A push to strengthen digital copyright law could end up fortifying what critics say is a weapon that can be wielded to squelch speech. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act shields platforms from copyright liability if they remove infringing content posted by users when notified.
The DMCA can affect business as well. Intellectual property attorney Susan Goldsmith of McCarter & English LLP said a client selling clothes online had the entire page taken down shortly before Black Friday by a competitor’s baseless DMCA notice. Based on litigation costs and the potential award, it didn’t make sense to sue the bad actor.