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Trademark and Copyright Safe Harbors

by • April 3, 2016 • No Comments

On Friday we, along with our colleagues at Etsy, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Makerbot, and Stratasys, filed commentswith the United States Copyright Office regarding how copyright works online. The Copyright Office had requested the comments as part of a study it is doing in the laws which
allow websites like ours to let anyone with an account share their work with the world.

Specifically, the study was on what is known as Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This provision is what donates structure to our copyright complaint process
.

The provision is significant, but imperfect. It was drafted in 1998 eons ago in internet time and it is great which
the Copyright Office is bringing the opportunity to ask inquiries
of how the provision is working in the real world.

Whilst there are a lot of things which
we may have described in our comments, our focus was not strictly on copyright. Instead, we collectively decided to explain to the Copyright Office how trademark is impacting copyright online.

We have raised this issue preceding. Back in October, as part of a much like
group we filed a much like
set of commentswith the White House Intellectual Property Coordinator. We in addition
highlighted the impact which
trademark complaints have in the Shapeways transparency reportreleased in February.

At its core, our concern is which
Section 512 establishes a carefully calibrated balance between users, rightsholders, and online platforms. It incorporates checks and balances created to donate everyone an opportunity to be treated pretty.

But
, the entire process is limited to the world of copyright. When rightsholders incorporate trademark claims in their takedown requests a thing which
, as we highlight in thetransparency report, takes place frequently those balances disappear. As a outcome, no review of the Section 512 process is completely without an belief of the broader context which
it operates inside.

This is not the last word, or the only word, on this issue. As described earlier, actually the parts of the Section 512 process which
are directly tied to copyright are imperfect. Many of the other comments submitted to the Copyright Office draw attention to those imperfections. Similarly, the only released study by Jennifer Urban, Joe Karaganis, and Briana Schofield on this process
contributes significant data of how the process operates day-to-day to the conversation. If you are interested in this issue it provides a rad resource.

For now we can go on
to operate inside the current legal structures and balance the rights of everyone connected to the Shapeways platform. At the same time, we can work to manufacture certain
which
policymanufacturers know how the processs created in law operate in practice. As with the previous comment, we hope which
this provides an opportunity to policymanufacturers to reexamine the scope of safe harbors and reevaluate them in light of the goals they were meant to complete.


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