New York Times: Google has come up with a clever way to get around the Church of Scientology’s efforts to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to make it harder to find anti-Scientology sites. Google is removing the sites from its database, but adding a link on the results page to chillingeffects.org. Chillingeffects.org is posting the Church’s DMCA complaints, which include links to the target pages.
This shows what a mess the DMCA has created. At best, it adds pointless friction to the Net, because its restrictions are hard to enforce. In many cases, though, the chilling effects are real, and companies are reluctant to launch innovative services because of concerns about legal action. The tension between cyberspace and intellectual property needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, the DMCA is part of the problem, not the solution.