Vimeo will begin participating in the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse project. Chilling Effects provides a “resource for understanding speech issues and legal complaints about online activity” by collecting and making available complaints regarding user-generated content under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). In normal people speak, that means they collect data around alleged copyright infringements in an effort to help inform and protect people who create and share content on the Internet.
By participating in Chilling Effects, we hope to increase our own transparency and help the public understand the impact that DMCA notices have on online speech. We’re big supporters of openness and transparency, especially when it comes to online speech. We love hosting awesome videos with a wide range of subjects and content, and we are proud to be included in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s list of Internet companies that stand up for users’ rights when it comes to their content.
But the DMCA is important too — it allows copyright owners to report alleged infringements of their works directly to service providers like Vimeo. As our copyright page explains, we promptly remove content in response to valid DMCA notices. Now, Vimeo will also submit that information to Chilling Effects as a number of big Internet companies like Google and Twitter are already doing.
While we’re eager to provide transparency, we don’t want to shame or discourage the copyright owners who use the DMCA to protect their creative works. Consequently, we’ll be withholding personal contact information from our submissions. On their blog, they say they are not ‘making any statement that any particular DMCA notice ought not to have been filed. Rather, we’re sharing redacted notices to help shed a little more light on a process that can sometimes be opaque and confusing — to both users and copyright holders.’
Here’s to making the Internet a safer and more see-through place!0