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back to article EFF accuses Warner of spamming DMCA takedown notices

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has accused Warner Brothers Entertainment of using a flawed computer program to send out takedown notices without proper oversight. The claims were made in an amicus curiae (friend of the court) filing in the ongoing legal battles between the entertainment industry and Hotfile, which …

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Silver badge

Oh, well, that's okay then.

"The EFF points out that over a third of takedown notices received by Google are false..."

On Nov 16, 2011, a Google representative testified before Congress that Google had processed 5 million DMCA takedown notices to that point in 2011. (I.e. the 5 million takedown notices were _not_ for a full year.) So if Eff is saying that fully 1/3 of them are false, then 2/3 of them, i.e. 3.3 million DMCA takedown notices, were true.

So Eff figures that that's okay then, I guess.

http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/how-many-dmca-notices-are-too-many/

http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/the-500000000-cost-of-googles-five-million-dmca-notices/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, well, that's okay then.

So you would be happy serving 20 years hard time for a murder you didn't comit as long as 2 real murderers went down too? Same principle.

I really really really wish people like you could be held to your own standards. It would at least get you off the streets and optimally out of the gene pool!

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Trollface

@AC 01:49

In case you didn't know, Turtle is El Reg's resident serial downvote collector, who I think is trying to set some kind of record. Just give him his downvote and move on and he'll be happy.

For my part, I say Turtle is actually Gene Simmons and I claim my 5 quid!

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Anonymous Coward

I collect upvotes myself!

Yours faithfully @AC 01:49 :-P

----

(Grumble grumble - the mods know what I am talking about!)

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Headmaster

Re: Oh, well, that's okay then.

But EFF didn't say that fully 1/3 of the takedown notices are false. They said that OVER 1/3 of them are false.

Combining that with the figures you presented means that we can say that Google had received LESS THAN 3.3 million valid DMCA takedown notices.

It could be as few as 0*

* Probably not. But the facts presented thus far leave that as a possibility...

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Re: Oh, well, that's okay then.

Because putting someone in jail is equal to having to repost your whatever.

You make me sad.

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Bronze badge

Re: Oh, well, that's okay then.

From time to time I see newspaper or web site articles that someone has copied into Usenet - I see this on the Google Groups service, although they may have not come from there. I think that a DMCA takedown notice would be appropriate in those cases. Google has a posture of disliking limitations on content, including intellectual property limitations, but also of complying with the law in these cases.

I regret that opposition to eternal draconian copyright enforcement seems to consist mainly of people who want to rip off everything.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: Oh, well, that's okay then.

> opposition to eternal draconian copyright enforcement seems to consist

> mainly of people who want to rip off everything.

Actually, I don't think that's true.

There are many people who want the law - which has existed for many years - to be applied fairly and accurately, and who object massively to the *AA and its cronies trying to buy new laws where they don't have to prove guilt to get a conviction.

Unfortunately, such a position always attracts such well-thought out retorts such as "you just want to steal all out stuff", and we are dismissed as "pirates" and "thieves".

It's not a desire to rip off everything - or even anything. It's just a desire to have copyright respected without bringing in all sorts of new injustices.

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, well, that's okay then.

You misread: it just asserts a third is fraudulent, it does not state anything about the rest.

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Devil

Stop me if you've heard this?

"Much of the legal battle is still sealed, but according to the brief, Warner has acknowledged that the notices were sent out incorrectly, saying they were mistakes churned out by the software while searching for content. The EFF brief points out that such practices are barred under the terms of the DMCA."

Hmmm. Warner Bros, has a program mishap, the EFF sues.

Google has a mishap, clearly breaks the laws in several countries. Gets a slap on the wrist and no lawsuits.

I'm just saying.

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Thumb Down

Re: Stop me if you've heard this?

Do you also blame the computer monitor for "displaying" the copyrighted material, it did after all "facilitate" the crime.

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FAIL

Re: Stop me if you've heard this?

