Saturday, December 06, 2008

Internet Archive makes it too difficult to report copyright violations

The Internet Archive's copyright policy provides a mechanism for reporting copyright infringement. The report must include a signed statement by the copyright holder!

I couldn't find a mechanism for the general public to report copyright infringement. The public can report 'errors' but perhaps no one reads them — I reported some copyright date errors and got no response.

Recently someone scanned some volumes of Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC) but mis-identified the copyright date, allowing works that I believe are still in copyright to be downloaded as large PDF files. Nearly 200 people have downloaded them. This could open the Archive up to big problems if the copyright holder notices.

I'm surprised the Archive makes it so difficult for the public to report potentially expensive problems.

2 comments:

Jonathan Bailey said...

The problem you're going to have here is U.S. law. Typically speaking, someone other than the copyright holder or an agent acting on their behalf can not file a notice of copyright infringement and have the work removed. This is according tot he DMCA.

The best thing you can do right now is, if you know someone who has a copyright interest in the work, let them know and have them file the notice, if not file an error the best that you can but realize that nothing can really be forced upon them.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I hope this helps.

Ed Snible said...

If I saw a man stealing apples from a tree I would say to the man "That tree is not wild. Please stop stealing apples from that tree." I would not run to the farmer to tattle.

I kind of like being able to download these books. I only wish to inform the Archive as a courtesy, to save them legal bills down the road.