Cotropia and Gibson (2016)
|Cotropia and Gibson (2016)|
|Title:||Commentary to the U.S. Copyright Office Regarding the Section 512 Study: Higher Education and the DMCA Safe Harbors|
|Author(s):||Christopher Anthony Cotropia, James Gibson|
|Citation:||Cotropia, C. And Gibson, J. (2016) Commentary to the U.S. Copyright Office Regarding the Section 512 Study: Higher Education and the DMCA Safe Harbors|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Erickson and Kretschmer (2019)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The authors surveyed from a population of 1,377 four-year colleges and universities in the United states. They sent the survey to the 680 of those institutions that had a DMCA agent registered with the copyright Office. The Presence of registered DMCA agents was skewed towards larger institutions and those ranked higher in the News and World Report ranking. Among the 532 institutions that had working contact information and received the survey, the authors achieved a response rate of approximately 15% or 80 responses.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“The nearly twenty-year history of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provisions has been marked by criticism from content owners, online service providers, and end users. Content owners complain about the cost of monitoring online content and sending take-down notices. Online service providers complain about the cost of receiving and processing the notices. And end users complain about their legitimate use of copyrighted works being subject to DMCA take-down. Colleges and universities have been at the forefront of this controversy; as providers of online services to their students, they have been a focus of both Congress and copyright owners. To study the effect of the safe harbor provisions on such institutions, and particularly the nature, volume, and cost of the notice-and-takedown system, we surveyed colleges and universities about their copyright and DMCA practices. The results expose infirmities in the administration of the DMCA system, both within the world of higher education and within the U.S. Copyright Office, and suggest that colleges and universities need to (1) take better advantage of the safe harbors and (2) correct certain fundamental misunderstandings of important and essential aspects of the DMCA.”
Main Results of the Study
The average number of takedown requests received per institution was 200 (std. deviation 329.35). The majority of institutions surveyed 72.5 received between 0 and 270 notices, with a small number of schools receiving large quantities of notices. Some 12.5% of responding institutions spent more than 500 hours per year dealing with takedown requests, but most institutions (62%) reported spending 50 hours or less. The majority of DMCA notices received (67.6%) related to a scenario in which students used the institution’s network to download copyright infringing material onto personal computers (falling under the transitory communications safe harbour under §512(a)).
Interestingly, schools reported using a number of technical measures to deter copyright infringing behaviour by users, in a similar manner to the DMCA-plus OSPs discussed by other authors. Techniques used by institutions included requiring individual network logins, port banning / firewalls, packet shaping, bandwidth throttling and monitoring of suspicious network traffic. Some respondents reported that these techniques had reduced the number of DMCA notices received.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study makes two recommendations:
• DMCA agents should be registered by OSPs, with their contact information stored in accessible digital formats. Furthermore, a fully digitised system for storing information would enable text searching and improve transparency.
• A promotional program on DMCA safe harbours, aimed at higher education institutions, would alleviate some of the mismanagement uncovered in this study.