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Internet Hangout 4chan Adopts Copyright Policy, But Will it Work?

The anonymous online forum 4chan has finally instituted a DMCA takedown policy — but the very nature of the site means that may be a moot point.

Did a dark corner of the Internet just become slightly more civilized? Maybe. Copyright holders will now be able to ask anonymous online forum 4chan to take down their images – a change that comes after nude images of female stars including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton were loaded to the site. The site’s newly posted DMCA policy compliance page describes fairly ordinary definitions for copyrighted content and provides the means to contact 4chan to have it removed — or contest that removal. But 4chan is a site without a long-term memory: the discussion threads on the various boards, which range from movies and fashion to pornography and other graphic content, expire after a certain limit as newer posts push them down. So an offending image may be long gone by the time a DMCA letter can be drafted, much less sent, evaluated, and processed. 4chan did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

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—Devin Coldewey