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U.S. Commerce Department Announces Digital Millennium Copyright Act Multistakeholder Forum Results

April 07, 2015
News Media Contact
Juliana Gruenwald
USPTO Media Contact: Paul Fucito
(571) 272-8400

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force, through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), today released a document developed by stakeholders containing a set of agreed upon practices aimed at improving the operation of the notice and takedown system under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The document known as DMCA Notice-and-Takedown Processes:  List of Good, Bad and Situational Practices was developed by the participants in the multistakeholder forum established as a result of the Commerce Department's Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, released in 2013.  The document identifies a number of “good”, “bad” and “situational” practices to improve the efficiency of the handling and processing of DMCA notices by both senders and recipients. 

The goal of the multistakeholder forum was to identify best practices and/or produce voluntary agreements for improving the operation of the DMCA notice and takedown system without the need for legislative change.  The forum kicked off in March 2014 and included participation from a broad range of stakeholders, including rights holders and individual creators, service providers of different sizes, and consumer and public interest representatives.  Meetings took place approximately every six weeks through the end of the year, alternating between the East and West Coasts.  Smaller working and drafting groups were established, which prepared drafts of the DMCA Notice-and-Takedown Processes:  List of Good, Bad and Situational Practices document for the full group’s approval.  A broad range of issues were considered and discussed intensively over the course of the process, with the participants ultimately reaching consensus on those practices addressed in the final document.

“The multistakeholder forum tackled sensitive issues in a constructive and cooperative way.  The group’s agreement on a set of good and bad practices shows that progress can be made in this area, and should be especially helpful for small businesses and individuals with less experience operating within the system,” said Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs at USPTO.

“NTIA is pleased that a diverse group of stakeholders took an important step in improving the operation of the DMCA notice and takedown process,” said John Morris, Associate Administrator of NTIA’s Office of Policy Analysis and Development and Director of Internet Policy.  “I want to congratulate all of the participants, who through their commitment and dedication have demonstrated the promise and importance of the multistakeholder process.”

The DMCA Notice-and-Takedown Processes:  List of Good, Bad and Situational Practices can be found on the USPTO’s website and on NTIA’s website