I'm not sure which article you read but the one I read clearly states that EFF filed a 'friend of the court', see 2nd Paragraph, 1st Sentence. Thus they are NOT suing WB.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stop me if you've heard this?

Ah, yes, but: Google have a motto of "Don't be Evil" and Warner are worse than the Nazis and Stalin put together, so that makes it alright.

No really.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: Stop me if you've heard this?

> Warner Bros, has a program mishap

That's no mishap. That's at least a third of Warner's sworn testament to a court shown to be a complete lie.

> the EFF sues.

The EFF hasn't sued. This was an amicus brief.

Vic.

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Devil

Re: Stop me if you've heard this?

I'm sorry,

I think you missed my point.

Google goes out and breaks laws and gets away with it. Ooops a rouge programmer is to blame. Such a good excuse they did it several times until their latest gaff... well its Apple's fault for forcing us to break the law(s) so that we can serve custom ads and make more money.

WB... a bug in their take down scripts. ...

Well on the one hand WB is defending their copyrighted material. Bug in the system? Maybe. Playing fast and lose? Definitely. On the upside.... they can get sued if they are challenged over the take down request and they continue with their demands.

Google? You have no recourse. They own your arse.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: Stop me if you've heard this?

> I think you missed my point.

No. you're missing everyone else's point.

> WB... a bug in their take down scripts. ...

Yes. People make mistakes. We understand that.

But WB, having made a mistake, then goes on to make sworn statements of accuracy to a court. That's not just a further mistake - that's perjury.

The initial mistake is understandable, if embarrassing.

But then compounding that with lying to a court is what we're up in arms over; a DMCA takedown is the big red button, and WB having made so many false claims proves that they simply don't care how much damage they do to other people.

This is arrogance beyond belief. But more than that, it is contempt to the court, and it is unlawful behaviour.

That's all quite a bit worse than anything Google has done so far.

Vic.

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Devil

@Vic Re: Stop me if you've heard this?

Clearly you don't know anything about US Law.

Yet again you missed my point.

Google = knowing breaks the law, Not just in one country but in several countries around the world. They blame it on a rouge coder, yet they actually file a patent on the same technology which is illegal.

Ooops! Mea Culpa, No charges, no penalties, no admission of guilt, and no recourse by the average citizen.

WB is trying to protect their copyrights and their intellectual property using the defective system known as the DCMA. They automate the system and there's a bug. It happens.

Did WB screw up? Sure. No argument there.

But the average citizen who was impacted by the take downs has recourse. They can challenge and sue for damages.

Do you see the difference? And that's the point I was trying to make.

BTW, its not a lie if at the time, while under oath, you believe that the statement you made was true and that you were not knowingly lying.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: @Gumby Stop me if you've heard this?

> Clearly you don't know anything about US Law.

Whereas you are the fount of all knowledge. I'm still waiting for your next proclamation on how Oracle are going to trounce Google with their oh-so-valuable patents.

> Yet again you missed my point.

No. You are simply taking the line that those who disagree with you are somehow deficient. No-one is missing your point - we just think you're wrong.

> But the average citizen who was impacted by the take downs has recourse.

That's not an easy case to make. Someone who has erroneously been hit with a takedown notice has already lost his site. That has a huge effect on business.

> They can challenge and sue for damages.

They *may* be able to. It is a very difficult and expensive process if you are not a US resident.

> Do you see the difference? And that's the point I was trying to make.

No, you were trying to have a pop at Google. Why am I not surprised.

We know you've got an axe to grind. You don't have to keep worrying the same tired old points.

> BTW, its not a lie if at the time, while under oath, you believe

> that the statement you made was true and that you were not knowingly lying.

WB had no reason to believe any such thing. "I didn't bother to check" is no mitigation for making untrue statements under oath.

Vic.

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Bronze badge

Re: @Vic Stop me if you've heard this?

> WB is trying to protect their copyrights and their intellectual property using the defective system

> known as the DCMA. They automate the system and there's a bug.

There's no "bug". WB violated the terms of the DMCA, which require a good-faith belief of infringement before issuing a takedown notice. If the process is entirely automated, with no human review, there can't be any "good faith" element in the process.

