New tools for handling copyright on Blogger

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Posted by Brett Wiltshire, Product Operations

In keeping with Google’s public commitment to make copyright work better online, our team has been working on improving the copyright environment for bloggers and copyright owners alike. As access to the web grows, bringing new content and services online, it becomes even more important to ensure the rights of everyone involved are protected and understood. To that end, we’re happy today to announce the release of two significant improvements to Blogger’s copyright handling toolkit:

1.)  Streamlined submission tools for rightsholders. 

Working alongside industry representatives, we’ve built a better submission and handling system for our high-volume DMCA takedown submitters that simplifies the reporting process and reduces our average response time to less than 24 hours.

2.)  Streamlined counter-notice tools for users. 

Built right into the dashboard, Blogger now offers a simple way to counter-notify incoming DMCA takedown notices to blog authors who believe their content was improperly targeted for removal. This will initially be available for users receiving notices from our high-volume submitters, though we have plans to expand this to other notices down the road.
In addition, to ensure transparency around the entire system, we’ll continue to forward all DMCA notices (as well as counter-notices) to the Chilling Effects cease & desist clearinghouse where they’ll be available for public searching.

As a refresher, here is a recap of how our DMCA removals procedure works today, factoring in these two updates we’ve just announced:

  1. A blogger (let’s call him Joe Blogger) decides to post a link on his blog to a downloadable copy of Album X.
  2. The rightsholder believes the link leads to an unauthorized, infringing copy of Album X and submits a takedown notice for that specific post.
  3. The DMCA takedown notice is processed by the Blogger Team, and if determined to be a valid complaint, the post in question is reverted to draft, Joe Blogger is notified, and a copy of the complaint is sent to Chilling Effects.
  4. At this point, Joe Blogger has the right to file a counter-notice and request the post be restored if he believes the takedown was improper. He may also edit the post to remove the allegedly infringing content himself.
  5. If Joe Blogger files a counter-notice, notification will be sent to the rightsholder as well as to Chilling Effects, and after ten business days the post will be restored if the rightsholder decides not to pursue further action.
  6. Rightsholders may pursue further legal action if they deem the counter-notice sent by the user to be invalid or erroneous.

These updates are the most recent among the copyright-related improvements our team has implemented over the last two years, all intended to strike a responsible balance between the needs of copyright owners and bloggers.

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