The ISPA take-down notice (TDN) and procedure came under fire recently after a few ISPs received TDNs for local torrent and newshost websites.
Consumers and website owners were not happy about the take-down notice and procedure which was used by ISPA, saying that it favoured the take-down of a website rather than an objective consideration of the legal validity of the complaint. ISPA pointed out that its members also asked it to revise the notices to make it clearer what their options were when receiving a take-down notice.
“The original take-down notice templates were drafted almost five years ago, at which point ISPA received only a handful of TDNs each year. At that stage, we didn’t foresee the take-down process being used by copyright holders to try to police their content to the extent we’ve seen recently,” explained ISPA general manager Ant Brooks.
“For that reason the original draft focused on what an ISP should do to minimise their legal risk, and didn’t really address in detail an ISP’s options if they did not want to honour the take-down.”
ISPA embraces consumer feedback
Despite the fact that the ECT Act process does not allow ISPA to do any "objective consideration of the legal validity of the complaint", effectively requiring that ISPA accept the TDN as being lodged in good faith, ISPA was quick to embrace feedback from consumers and ISPs and amend its TDN.
Taking note of what consumers said and acting quickly on the information received, ISPA completely revamped its TDN, including adding various new pieces of information making the procedure far more balanced and providing the ISP with a good overview of its options. This was welcomed by consumers with comments such as "Wow… that works for me”, “very impressive” and “excellent template”.
According to Brooks, ISPA and ISPA’s members are committed to lawful conduct, and will continue to handle take-down notices lodged against ISPA members in a manner consistent with the requirements of the ECT Act.
“However, ISPA is also committed to fair treatment of consumers and ISPA’s members’ customers, and we sincerely value consumer feedback on our complaints processes. We hope that the revised notice provides a more balanced view of an ISP’s options, if they are the target of a take-down,” said Brooks.
“Feedback from ISPA’s members to the recent changes has been very positive, highlighting the benefits to ISPA in listening carefully to comments and suggestions from the public,” Brooks concluded.