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Although two men were killed and eight injured, the US and UK governments kept the accident secret — as late as 1985, the British Government claimed that a taxiing aircraft had struck a parked one and that no fire was involved. The �safe harbor� provision of the DMCA is another threat to liberty.� Under this provision, an ISP must quickly remove a website that is accused of posting infringing material as soon as it receives notification from the copyright owner.� If they do not, the ISP itself becomes liable for a copyright infringement lawsuit.� Very few ISPs will risk the legal exposure if they don�t comply with these notifications.� Note that only a notification of copyright infringement is required, not any sort of proof.� The power of the takedown notice is so great that it removes all elements of due process�the burden of proof is now on the accused rather than on the accuser.� Several people have had their ISP service cut off just on a mistaken accusation of copyright infringement.� There have been bogus or even malicious takedown notices sent out against innocent parties.� This provides parties with a powerful means of censorship�if the content of a website offends you, all you have to do is fill out a one page form claiming that your copyright is being infringed and send it to the website�s ISP, and they will obligingly take it down.� No proof is required, and no judge is involved.� It is difficult to fight this form of censorship.� Suppose you publish a harshly negative review of a college textbook in your field, and in your review you quote short passages from the book, confident that you are within the bounds of fair use.� Shortly thereafter, the electronic version of your review appears on the publication�s website.� In the meantime, the book�s publisher has seen your scathing review, and, claiming copyright infringement because of your quotations, quickly fires off a DMCA takedown notice to the ISP that hosts the publication�s website. �Shortly afterwards, the ISP informs you that your review violates the DMCA and that they have removed it from the website.� You are welcome to object, saying that what you did was fair use, but there is no guarantee that your defense will be accepted.� Since ISPs are deathly afraid of legal liability potentially costing them millions of dollars, there is strong pressure for them to take advantage of the DMCA�s �safe harbor� provisions and quickly remove any offending website.� The default action is censorship.� Without going to court or even involving a judge, the book�s publisher has effectively censored you, and you have little recourse.� There are some efforts in Congress to alter and amend some of the more onerous parts of the DMCA, but they haven�t been able to make much headway.� In October of 2002, Congresswoman Zoe Loftgren (D-Ca) introduced the Digital Choice and Freedom Act , which would protect consumers� rights to copy CDs, DVDs, and other digital works for their own personal use.� They would be allowed to bypass copy protection technology so long as they used the content legally.� It had been introduced in an earlier session of Congress, but had gone nowhere.
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