In a blog post today, Google announced that they were "improving the copyright environment for bloggers and copyright owners alike". The announcement, follows closely similar announcements about improvements on their DMCA process, including one in December of last year promising "Make copyright work better online" across all Google services. However, compared to that earlier announcement, this latest change doesn't really offer much different at all. Given how much of the post focuses on recapping the existing DMCA policy, it can be easy to overlook what exactly is new. The answer, for better or for worse, appears to be "not much", at least not for most of us. Google's DMCA Announcement According to Google, they are instituting two changes to the way they handle DMCA notices for Blogger, those changes include: Streamlined Submission Tool: For rightsholders that file DMCA notices in large quantities, Google has created a new, streamlined tool to make the process quicker and, hopefully, get response time down under 24 hours. Streamlined Counter-Notice Tool: Designed to help users who feel they were on the subject of a false or misguided takedown get their works restored. To be clear, the bulk of the DMCA process remains the same. For most filers, they will use the same DMCA form that Blogger started using last year and not much will change on that front. In short, these DMCA changes will only impact two relatively small groups. Those who file bulk DMCA notices, which very few organizations have such a need, especially with Blogger, and those who need to file a counter-notice. Bottom Line The odds you'll be affected by this announcement are fairly slim overall. Unless you're a major copyright holder or a Blogger user that gets hit with a false DMCA notice, you probably won't see either of the new systems in action. The good news on all of this is that Google is still clearly working on refining and improving its DMCA process. It's a sign of life for a system that hasn't gotten a lot of attention lately, at least no publicly. Behind the scenes, I can say that response times have improved for Google Blogger though I'm not always or even routinely seeing the 24 hours they have repeatedly promised to shoot for. That being said, it's still far better than the previous time frame for removal. All in all, I wouldn't consider Google one of the best or most responsive hosts on DMCA matters, but I certainly don't think of them as the worst anymore either. Hopefully that improvement trend can continue and both copyright holders and their users can reap the benefits from it.
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