Good guidance on legal obligations
I ran some traps on this thread posted by a law group that had set up their own instance. Also @girish echo'ed the DCMA business in another thread. Thought I'd share:
"Do Future You a huge favor, mitigate your potential liability, and register with the copyright office and designate an agent to receive DMCA reports right now. https://copyright.gov/dmca-directory/
It costs $6 a year. Use a forwarding phone # and a PO Box or other address you check frequently, not your home address: it will be public. Without this registration, you WILL be held liable for any copyright violation on your instance.
I also strongly recommend that if you run an instance, incorporate as a LLC and -- this is the critical part -- take out an umbrella liability insurance policy with coverage of at least $2m per incident and covers attorney costs and fees.
(If you have homeowners or renters' insurance, and you should, this should be a very cheap rider on the policy. 99% of the time it will be unnecessary and the other 1% it will save your ass completely.)
I am somehow not surprised that only two Mastodon instances have registered designated agents and one of them is the Lawprofs instance.
<tweak by Derek>Also: "I found someone on my instance posting CSAM" is not the time to have to learn the reporting process for that vileness. Learn and report ASAP via NCMEC in case of CSAM posted to your service. Legally mandated.</tweak by Derek>
But yeah, for copyright, feel free to steal our DMCA policy, it's CC-BY-SA. (Note that we willingly accept a level of potential risk around repeat offender account termination that may be outside your risk tolerance.) https://dreamwidth.org/legal/dmca
The relevant section of copyright law is 17 USC §512 and you can read it here: https://law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512 You are protected from liability for your users' copyright violations, but ONLY if you follow this process, and the process includes registering a designated agent.
I can't give you legal advice and none of this is intended as such, but if you're absolutely at sea and have never heard of any of this before, I can try to answer general questions.
I have posted the "guide to familiarize you with various legal obligations involved in hosting a server that accepts user-generated content such as a Mastodon instance"! It's here: https://denise.dreamwidth.org/91757.html
Original thread: https://twitter.com/rahaeli/status/1593819064161665024 Tweaked by me for clarity.
Net - if you're running an instance that's open - be aware. If you're running a closed or single user instance, still not a terrible idea. I'm going to be doing it myself for my single user instance because I also run an open relay to help folks out.
jdaviescoates last edited by
@doodlemania2 thanks for sharing!
I'd seen something similar whilst on my masto travels and had been meaning to post something similar here too but you beat me to it
humptydumpty last edited by
This applies to any open instance (matrix, rocket.chat, etc.), maybe it's best to have this thread pinned in "Discuss"?