Annemarie Bridy on scaling copyright enforcement

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by on September 20, 2011

On the podcast this week, Annemarie Bridy, professor of law at the University of Idaho, and visiting associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh, discusses her new paper, “Is Online Copyright Enforcement Scalable?” In it she looks at the advent of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and the copyright enforcement problem it has created through the lens of scalability. In solving difficult problems of scale in their effort to revolutionize the distribution of information goods, the designers of P2P networks created a problem of scale in the form of “massive infringement.” Bridy discusses how to to approach solving that new problem of scale–massive infringement. Bridy argues that the DMCA has proven to be remarkably scalable for enforcing copyrights in hosted content but has altogether failed to scale in the context of P2P file sharing, leading to the dysfunctional workaround of mass John Doe litigation. She discusses alternatives to mass litigation, including dispute resolution systems and “three strikes” proposals.

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