I’m interviewed in a story in today’s San Jose Mercury News: Slowing the flow of illicit uploads. Excerpt:
The recent emergence of Web sites that encourage the public to upload copies of their own video and audio content is highlighting the difficulties of controlling the illicit spread of copyrighted material.
The new sites are coming online at a time when technology is making it increasingly easy for ordinary people to copy, record, edit and upload video and audio content to the Web. …
Ourmedia, a non-profit “grass-roots media” Web site, was launched in March, soliciting independently made video, audio and text files. Since the service opened, administrators have seen about four dozen instances in which users uploaded copyrighted material, a fraction of the 14,000 files currently hosted on the site, said Pleasanton’s J.D. Lasica, co-founder of Ourmedia.
Ourmedia does not screen content before it is uploaded to the site, Lasica said. But volunteer site administrators perform spot-checks “after the fact.”
The site made it clear from the outset that it would not tolerate uploads of copyrighted material.
“We decided early on, even though we’re not technically liable, that we don’t want to open the floodgates,” Lasica said. “We said, let’s focus on `our media,’ not `their media.’ ”
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act puts the onus on Internet users to act responsibly when it comes to copyrighted material — and for Web sites and Internet service providers to step in when they don’t. So Web sites such as Google or Ourmedia are not required to screen content when it is uploaded to their servers. But they must respond quickly when they find out that copyrighted material may have been inappropriately placed on their systems.