Equating Cybertravel with Physical Travel: the Key to Preserving a Borderless Internet Without Violating U.S. Copyright Law

Source: Hulu

By Michal Nowicki

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This Note explores the legality of cybertravel— the use of technological measures to trick a website into believing that the user is accessing it from a different location — under § 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to access territorially-restricted, copyright-protected digital content not available in the user’s physical location. Internet users cybertravel to bypass territorial restrictions for several reasons, including to access television shows and movies before they lawfully become available in their home country, and to access otherwise unavailable live streams of live events with less commercial interruptions. Although this Note concedes that the plain language of the DMCA seems to outlaw copyright-infringing cybertravel, it encourages courts to exclude such cybertravel from DMCA coverage by equating it with physical travel. If adopted, this approach would shield cybertravelers from civil liability because they would be legally deemed within … Read the rest

Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Notice and Takedown on Fair Use

Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Niya Ge

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This Note argues that the current standard for monitoring the DMCA takedown process holds copyright holders to little accountability, allowing abuse of the process and disregarding whether the material was fair use or not. This Note navigates common abuses of the takedown process, from broad automatic algorithms, to issuing DMCA takedown notices to intentionally censor the targeted material. Although the current subjective standard for monitoring the legitimacy of suspect infringing materials requires copyright holders to consider fair use, it outlines no actual process or standard to do so, and creates no incentive for proper monitoring or accuracy. This Note argues that an objective standard would be more appropriate in curbing abuse instead of a subjective standard that incentivizes negligent monitoring.… Read the rest