And Google's bad behavior does not excuse WB's. Your argument on that point isn't even relevant.

I have no sympathy for the illegal copying of intellectual property, but to be honest I have little for the content industry either, which has for decades been systematically unwilling to be even slightly reasonable about the matter. Overzealous licensing organizations, ridiculous extensions in copyright terms, thuggish responses to trivial infractions ... they deserve a good thrashing, *particularly* when they violate the egregious laws they helped ram through in the first place.

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Drive Warner crazy

Upload random, uncopyrighted files with names such as "X-Men", "Black Swan", "[whatever is hot at the cinema at the moment]" then cite them for DMCA violations. Wonder how long it would take before they implode.

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Devil

Re: Drive Warner crazy

And that's the point.

You can do it.

Imagine taking a home movie of your nephew running around in a Wolverine Halloween costume.

Cut and paste 90 mins of his adventures.

Then put it out there on You Tube.

I'd say as long as you can show that you were not intentionally trying to tweak their beaks... you'd have a good case.

But lets also be honest. They have a legal right to protect their copyrighted material right?

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Trollface

I always wondered.

What if I record myself washing dishes, named the file "not The Avengers (2012).avi" and seeded it on a Bittorrent site. Wouldn't Warner have to download and "share" my file to be able to even check what is was, wouldn't they be in violation of my copyright while they were checking for their own? If they would be innocent of crime because they were checking for the own content, couldn't one of the poor bastards being sued by them claim that he has an irrational fear of someone trying to share his own files under false names, and therefore needs to check EVERY file on the internet and make sure it's not his. After all, that's exactly what Warner is doing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I always wondered.

If you post your own information on a torrent site, I strongly suspect you wouldn't be able to claim copyright ownership.

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Big Brother

Re: I always wondered.

Tell that to the porn sites that are following this exact business model.

How would someone know that it was "me" that posted it originally (aside from me just telling you), I will be the one hiring the IP trackers, unless the person I'm suing files with every ISP on the list (I gave them) for a "name on the contract for that IP at that time" they would have no idea that it was me.

And another thing, even locksmiths have to be "bonded", what kind of certification do these "IP trackers" have to be able to collect data? Where is the chain of evidence? Why are we allowing some "company" to collect data from random people, and then allow that "data" to be used to extort wild sums of money from people? Where are the checks and balances? Where is the 2nd "IP tracker", and their data that collaborates the first? Who is to say that they just don't make up any or all of their IP data, it's not like they are a government agency? They don't have your name, or anything, all they have is their document that says that this 4 qubit number was attached to this tracker at this time, they has to ask the IP for your name even. Some judge needs to start throwing out these cases.

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Vic
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Re: I always wondered.

> I strongly suspect you wouldn't be able to claim copyright ownership.

Why on Earth would you think that?

Copyright ownership is not diminished by licencing others to make copies - it's one of the rights granted by copyright legislation.

It *might* make things difficult if you later decided you no longer wanted to distribute your material to all and sundry - but that's the problem with trying to revoke licences after the fact.

But your copyright stays intact.

Vic.

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Boffin

Re: I always wondered.

If you seed it on a public bittorrent site, or even a private one you know they have access to, YOU HAVE WILLINGLY made it available to them. So they would not violate your copyright simply by downloading it.

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Bronze badge

Re: I always wondered.

How does that even make sense ? Better tell those linux distros to stop using bittorent then.

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Silver badge

@AC 09:36 GMT, Re: I always wondered.

I suspect you have no idea what 'copyright' means.

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Dave Gorman had a bit of a problem wiht a false DMCA request the other day

http://gormano.blogspot.com/2012/03/if-this-picture-looks-bit-familiar-it.html

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Anonymous Coward

illigitimate take down notices can be quite an issue, a campaign by some disgruntled party led to hundreds, if not thousands, of Hatsune Miku songs being taken down from youtube with no oversight. Most Miku songs are the property of the person that made them or doujin labels.

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