Wednesday, October 25, 2006

more DMCA (content and searches); ad integrity

A couple of serious topics:

We’ve all seen a lot of debate about the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and takedown notices under safe harbor. Here are a couple of good references:

Chilling Effects FAQ’s:

Earlier entry mentioning paper by Tim Lee:

Ivan Hoffman has a good writeup

Generally, take down notices require a formal letter stating to an ISP or search engine “designated agent”, signed properly (probably notarized), alleging infringement in good faith, and acknowledging civil or even criminal possible penalties for bad faith (or perjury).

Search engines will take down specific search results based on specific arguments pointing to certain sites under safe harbor. Take down procedures allow the site owner to contest and show that the site does not infringe. In many cases, takedown notices and cease-and-desist letters result in public posting at ChillingEffects.

There is strong opposition in the Internet publishing community to the way DMCA takedown is handled in the law.

Although I cannot verify this directly (with search engine “help” documentation), there is strong anecdotal evidence that sometimes individual parties have search engine search results removed from certain sites. This seems to be related to recent media-reported concerns that employers (and agents) check not only social networking sites but also blog and web references to candidates as part of a informal “background check”, a practice that we find troubling.

Another recent topic of great concern is the integrity of website ads, where publishers are paid based partially on ad clicks. This is obviously a sensitive topic. I have more details on this at this free link:

A couple of varied media accounts:
The Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2006, p A1, carries a story
by Sara Kehaulani Goo, Muneesa Nqui (New Dehli, India) and Richard Drezan.

But a much older paper, from early 2005, is by Duncan Parry.

Maintaining the integrity of the paid ad system, with any form of publisher compensation, is a very important personal priority for me.

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