In this article, Paul Alan Levy echoes the calls by some to combat abuse of the DMCA notice and takedown system by shaming those who make illegitimate claims and the others who needlessly comply, as well as take possible legal action against them. Levy also argues that the better approach would be to reform the DMCA itself, especially since both the McCain and Obama had problems with the system, and both would be a position to change the law regardless of the election outcome. He proposes 5 specific changes in the DMCA. The first would be to allow ISPs and service providers to not effectively be required to immediately takedown allegedly infringing material, while still maintaining safe harbor status. Secondly, he proposes making it easier for people who receive bogus takedown claims to receive compensation via statutory damages, presumably deterring copyright holders from filing false claims. He also suggests notification by the service provider to the possible infringer before the content is removed, as well as requiring takedown notices to be submitted to a public database for viewing. Finally, Levy argues for all intellectual property types to be protected, not just copyright. His agenda is put forth at a time when both potential presidents, having felt the negative effects of the DMCA, may be more motivated to remedy it.
This article is extremely beneficial in that it outlines a significant number of ways to amend the DMCA and resolve the current notice and takedown problem. His position is not explicitly based in anger, aggravation, or retribution, and offers a clear list of ways to fix a broken system. I will primarily use this article to offer constructive remedies to the problem I plan to expose. Particularly, his suggestion to allow the service provider to notify the alleged infringer prior to the content being removed, while simultaneously not surrendering its safe harbor status, is a proposal not without flaws, but could possibly be an important part of the recommendations I make to fix the system.