Thursday, February 5, 2009

myspace cleans up its user base - does this signal the end of website immunity for bad acts of users?

Myspace may be a little less creepy these days but it still remains largely irrelevant in the wake of Facebook's domination of the social networking world. Nevertheless, the creepy factor was reduced when Myspace apparently used proprietary technology to identify and delete sex offender profiles. On the one hand, I applaud this effort. On the other, does Myspace's action bolster the argument that user generated content sites should be and can be more active in policing the actions of their users? How does this affect the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and Section 230 of the CDA? How does it affect Youtube's defense to the vicarious copyright infringement claims it faces from Viacom? Youtube manages to identify and keep porn off its site, why can't it identify and keep off copyrighted content owned by production companies? Internet lawyers will surely be debating these issues in the coming months.

1 comment:

Victor said...

Hi Erik,

Nice Blog.

I'm confused though on what the safe harbor provision's are (and the DMCA section 230 CDA). Does this mean youtube could be responsible for copywrite infringment through inaction?

Youtube's ability to detect porn is largely based on their ability to detect backlink's from porn site's. They know that if one of their video's is on a porn site - they should probably delete it. The rest are either flagged by user's or have description's that identify them as porn.
That being said, I'm sure that their are several way's to accommodate viacom's demand's - but they would all be time consuming to implement and very costly (at least as far as I can see).