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MPAA Strikes Industry Defining Copyright Deal with Domain Name Registry

Posted by: , 20:35 AEDT, Fri February 12, 2016

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MPAA's new voluntary agreement could herald a new era in cooperation between Hollywood and domain registries
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Image/Photo Credit: tamburix @ Flickr, CC

The MPAA and domain registry provider Donuts have signed a new voluntary agreement that may redefine how domain registrars will work with industry groups on copyright matters.

Donuts is the operator behind numerous new domain name extensions, including .EMAIL, .DATING and even .MOVIE. 

The new deal gives the MPAA special rights to identify and notify Donuts of any domains that may be engaged in serious copyright breaches, and once all the conditions are met, Donuts will be obligated to suspend that domain.

The conditions, however, seem to place the burden of proof with the MPAA and its members. In addition to providing evidence of "clear and pervasive copyright infringement", the MPAA and its members must also ensure that all other options have been exhausted, including contacting the website's registrar and host.

In addition, only human reviewed complaints can be submitted by the MPAA, thus preventing the automated bot based approach that has been widely used with other copyright notices, such as DMCA take-down requests.

In return, Donuts promises to process complaints expeditiously, but Donuts retains the right to point out concerns and queries regarding the complaint, which must be then addressed by the MPAA via amendments to the original complaint.

Despite these conditions, the MPAA was extremely pleased with the new deal, with MPAA chairman Chris Dodd lauding the ability for a tech company to work together with Hollywood to address the copyright problem.

"This agreement demonstrates that the tech community and content creators can work together on voluntary initiatives to help ensure vibrant, legal digital marketplaces that benefit all members of the online ecosystem," said Dodd.


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