back to article Crazed Microsoft robot accuses BBC kids' channel of Win8 piracy

Microsoft falsely branded BBC CBeebies, CNN.com and other websites as Windows 8 piracy haunts - and ordered Google to remove them from search results. Pages belonging to the Beeb's children’s telly service CBeebies, film reviews site Rottentomatoes and US cinema chain AMC Theaters - as well as web articles by the BBC's …

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  1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
    FAIL

    Ready... Fire... Aim!

    That is all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Only

      A crazy loon alien is about the only thing that would upgrade their Win 7 computer to Win 8.

      Who the hell wants a pirate copy?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only

        Downvoted for replying to the topmost post to gain more visibility for your own post.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only

        Considering it's been in an open Beta for so long, what's the worries of someone actually wanting to download it anyhow?

      3. Wade Burchette
        Facepalm

        Re: Only

        "Only a crazy loon alien is about the only thing that would upgrade their Win 7 computer to Win 8."

        That should have been a dead giveaway right there. The only way Win8 is being put on my computer is if you pay me and even then it stays on only until the money is in the bank. Accusing someone of pirating Windows 8 is like accusing someone of pirating a Zamfir album

    2. xperroni
      Coat

      Re: Ready... Fire... Aim!

      Microsoft's bot also accused various innocent websites of pirating copies of Office, Xbox 360 and Visual Studio

      Wait, pirate copies of Xbox 360?

      I thought that was a games console! Is pirating hardware really that easy already?

      Or do MS bots just sprinkle product names liberally over message templates before firing DMCA take-down requests at random?

      Just askin'.

  2. adam payne Silver badge

    A bug in a piece of Microsoft software? Surely that's almost unheard of.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Megaphone

      nah, it was patched on tuesday. The patch to fix the damage caused by the buggy patch will come out next tuesday.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The article is a bit cagey on the matter. It currently suggests that the bot was operating "on behalf by [sic] Microsoft", but doesn't say who the actual operator was or who wrote the bot. Possibly this is a service provided by a third party using in-house tools.

      It would be nice to clear up the ambiguity here and allocate blame. There have been quite a few copyight bot issues of late, not all of them associated with tech companies... presumably some of those have been using third party copyright enforcers, too.

      1. Stephen Stagg

        The request came from: http://www.leakid.com/ according to the chillingeffects page

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Can we use robots.txt to filter these guys out ?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Good lord, that "leakid" website is awful; a tiny little square of flash filled with unnecessary effects. Have they timetravelled from 10 years ago?

          1. Ole Juul Silver badge

            target market

            Have they timetravelled from 10 years ago?

            No. They are just 10 years behind.

        3. Adam Azarchs
          FAIL

          Not exactly Microsoft

          The requests came from contractors working for Microsoft, not Microsoft itself. Some of the takedown requests targetted Bing.com and other Microsoft domains, even.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And we....

    .... talk about Skynet, and automated systems causing misery for mankind, and no one believes us ... *sigh*

    1. horse of a different colour
      Mushroom

      Re: And we....

      First they came for children's TV channels,

      but I didn't speak out because I wasn't a children's TV channel.

      Then they came for film review meta-critics,

      but I didn't speak out because I wasn't a film review meta-critic.

      etc.

  4. wowfood

    They should really start dealing out a flat rate for this. "DMCA requests are free, but any which are overturned will warrant a $100 fine or something. Good way for google to make money, and a good reason for these idiots to actually check their results.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @wowfood

      Great idea, but you've set the bar way too low. How about £10,000 for a corporation? A hundred simolians is merely coffee money for the likes of Mickeysoft. Hit 'em where they'll take notice rather than the computerised scatter-gun approach currently in use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @wowfood

        10 grand... manual vetting's gonna to be outsourced to Vietnam, and they'll keep the change (i.e. 99.999999% of it). Probably cheaper than electricity bill for running this bot :(

    2. Snowy
      Thumb Down

      I agree with you but $100 is too low and it should not depend on what your taking down, the small guy needs protecting more so than the big players.

      Automated requests should be automatically be refused it is a just lazy cheap option for them . Either that or the "fine" for being wrong should escalate depending on how many you file a day and if it is an automated requests.

