updated 02:55 pm EST, Thu December 13, 2007
Pushing for a harder DMCA
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), the chair of the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, today argued that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) does not go far enough, despite common complaints about its severity. Berman is overseeing a hearing on the PRO-IP Act, a bill which could increase statutory damages for copyright violation, and even establish an intellectual property enforcement office in the Department of Justice. Before today's witness testimonies began, Berman admitted that there were things he would like to change in copyright law to make the DMCA more strict.
He argues for instance that Internet service providers should not be granted "safe harbor" protection for material on their networks, and that filtering technology may, in some cases, have to be made a legal mandate by Congress. Berman is also in favor of reevaluating the "effectiveness of takedown notices," a view that may have originated with media giant Viacom. The company is strongly in favor of increased DRM, and is presently suing YouTube despite the latter's willingness to take down copyrighted video immediately upon request. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has in the past spoken to business lobby groups about his position. [via Ars Technica]