“GROOVESHARK WILL NEVER DIE! I’m gonna make sure of that….oh by the way don’t even try to trace back where this came from you’re wasting your time.”
Hailed as a minor victory for those frustrated by being unable to remove their copyrighted material from infringing websites, The True Origin of Digital Goods Act, SB 604, sponsored by a Republican, Florida State Senator Anitere Flores, was recently signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott.
The bill itself, while far from a game changer, demonstrates the incredible latitude and lack of regulation currently in place for any business that operates online.
SB 604 simply requires website owners and operators, whose sites distribute commercial recordings or audiovisual works to Florida State residents, to clearly post the following information on their site:
> The true and correct name of the operator or owner.
> The operator or owner’s physical address.
> The operator or owners telephone number or e-mail address.
Now, you may ask, doesn’t every business need to list this information? If you own a brick and mortar store you are required to file extensive documentation with the city and state every year. Not so with internet businesses.
If you operate an online business all you need is an e-mail address, a credit card or pay pal account and your open for business. Hire a web designer and for a couple of thousand of dollars or less you can look totally legit. An open invitation for criminal activity.
The bill is noteworthy because it passed with little opposition from Google. Yes, the Google funded Electronic Frontier Foundation tried to discredit the legislation, but only managed to embarrass themselves and their credibility in the process:
“Anonymous speech is a vital part of the American free speech tradition, and of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Artists, writers, and citizens rely on the freedom to speak anonymously through blogs, independent news sites, amateur video and music, and other websites and services. They rely on anonymity to voice unpopular opinions and speak truth to power without fear of harassment or reprisals at work or at home.”
Keep in mind, the EFF is a staunch supporter of Chilling Effects. A website that publishes the names of individuals and companies that file DMCA “take down” notices. What happened to their sanctity for anonymity?
Here’s an example of a Chilling Effects notice found on one of Google’s landing pages: “In response to multiple complaints we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 2 results from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaints that caused the removal at Chilling Effects:
Here’s what Monte Rosa, a Florida musician, had to say about SB 604:
“I am a Latin music artist. The sad truth is that there far fewer of us these days. I’ve performed, written and produced music in Florida for more than a decade….. I’ve seen countless friends and colleagues who have given up, who no longer make and produce music…….”
“For those of us in the music community who must constantly cope with the damaging effects of piracy, this bill is a no-brainer. We want our fans to be informed when shopping for music online. And we want to be paid for our work.”
SB 604, True Origin of Digital Goods Act goes into effect on July 1, 2015.
Photo Credit: iStock © Hlib Shabashnyi