Tag Archive | elias leight

On the Impact of False Copyright Infringement Claims on Independent Artists and Other Digital Creators

Screenshot of Billboard article.

Over the past 10 years, among other pursuits and adventures, I’ve advised independent artists and artist managers on copyright issues surrounding the exploitation of their music in the Internet Age. I’ve also advised entrepreneurs on the intellectual property compliance implications of their music app and digital media startups.

One interesting unintended consequence that has emerged out of the creation of copyright policing systems by Internet and digital music services is the abuse of these systems by bad actors whose only goal is to curb the success of a particular piece of content (music or video) or the creator of such content.

Services such as Youtube and Spotify have implemented takedown processes to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and limit their liability while maintaining a safe harbor from damages that may arise out of copyright infringement lawsuits. However, bad actors can use these same tools that are meant to help rightsholders protect their rights to instead attack creators in what appears to be economic warfare against artists: false infringement claims and errorneous takedowns.

Takedowns can derail creators during viral momentums, which can be detrimental; especially for independent artists. I’ve advised several clients who’ve been the victim of such an abuse of the system.

Today, Billboard published an article, written by reporter Elias Leight who investigated the use of false infringement claims as a tactic to curb the success of rivals. I was interviewed for the article and provided some of the contextual and technological backdrop for the investigation:

Article Excerpt:

Like other prominent platforms, Spotify responds to infringement claims seriously by removing allegedly infringing songs, and you can report a song without breaking a sweat. Platforms honor an infringement claim whether the intentions behind it are legitimate or not.

“Anywhere there’s content and there’s some system with a trust mechanism to flag violations, there’s an opportunity for abuse and mis-use,” says Dae Bogan, head of third-party partnerships at the Mechanical Licensing Collective. “Bad actors are gonna do what they’re gonna do.”

Article: https://www.billboard.com/pro/spotify-false-infringement-claims/

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