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USPTO and NTIA Continue Efforts to Reform DMCA Notice-Takedown Process

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) continue to conduct meetings with stakeholders to discuss possible improvements to the notice and takedown process required under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

As previously reported, USPTO and NTIA convened several meetings with stakeholders to discuss methods for possibly improving the procedures. The first meeting on March 20 resulted in agreement to establish a voluntary, standardized takedown notice. The second meeting was held on May 8; EDUCAUSE member representatives attended the meeting, which focused on developing the standardized notice. At that point, the participants decided a smaller working group would be better able to evaluate and solve the issues involved in creating a standardized notice.

On June 20, the stakeholders held a third meeting in Alexandria, VA. In this meeting the working group explained their methods for achieving the end goal of a simplified and standardized notice. They analyzed all of the forms copyright holders use and identified where their efforts could best be focused: creating standardized forms for sending individual notices as well as batches of notices, and designing an application programming interface (API) for sending notices. The working group is also identifying information on the variety of forms currently in use that is educational in nature and unnecessary for the notice-and-takedown process. The group plans to use this information to create a separate document intended to educate copyright holders and content providers on how to better abide by DMCA requirements and identify best practices for such compliance. Finally, the group explained they will begin to look for ways to incentivize others to follow this voluntary process.

While no specific implications for higher education institutions have emerged, EDUCAUSE will continue to monitor the meetings given member interest and concern about the notice-and-takedown process. In the meantime, members may access meeting agendas, video archives, transcripts, and general process information at USPTO’s website

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