      1. ArmanX

        Actually, I think $100 would be about right

        More than that, and it starts hurting the little guys - but automated systems will just bleed money. There were nearly 1,000 requests in that, and quite a few were fakes.

        On the other hand, there could be a "cost of scale" associated; for a single request, if it's wrong, it's $10. If you submit 100 requests (over the period of, say, a month), it's $100; over 1000, you pay $1000 per bad request, and so on.

      2. Thorne

        More Spam

        "I agree with you but $100 is too low and it should not depend on what your taking down, the small guy needs protecting more so than the big players."

        $100 is fine when they're sending out 1.5M requests a week. The whole point of the fine is so they don't just send out automated crap

    3. etabeta
      Alert

      $100 is not enough

      I would make it $1000 for any non-infringing link, plus the right to sue who issued the DMCA complaint for damages

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Great idea.

      Hold on whilst I set up a honey-pot page with all the keywords and some dodgy looking links...

      It would be nice to extract some free money from Sony, Microsoft, etc.

    5. Graham Bartlett

      There's a better solution. If you live in California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington or Texas (per Wikipedia), barratry is a misdemeanor punishable by prison time and/or fines. You don't even need to sue them yourself - it's a crime, so you call the police and hope for a DA who wants to get their name in the papers as "the man who arrested Microsoft".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Graham Bartlett

        Trouble is, you cannot arrest a bot. Yeah, stupid I know. But the corporations think they have an excuse if it's a "computer" that made the mistake. I'm thinking of a relevant robot cop film that they are remaking too.

        1. Adam Foxton
          Go

          Re: Graham Bartlett

          You can't arrest a bot.

          However, that bot is run by a department in a company. That department has a head, and he can pass the buck to the CEO of the company.

          If MS provided the filters it may be possible for the CEO to pass the buck to MS. And then some upper-middle-management type ends up in prison for a while. Or maybe they'll see their chance and kick Ballamer behind bars, allowing them to get on with improving as a company.

          If MS didn't provide the filters for the company, then the bot-operators are at fault and need to figure out who to point the police towards, i.e. who was responsible for the Bot at the time the offence was committed.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Graham Bartlett

          Don't accept bot trawls as evidence - insist on human-checked information in any legal action.

    6. the spectacularly refined chap

      Perjury

      Bot or not, somebody sent the letter (or at least it was sent in someone's name and presumably they are fine with that. DMCA take down notices include a declaration under penalty of perjury that the information is accurate. It would be impossible to maintain even reasonable belief for many many of these sites.

      Is the individual involved going to face charges? Probably not. After all, he's representing a megacorp which is all the US legal system is concerned with protecting these days.

    7. Ole Juul Silver badge

      @wowfood

      a good reason for these idiots to actually check their results.

      They claim that a computer does a better job. That of course sounds crazy to anyone - except someone who doesn't want to have to go to the trouble of doing actual work.

    8. Soruk
      FAIL

      It's very unfortunate that the "under penalty of perjury" clause only applies to claiming to be the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work, and not to the claim that each and every URL in the DMCA report infringes their copyright.

    9. Vic

      > They should really start dealing out a flat rate for this.

      Sliding scale.

      The first false accusation costs you $100. The second $200. Then $400, $800, ...

      In a short while, stupidity can no longer afford itself.

      Vic.

  5. ukgnome Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Trying to take down cbeebies

    What utter, utter bastards!

    I hope Andy, Ceri Alex and Sid have tweeted a response to this heavy handed approach. I realise that not everyone like Mr Tumble but denying kids access to Rastamouse is pretty dread!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trying to take down cbeebies

      Maybe it's because Romney failed to take down Big Bird! ;)

  6. andreas koch
    Coat

    Collateral damage.

    Some regrettably unavoidable civil losses.

    Was probably programmed by an ex-Army guy.

  7. solidsoup
    Joke

    Windows 8 piracy?

    C'mon. What kind of self-respecting pirate would download that? And Windows 8 beta piracy? The damn thing has been freely available from Microsoft for months. They were screaming about it to anyone who would listen. Is this just a ploy to make people believe Windows 8 is worth pirating?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 piracy?

      Have you used it? It's outstanding - modern UI flows like the Orinoco. The only people who have any right to complain are those still stuck in the 80's with their clickity click IBM Model-M keyboards sans windows key. Sigh - you just can't argue with luddites.

