The Problem: DMCA
Enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is like killing flies with a shotgun. Few laws are said to be a saving grace and a ball chain within the same industry. But depending on who you talk to DMCA is just that.
At Amanah Tech we tend to favor the latter half of the argument and proudly offer legit businesses a “DMCA Free Zone” here in Toronto, Canada. It’s the best location for digital presence outside of DMCA’s direct jurisdiction.
Every business owner knows protecting intellectual property (IP) is important, sure, but so is a fair playing field. In a world where network uptime and Google position are everything an attack by a random, and bogus, claim can shut you down for days (or even weeks).
Large media corporations have been known to file over 100,000 takedown requests a month. Many requests are legitimate, while others are meant to shut down things they don’t like, from bad reviews to public research that might affect their bottom line.
Like when Google removed bad reviews for Canadian rapper Drake’s latest album “Take Care” at the request of Universal Music Group. The request alleged that the review was a torrent site. (All you had to do was look at the URL to know it wasn’t a torrent.)
And just this month NASA culminated years of work, and $2.5 billion dollars, with the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity. The landing was live streaming on YouTube.
The news syndicate Scripps Media somehow felt that NASA’s Official YouTube channel violated their copyright to … well, something, and had it taken down mid-landing. It went back up after NASA protested within the same hour.
And that’s the major problem, in my opinion. It’s just too easy to abuse the process. To misrepresent facts and force the interruption of service based on only an accusation. While the only threat they hold against you is perjury and court fees.
Major corporations won’t even blink at such threats. Corporations have always used/abused copyright laws, and the law in general, to their benefit. And that’s fine when it’s Apple versus Samsung, for example.
The problem I see is when the law gives them the power to take aim at everyone else. People like bloggers trying to make a name, user generated videos, publicly funded research projects and plain silly comments.
The powers are too broad and in favor of big corporations with deep pockets, in my opinion, to be considered a fair, balanced and modern enforcement method for digital copyright holders.
The Solution: Canada
So how is a small business supposed to protect itself when the U.S. government can’t save its’ own YouTube Channel from attack?
One option is to file a “Counter Notification Letter”, remove the content, or your website, for 10 days for investigation and hope you don’t get dragged into a lawsuit. That’s a good choice.
However, a smarter choice, in my opinion, is simply to move outside of DMCA attack range all together.
But where can you go in North America? Who else has the same proximity to U.S. markets, the reliability of modern infrastructure, and state-of-the-art connectivity you get in the good ol’ U.S.A? The short answer is Canada! (I bet NASA wishes they hosted in Canada right now.)
In Canada we don’t have any laws with the blunt force of DMCA. We do still have modern copyright laws, but without the forced takedown requests. Each provider is different in how they handle these issues.
Some will receive a DMCA request and take action to shut down an account while others will try to work with you to resolve the issue first. In Canada they have that option. So talk to your provider.
The country is ideal for legitimate companies that often come under DMCA attack and need a presence in North America/U.S.A but don’t want to “get caught with their site down”.
Businesses like media streaming, VPN providers, photo sharing, file hosting, UGC sites and certain types of research projects, to name a few.
So as of right now, I would say Canada certainly has the most liberal and fair internet in North America. And if SOPA and PIPA ever pass in Congress it will continue to be that way for a long time.
Your opinion: Has the DMCA been a blessing or a burden for your business? Share your story below.
The Best Choice: Amanah Tech
Amanah Tech proudly offers legitimate businesses the opportunity to protect themselves from DMCA takedown attacks and maintain a U.S. presence. They comply 100% with Canadian laws to give North American businesses the most open and fair opportunity to host their content, service their customers and just run their business.
Amanah Tech prohibit the use and distribution of copyrighted materials, spamming, scamming, hacking, cracking and any other similar activities. If you’re accused of such activities we will try to work with you and any other parties to resolve the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved we will take further appropriate actions as required by law.
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