Photo by Dustin Stanton

Photo by Dustin Stanton

A couple of months ago, we launched our Stand Creative Series to put faces to the names of creatives who have shared their stories about the for-profit digital theft of their creative works.

We collected these stories to help us make an important point to the U.S. Copyright Office.

The Office had asked the public for their views of Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  Section 512 sets up requirements that copyright owners give notice to internet intermediaries (including search engines like Google) that there are illegal copies of their works online. These intermediaries are supposed to review these notices – and if they’re legitimate, take down the illegal copies. This is known as the “notice-and-takedown process.”

The Copyright Office wants to know how the notice-and-takedown system is working. We wanted the Copyright Office to hear from creatives about how expensive, time-consuming, and unsatisfactory the notice-and-takedown process can be, so we submitted comments that included the stories we ran in our Stand Creative Series.

Google wants the Copyright Office to believe something different – that the notice-and-takedown process “censors” content on the Internet and harms free speech. So a group of Google supporters by the name of Fight for the Future (FFTF) choked the Copyright Office website with tens of thousands of “comments” from anyone they could get to click on their video screaming “free speech!” As we’ve said many times before, copyright infringement is not free speech… no matter how many times Google and its allies try to confuse the two.

It’s clear to us that the Copyright Office needs to hear from more of you. This action by FFTF is especially troubling because their comment generator delivered tens of thousands of identical canned comments – not in any way the kind of feedback the Office was seeking.

We need to fight back against Fight for the Future’s misinformation campaign.

Here’s what you can do:

We want your real stories. Have you ever tried to struggle through getting Google or a website to take down an infringing use of your video, song, or photograph?  Tell us about your experience in a couple of hundred words. Share with us your frustrations. We in turn will share them with the Copyright Office to be part of the public record.

You can submit your stories via email by clicking here.  And ask your friends and colleagues to do the same.

We will include these testimonials in a filing to the U.S. Copyright Office during the reply and comment phase for the Section 512 study. The deadline for submitting these stories to CreativeFuture is Friday, May 6.

Please join us and let your voices be heard. Stand Creative!