The Trouble with Farming Out DMCA Takedown Notices to Bots

"The Recorder affiliate Legaltech News recently caught up with one of the forefront experts in both DMCA and automated notice sending, Annemarie Bridy, a University of Idaho College of Law professor who also works with Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. LTN picked her brain about out of control bots, DMCA takedowns’ potential threat to freedom of speech and more. The conversation has been condensed for clarity.

LTN: How has the interplay between automation and issuing DMCA notices impacted the IP realm?

Annemarie Bridy: What we have been seeing over the course of the last five years or so are more and more vendors coming into the space of assisting right holders in managing infringement online.

In the early days of the bulk automated notice sending, what we saw were vendors that were really operating for the benefit of corporate right holders in a business environment. And I think when Google started its Trusted Copyright Removal Program for search, it had in mind it’d be working with vendors with a high level of sophistication who are operating in good faith and have skin in the game to the extent that they rely on relationships with Google and platforms to which they’re sending notices.

We’ve seen this become a more lucrative space for vendors to enter into and serve small rights holders and individual artists. That’s a good thing. But I think what’s also happened is there’s a lot of opportunism. Topple Track is a good example. They see an opportunity to make a lot of money, but lack the technical sophistication and the skin in the game the bigger vendors have."

Read the full piece at The Recorder