The use of the DMCA to stifle free expression

The use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act  -DMCA- as a tool for political censorship is neither regionally nor ideologically specific. In the paper "The use of the DMCA to stifle free expression" (co-authored with Sophía Sadinsky) we demonstrates how it has been applied in a range of cases around the world that are startlingly diverse in terms of their scale, substance, and the players involved. In other words, we examines the misuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to censor political and other forms of speech online, with a particular focus on its impact in Latin America.

The paper reviews the characteristics and scope of the DMCA and highlights several cases in North and South America in which the legislation has been used to remove online content. It briefly outlines the international and regional standards that govern freedom of expression and how DMCA takedowns violate these norms. Finally, it presents existing proposals to mitigate the use of the DMCA to censor protected speech and offers additional recommendations.

The paper was published in in Revista de Derecho, Comunicaciones y Nuevas Tecnologías No. 13, Enero - Junio de 2015. ISSN 1909-7786, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Derecho, Colombia. The complete version of the paper is available here.

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