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Knowledge is power: Vimeo joins the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

Sean McGilvray
November 21, 2014 by Sean McGilvray Staff
We’re proud to announce that, starting today, Vimeo will begin participating in the [Chilling Effects Clearinghouse](chillingeffects.org/) project. Chilling Effects provides a “resource for understanding speech issues and legal complaints about online activity” by collecting and making available complaints regarding user-generated content under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). In normal people speak, that means they collect data around alleged copyright infringements in an effort to help inform and protect people who create and share content on the Internet. By participating in Chilling Effects, we hope to increase our own transparency and help the public understand the impact that DMCA notices have on online speech. We’re big supporters of openness and transparency, especially when it comes to online speech. We love hosting awesome videos with a wide range of subjects and content, and we are proud to be included in the [Electronic Frontier Foundation’s list](eff.org/pages/who-has-your-back-copyright-trademark-2014) of Internet companies that stand up for users’ rights when it comes to their content. But the DMCA is important too — it allows copyright owners to report alleged infringements of their works directly to service providers like Vimeo. As our [copyright page](vimeo.com/dmca) explains, we promptly remove content in response to valid DMCA notices. Now, Vimeo will also submit that information to Chilling Effects as a number of big Internet companies like Google and Twitter are already doing. While we’re eager to provide transparency, we don’t want to shame or discourage the copyright owners who use the DMCA to protect their creative works. Consequently, we’ll be withholding personal contact information from our submissions. Nor are we making any statement that any particular DMCA notice ought not to have been filed. Rather, we’re sharing redacted notices to help shed a little more light on a process that can sometimes be opaque and confusing — to both users and copyright holders. Here’s to making the Internet a safer and more see-through place!

15 Comments

Dav McLa Plus

many lawyers should use common sense, and also many ought admit they have huge amounts of discretion at their disposal--and sometimes also explicitly admit that they work for themselves, and not others. heck--they might as well more often, especially as, increasingly, many others are lawyers also and/or retain many, etc.

Jesse Garboden

Laws and regulations makes jobs more expensive then they should be. Why do you think people move jobs over seas??? cheaper... less laws... less regulations... etc...

Adam Reuter Plus

As someone who has had to file DMCA take down notices I applaud you for keeping personal information private. Nothing infuriates me more than the copyright violator keeping their anonymity and the copyright holder having to put their contact information out there for the world to see.

tanstaafl

the last taanstafl meeting came to the same conclusion

what YT are doing is wrong,
they invented PayPal and now it is being used to directly drain money from Japan

TebbeVision! Plus

DCMA notices are given for videos that do NOT infringe, and there is NO recourse. This is obliterating free speech rights, not 'chilling' them. Someone should bring this issue to the Supreme Court. Maybe Chilling Effects or Vimeo? How can I/we help?

To begin with, Vimeo should refuse takedown requests until it has heard from the alleged infringer, and has determined that an actual infringement exists. That would be more to the point than joining this organization, which seems like a copout.

Dan Haynes

If you're going to hide the identify of the outfits filing the DMCA takedowns, then how about at least providing some information about them. Specifically, the total number of takedown notices they've filed and the number of notices they've filed that were found to be bogus/non-infringing.

If the goal is to prevent abuse, then people need to be able to see who is abusing the system.

As a rationalist and anti-theist, I know that it's not unusual at all for anti-science or religious groups to file bogus DMCA notices specifically to suppress free speech. I know for a fact that there are fake cancer "treatment" scams and creationist who will file a DMCA against people who simply mention the scammer or the operation, just to waste time by making people respond to the bogus claims.

Dan Haynes

Oh, and BTW if you want people to take you/Vimeo a little more seriously, you should lose the "Here’s to making the Internet a safer and more see-through place!" punchline.

First of all, DMCA doesn't make the internet any safer, in any sense of the word.

Second, everyone knows that the DMCA laws are based on wildly exaggerated (i.e. bullshit) claims of losses that were made by large corporations like Sony, Disney and Warner. The claims of losses have been shown time and again to be completely false by Techdirt.com and others, so DMCA takedowns accomplish little.

Third, hiding the identity of the people/organizations who may be abusing the system doesn't make the process usefully transparent.

Fourth, you seem to presume that those filing the DMCA notices are honest businesses/individuals out to protect themselves from monetary losses, which is not supported by history/evidence.

Presumption of innocence is the only appropriate presumption in legal matters.

Jesus Matthew

Chill out Haynes. They're not withholding the identity of the claimants. They're "withholding personal contact information". E.g. emails and phone numbers. The name of the sender is still there, e.g. chillingeffects.org/faceted_search?sender_name=TOEI+ANIMATION+CO.%2CLTD

Chill out, TebbeVision. Your claim that "there is NO recourse" is false.
DMCA counter-notices are one counter-example. Vimeo has to follow the law. You're telling them not to. That would be stupid of them.

I'm glad vimeo has started doing this.

Looking at the recent listings, it looks like most of the DMCA takedown requests are legit.

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