Interview | Katharine Trendacosta: The US DMCA, Upload Filters, SOPA-PIPA, Fanfiction, & Platform Competition

Katharine Trendacosta is Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Her areas of expertise are competition, broadband access, intellectual property, net neutrality, fair use, free speech online, and intermediary liability. She is the former managing editor of science fiction and science website io9, and spent many years writing about technology policy and pop culture for various publications. Katharine notably talks about the good and the bad of the DMCA and the issues surrounding upload filters. She reflects on why the SOPA-PIPA debate mattered and how the underlying issues still linger. Katharine recalls how fanfiction sparked her interest in copyright and shares her hopes to see more smaller platforms pop-up as alternative avenues for creators and users.

Do you prefer watching our passionate interviewees talking about the 21st-century walls blocking access to culture? Then check out the vlog below.

Video highlights with timestamps:

00:00 Intro

02:14 Revisiting the US DMCA after 20 years, looking at Sections 512 and 1201 on limited liability and anti-circumvention

10:17 The detrimental impact of upload filters

19:27 Upload filters’ anti-competitive nature

23:39 Big Content & Big Tech

28:45 Reminding politicians of the SOPA/PIPA debacle

37:40 Hitting the ‘Wall’

40:47 Final thoughts