New York (The Verge) — Copyright could be the next way for Congress to take on Big Tech trib.al/2m05s0z.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has kicked off a series of hearings on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, preparing for a congressional reexamination of the anti-piracy bill later this year.
By the end of the year, Tillis — who chairs the Senate’s intellectual property subcommittee — plans to draft changes to the DMCA. He and co-chair Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) kicked off the process this week with an introductory hearing, speaking to eight legal experts and former congressional staffers. The hearing helped set the stage to re-fight some long-running battles over the balance between protecting copyrighted content and keeping the internet open — but at a time where internet companies are already facing a large-scale backlash.
The 1998 DMCA attempted to outline how copyright should work on the then-nascent internet, where you could almost freely and infinitely copy a piece of media. But it’s been widely criticized by people with very different stances on intellectual property. Supporters of tougher anti-piracy rules, for instance, argue that its “safe harbor” rules don’t motivate websites to keep pirated content offline. Conversely, internet freedom advocates say its takedown system provides a de facto censorship system for the web. And the DMCA’s reach touches far-flung issues like farm equipment repair, which makes it unavoidable even for industries with no piracy problems. This week’s hearing focused on two pieces of the law: Section 512, which spells out platforms’ liability for pirated content, and Section 1201, which limits cracking digital copy protection. — Adi Robertson/@verge