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Re: Windows 8 piracy?

        The fact you call Metro "modern UI" means you're probably an MS troll. :-)

        But above that, the new UI is *precisely* the reason most people are sceptical about the new OS. It's basically Windows 7 with knobs on, but those knobs make it harder to do things like open and close doors. Windows "classic shell" replacement utilities abound at the moment and did do even for Windows 7. I've been asked by my workplace that, should we deploy Windows 7/8 next year, we reinstate the classic shell as much as possible. Now we're a school so we get stupendous discounts on MS software if we hassle them enough, so it's not like we wouldn't pay it some other time anyway, but the fact is that you can't ask a six year old to have to type a program name into a search bar to find their programs all the time when they could have just clicked on an icon - Sure, we can cater for that problem with desktop / Metro icons, but the "modern" UI is no more efficient than the old system for certain use cases.

        Including, for example, mine. Where my Windows 7 upgrade (and months of Windows 8 testing) meant that within the first day, I saved more time by wiping out the Windows 7/8 interface and replacing it with a classic shell from a third party (not even a damn option, only "Microsoft Knows Best") than I did anything else. It literally was more cost- and time-effective to remove the UI and replace it with someone else's so I could get on with the work of building the PC so people could test it. IN THE FIRST DAY. Don't get me started on narrow-down search of other 1000 applications compared to nicely organised folders on the start menu (narrow-down is WONDERFUL when it needs to be used, which isn't then - I have narrow-down instant search of 15 years of email from Opera and it's brilliant). It took myself and my boss TEN MINUTES to find out how to exit a Metro app (without Googling) using only the touch interface on the brand-new touchscreens we bought using Windows 8 RTM.

        Same with recent Ubuntu's. I spent weeks trying to get used to our last Ubuntu deployment and couldn't and in the end wiped out the Unity interface and all its trimmings and went back to basics. Same reasons, basically. We still haven't picked a distro for the next deployment yet but Ubuntu is looking slightly less favourable given the extra hassle we have to go to to let us open programs with one click, close programs and not have things pop up, slide over, etc. while we're working.

        People work in different ways. No-one wants Metro to die an absolute death and be another dead end in the corridors of forward compatibility. All we want is an option to turn the fecking thing off and go back to how we're used to working. We honestly DO NOT CARE how much better life could be if we could all get used to it. The computer is there to obey us as a tool, not tell us how we have to work - and most of us have jobs that DO NOT need to involve learning yet-more computing paradigms that may eventually disappear when we could just do things as we've always done.

        I spend enough of my life setting up machines for other people. I don't WANT to spend hours (and in some experiments with Windows 7 MONTHS) "getting to know how to use the tool" when the end result is the same as that which I have always achieved. I just want the damn thing to do what I ask and nothing more, which involves no ripping out decades of established UI metaphors in favour of shiny new interfaces that slow me down and make me remove them.

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Windows 8 piracy?

          "No-one wants Metro to die an absolute death and be another dead end in the corridors of forward compatibility. All we want is an option to turn the fecking thing off and go back to how we're used to working."

          Actually it sounds as if that's exactly what you do want. If nobody uses it, then does that not make it a dead end?

          It's not just MS though, Gnome, Canonical with Unity are all seemingly headed down a dead-end street with their bloody awful attempts to redefine the desktop. When the paradigm of the desktop is lost, as it is in these abortions, then what is the point? With the Unity HUD, absence of window controls, and so on, it's becoming more and more productive to go back to the command line. That is, after all, lean, quick and if you know your way round very, very efficient. Perhaps there should be compulsory classes in Emacs or Vi in schools, 'cos that's the way these reductionists are headed, pared back and minimalist.

          Oh, I forgot, it might be hard to implement a CLI on a touch screen, which is what all this nonsense is about.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8 piracy?

        > Have you used it? It's outstanding - modern UI flows like the Orinoco. The only people who have any right to complain are those still stuck in the 80's with their clickity click IBM Model-M keyboards sans windows key. Sigh - you just can't argue with luddites.

        2/10. Troll harder.

        Point of order though; the Luddites didn't actually hate machines. They hated machines being used by unscrupulous businessmen to put them out of work.

