It’s generally well known by those following copyright issues, that the U.S. Copyright Office is engaged in a study of Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the provisions of the Copyright Act that provide for (among other things) the notice and takedown process and Online Service Provider (OSP) safe harbors.
Unfortunately, one group – Fight for the Future (FFF) – seems to be doing its best to disrupt and derail the Copyright Office’s efforts and to make people think that the process is “rigged against the public interest.”
For example, during the Copyright Office’s request for written comments period, they, along with YouTube channel ChannelAwesome, orchestrated a last-minute campaign in which they urged their followers to protest DMCA abuse by submitting comments to the Copyright Office which were generated merely by clicking on the “I’m in” button at www.takedownabuse.org. While they did suggest that submitters could alter the model comments on the site, in fact relatively few actually did. (I should point out that the site no longer provides model comments.)
The campaign resulted in so many comments being submitted in such a short period that it crashed government servers and made it very difficult for interested parties to review all the comments. FFF could have notified its followers earlier so that the comments were not submitted at one time. Better yet, since virtually all the comments were identical, they could have simply submitted a petition with 80,000 or so names included, rather than 80,000 identical submissions that crashed the system.
More recently FFF posted a blog that misrepresented the two-day section 512 roundtable discussion that occurred in San Francisco in an effort to get its followers upset enough to rail against the process, the Office and others, like the Copyright Alliance, who simply do not share many of FFF’s views. I know because I was there.