The 1998 enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) represents the most comprehensive reform of United States copyright law in a generation. Not only did it build in legislative protection for artists and their creative works, it also made it illegal for consumers to knowingly consume or download pirated material and for platforms to host pirated material. Many of the most popular internet platforms (Google, Instagram, Facebook, MindGeek, etc.) are inundated with requests to remove content on the basis of DMCA violations and list DMCA & content removal as a main priority for their Trust & Safety teams, as they are required, by law, to respond to DMCA requests in a timely manner and to authenticate and remove all instances of reported piracy and theft.

In fact, according to Google Transparency reports, they received over 7 Billion requests to de-list URLs from over 300,000 individual copyright holders and over 300,000 organizations. These requests are thoroughly reviewed and may or may not be honored according to Google’s internal policy and are evaluated against a variety of metrics including completeness, validation, clarity, and specificity. However, many platforms that feature or host a plethora of user generated media content (UGC) are lacking the moderation resources or systemic tools to process the asymmetric volume of claims they receive and therefore lose trust with their contributors.

For creators looking to leverage the DMCA to remedy leaked or stolen content, they are often left to the following paths:

  1. Filing DMCA takedown requests directly on the platform for every piece of content that represents an infringement.

  2. Using a professional content scanning and monitoring service to leverage facial recognition, or username recognition to remove pirated content.

  3. Pursuing formal legal services.

These solutions are time consuming, operationally complex, and can be extremely expensive costing a creator anywhere from $39/mo-$300/mo for a permanent content monitoring service to $10,000 in legal expenses.

For platforms and creators alike, proactive solutions like PLP would ease the burden of filing, verifying, and processing DMCA claims, yielding a value-add to the ecosystem.

Note: It is currently unclear if there will be legal protection and enforceability under U.S. state and federal copyright laws for digital or tokenized assets like NFTs; however, it seems to reason that as artists continue to use these methods as a means of preserving artistic integrity, blockchain-based IP rights will make their way into active case law.

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