Re:Create Recap – July 6, 2017

OP-ED: DMCA Safe Harbor Protections Create Value For The Internet Economy. A Morning Consult op-ed by the Internet Association’s Abigail Slater examined an NERA Economic Consulting analysis conducted to quantify the importance of strong DMCA Section 512 safe harbor protections for hosts of online content in the economy. The analysis showed that weakened safe harbor protections could cost the U.S. economy over 4 million jobs and $440 billion in GDP over 10 years. On the topic of user-generated content she wrote in the June 29 op-ed, “It has led to the creation of a booming domestic internet sector that has doubled its share of the U.S. economy between 2007 and 2014.” Slater added, “These proposals would also threaten important balanced provisions of copyright law, including fair use, which is critical to the functioning and development of technology and services.”

State Department Attempts Fake Twitter Feud On Intellectual Property? Techdirt‘s Mike Masnick reported this week on a State Department effort to start a “fake Twitter feud” about U.S. intellectual property. An official with the State Department’s Bureau of Economic Affairs sent an email to a law school professor explaining the “#MostAmericanIP or #BestIPMoment” hashtag, which allegedly counts MPAA, RIAA, and the Copyright Alliance as supporters. Masnick wrote, “[T]he State Dept. should not be creating fake news or fake Twitter feuds. Second, even if it were to do so, it seems to have picked one side of the debate, arguing that greater copyright and patent enforcement is obviously a good thing…”

UPDATE: Zillow Drops Copyright Complaint Against ‘McMansion Hell’ Blog. In a follow up to a story featured in last week’s Recap, Geek Wire reported on June 29 that real estate website Zillow dropped a complaint against the real estate parody blog ‘McMansion Hell’ after accusing the blog of copyright infringement for reproducing photos found on Zillow’s site. Zillow later admitted that they did not own the content for which they were claiming copyright ownership. Following online backlash and a letter from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Zillow announced they would no longer pursue legal action. In their letter to Zillow, EFF stated that McMansion Hell would relaunch and “in the interests of compromise, and because Wagner no longer wishes to use Zillow’s website, she will no longer source photographs from Zillow for her blog.”

Recent Supreme Court Decision: Termination Of Internet Access Could Violate Free Speech. The U.S. Supreme Court decided last month in Packingham v. North Carolina that a broad-based ban on internet and social media use is a violation of freedom of speech. Annemarie Bridy, Professor at the University of Idaho College of Law, responded to the decision by explaining how the precedent could be applied to protect online platforms and ISPs seeking safe harbor under Section 512 of the DMCA in a blog post for Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. Bridy argued that Packingham “emphasized the critical importance of the Internet in general, and social media platforms in particular, to everyday life in the ‘Cyber Age'” and warns that the holding “should serve as a reminder to lower courts interpreting section 512(i) that termination of access to the Internet implicates core First Amendment values.”