Author’s Guild Wants to Update Piracy Takedown Rules

By Dianna Dilworth 

The Author’s Guild has sent a letter to Congress seeking to update the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Notice and Takedown provisions to make it more manageable for authors to fight book piracy.

As it stands, when a book is pirated, “a copyright owner is required to send a notice for each separate instance (i.e., copy) of infringement, specifying the URL,” explains the Guild. “But as soon as a pirated copy is taken down, it is usually put right back up. Needless to say, copyright owners cannot keep up with this senseless game, and individual authors do not begin to have the resources to send a new notice every time a pirated copy is posted or reposted.”

The Guild is seeking a “Notice and Stay-Down” approach instead, which would mean that “once a webhost knows a work is being infringed, it should not continue to receive ‘safe harbor’ immunity from claims of infringement unless it takes reasonable measures to remove all infringing copies of the same work,” explains the Guild.