The Free Expression Policy Project undertook a survey of 25 online service providers to learn how they handle notices asking them to remove material that the sender alleges violates her copyright or trademark rights. These notices typically take the form of either “cease and desist” letters or takedown notices sent in accordance with § 512 of the Copyright Act. We wanted to learn whether service providers, including educational institutions, consider their users’ free speech interests in the course of responding to copyright and trademark owners’ complaints; and if so, how they act on those considerations. We also wanted to know how well the takedown process is working for service providers, for users, and for copyright owners.
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