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Lumen
Project

Lumen

Lumen collects and studies online content removal requests, providing transparency and supporting analysis of the Web’s takedown “ecology,” in terms of who sends requests, why, and to what ends. Lumen seeks to facilitate research about different kinds of complaints and requests for removal – legitimate and questionable – that are being sent to Internet publishers, platforms, and service providers and, ultimately, to educate the public about the dynamics of this aspect of online participatory culture.

Conceived and developed in 2002 by then-Berkman Center Fellow Wendy Seltzer, Lumen (until recently known as Chilling Effects) was nurtured with help from law school clinics at Berkeley, Stanford, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, and Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic (based at the Berkman Klein Center).

Initially focused on requests submitted under the United States’ Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Lumen now includes complaints of all varieties, including those concerning trademark, defamation, and privacy, both domestic and international.  Currently, the Lumen database contains millions of removal requests, and grows by more than 20,000 notices per week, from companies such as Google, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Reddit, Medium, Github, Vimeo, and Wordpress. Because of recent dramatic increases in notice volume, in 2014 the project upgraded to a more robust, scalable website that provides more granular data and API access for notice submitters and researchers.

Lumen is supported by a grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.


Our Work 06

News
May 15, 2020

Lumen database enables Wall Street Journal investigation

Removal request data from Google uncovers false takedown claims

The WSJ collaborated with Lumen, exploring its database of copyright removal notices and uncovering false takedown claims to Google. More

News
Dec 19, 2019

Lumen Comments on Copyright and Transparency for EU Meeting

Christopher Bavitz and Adam Holland joined an EU meeting to discuss the importance of data transparency in takedown regimes and key learnings from the Lumen Database.  More

News
Nov 12, 2019

Illuminating the Flows – and Redactions – of Content Online

Arcadia to support expansion of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center Lumen Database

Arcadia to support the expansion of Lumen Database More

Event
Apr 9, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Remedies for Cyber Defamation

Criminal Libel, Anti-Speech Injunctions, Forgeries, Frauds, and More

“Cheap speech” has massively increased ordinary people’s access to mass communications -- both for good and for ill. How has the system of remedies for defamatory, privacy… More

Event
Apr 17, 2007 @ 12:30 PM

Sacked by Copyright: DMCA Takedowns and Free Expression

Wendy Seltzer, Berkman Fellow

Wendy Seltzer, founder of Chilling Effects, discussed "Sacked by Copyright: DMCA Takedowns and Free Expression." More


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