On April 1st, the Copyright Office closed the initial comment period for a public study undertaken to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) safe harbor provisions, embodied in Section 512 of the United States Copyright Act. On April 7th, the filed comments were released online.
Commenters submitted a total of 90,967 comments in connection with the study. The Cyberlaw Clinic filed one of those comments on behalf of Berkman Center for Internet & Society Project Coordinator Adam Holland, who manages the Center’s Lumen project (formerly known as Chilling Effects), and Harvard Law School Clinical Professor (and Cyberlaw Clinic Managing Director) Christopher Bavitz, who serves as Lumen’s principal investigator at Berkman. As described herein, the comment submitted by the Clinic advanced the twin propositions that: (a) data is crucial to informing reasoned policy debates, including debates about policies that govern intermediary liability and obligations to police content online; and (b) transparency is intrinsically related to accountability, oversight, and process and is generally good for the public at large in a society that values free expression.