitimizes the burgeoning peer-to-peer online market for intellectual property" according to a recent press release issued by the company. "CopyrightAgent works across peer-to-peer networks and other Internet environments to locate and legitimize copyrighted works that have been identified as unauthorized uses. CopyrightAgent is not a "policing" technology; rather it works as an enabler for all parties in the digital rights community. Customers can license copyrighted works directly from copyright owners, ISPs can manage notices and comply with the DMCA infringement immunity requirements, and copyright owners can protect and license their works."
The beta launch and testing period will last approximately 6-8 weeks. 150 music copyrighted musical works will be used, and a group of 750 music publishers and record companies will participate.
MusicDish spoke with Richard Rose, the Vice President of Legal & Business Development for Copyright.net regarding the new technology. "During the beta test, we will work with ISPs to enable them to efficiently receive and respond to mass electronic notices. This is necessary because ISPs are currently receiving notices one at a time. Copyright Agent streamlines this process and can send hundreds of thousands of notices at a single time. The beta phase is to give them time to integrate with our system without overwhelming them with notices. Those ISPs that receive notices during the beta launch will be able to utilize our full service. Also, those consumers that receive notices will be given access to respond to the notice and license the work."
The use of CopyrightAgent has been described as a win-win-win situation. Mr. Rose explained how. "CopyrightAgent takes an extremely complex and confusing process and streamlines it via the web. Furthermore, it creates a forum for parties with extreme and competing interests, such as Napster users and record companies, to work together and resolve their differences in a community environment."
Now that's a tall order. But as Mr. Rose talked about how CopyrightAgent works, one can see how that might easily happen. "On the front end, there's a search tool – CopyrightAgent. A music publisher or copyright owner could, after registering and paying a nominal fee, perform a search, using the title of the song, to find the names of all persons using their music. In about an hour, they could get the names of 75,000 Napster or Gnutella users who have been using this music. Once these users are identified, our system automatically matches them with their ISPs. You don't have to download anything onto your computer – it all runs off of our servers. CopyrightAgent puts all of this information into a legal notice and sends it to the ISP because that's what's required by the DMCA. Under the law, the ISP is required to block access to the infringing file (or all access to that song). If someone has downloaded it, the ISP would have to turn off that person's service. Nobody wants to terminate 75,000 users, so we help the ISP to educate consumers through a pre-drafted, very consumer friendly notice that lets them know that peer-to-peer networks are great, and it's a good thing that they can get the music they love to listen to, but that the people who made and own it need to be compensated for it. The consumer reads the letter and can choose to click and license the music directly from the copyright owner for a small fee, or they can send back a counter-notice to let us know there's been a mistake and they don't have the music. What they're asked to pay the copyright owners is not nearly as much as what a CD costs because there's no CD manufacturing cost, no marketing – the product is already out there."
Now, this should make the record companies, copyright owners, and ISPs happy, but what about consumers? Copyright.net also has something in the works that should make them equally happy if not more. "In the next phase that we're working on, we would pay consumers who've decided to compensate the copyright owners to be legitimate distributors of the songs. We'd provide a legal copy with a watermark, which they'd add to their share files, and when someone else downloads the file from them, that person will get a notice to let them know that they must pay the copyright owner for it, and then they too will be given the opportunity to be a legitimate distributor. Also, in phase two, we plan to expand from just music works to any type of intellectual property – software, graphics, books – anything that the copyright owner wants to protect."
Copyright.net – www.copyright.net
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