Copyright owners in the creative sector are very vocal in demanding payment for their rights – and removal of material that isn’t licensed – both of which they are of course entitled to do. However, it can easily be argued that we couldn’t make it more difficult for legal services to pay for rights in the current copyright system if we tried.
Many have asked the reasonable question “How is anyone to tell what is licensed and what is not?” However there is another, equally fundamental question: “Can the assertion of anyone that they have any legal right to the content they claim be independently verified?”
The answer to that question, believe it or not, is no.
The solution they call for is a centralized registry. That seems like more burden than necessary. I’d propose instead that every DMCA takedown request should be made available to the public with something like Chilling Effects, so that rival claimants to the rights can find out about one another.