        They were actually pretty forward thinking and progressive....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 8 piracy?

          The lengthy response I got above yours suggests that I'm trolling quite hard enough to get the desired bites - thanks though!

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Windows 8 piracy?

        modern UI flows like the Orinoco

        I've never actually seen the Orinoco, and I am not a geographer or geophysicist. But online pictures of the Orinoco show something meandering and brown, from which I conclude that you are saying "modern UI" is sluggish, muddy and takes a long time to get anywhere.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 8 piracy?

          @Kubla Cant - If you're suggesting that Enya was lying, please have a long hard look at yourself. She's a paragon of truth.

        2. Fatman Silver badge

          Re: something meandering and brown

          Make the emphasis on something brown, and you probably have a decent idea of how to evaluate the"Modern UI".

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: something meandering and brown

            "They hated machines being used by unscrupulous businessmen to put them out of work. They were actually pretty forward thinking and progressive...."

            Yeah, that's the problem with "progressivism" in one pithy sentence, thank you very much.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8 piracy?

        Nice effort, judging by the number of downvotes!

      5. Fihart

        Re: IBM Keyboards ?

        Wotttt???? 1990's vintage IBM keyboards have seen me through DOS, Win 3.1, 95, 98, XP and even a glance at W7.

        You'd be crazy to swap to an inferior keyboard just to get a Windows key.

      6. RAMChYLD
        Boffin

        Re: Windows 8 piracy?

        And what's wrong with that? The IBM Model-M is one solid hardware. I even own the 122 key keyboard.

        1. Alan Edwards
          Thumb Up

          Re: Windows 8 piracy?

          > And what's wrong with that? The IBM Model-M is one solid hardware.

          Absolutely right. I dropped a laser printer on mine (shelf supports broke), it knocked the caps off a couple of keys and broke the switch in one. The printer came off worse.

      7. Jay Holmes

        Re: Windows 8 piracy?

        Upvoted purely and simply because I love sarcasm and the amount of people that fail to understand it!!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    I guess...

    The server(s) on which this bot runs will now be moved back to running Windows 7, until the first win8 service pack has been released.

    All jokes aside; I wonder if you could hold MS liable for false accusations when they take down your website based on these fake allegations.

    1. Steve Knox Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I guess...

      I wonder if you could hold MS liable for false accusations when they take down your website based on these fake allegations.

      Yes. Filing a false DMCA takedown request is considered perjury. That's one thing the DMCA has got right -- google "dmca penalty false request" for some good examples of what you can lose by filing a false DMCA takedown request.

  9. Magnus_Pym

    So many joke posibilities...

    ...so little time.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: So many joke posibilities...

      Like, if it detects the word "infantile" then it assumes someone is talking about the Windows Metro play-bricks on-screen experience.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Metro, Notro,Modern UI-

        Now AKA The CBeebies Interface.

  10. John Lilburne Silver badge

    One in ten aint bad ...

    ... especially given that Google reckons that less than 1% of links on bittorrent sites are to infringing download like "Download Shrek" -> torrentsite/shrek/film.avi is infringing but the other 1000 "Download Shrek film" links are to something completely different.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: One in ten aint bad ...

      "... especially given that Google reckons that less than 1% of links on bittorrent sites are to infringing download like "Download Shrek "

      Ah, statistics...! I could instantly throw up a few hundred thousand more links onto bittorrent to various works of classic literature in the public domain and then it would be even less than 1% of links that are to infringing content. Of course, unless people are torrenting that classic literature instead of Shrek, it says not one thing about piracy rates.

      The relevant stat is not the percentage of links that you quote, but how popular those links are. A million illegal downloads of Avengers Assemble is a million illegal downloads, whether there are five-thousand links to legitimate content on the same site, or five million links.

  11. yossarianuk

    Name and shame ....

    Any idiots that actually pay this hideous patent troll any money for their new steaming piece of unusable turd operating system.

    Anyone who funds them (and that include ALL tax payers, we do not have a choice) is harming 'real' computing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Name and shame ....

      Sigh.

      I love the class of FOSSers who suggest that Windows is utterly un-useable because it's UI is wrecked, but also a GUI is for point and drool idiots who can't work a command line and that a command line is totally user friendly you've just got to work a bit to use it.

      That is all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Name and shame ....

        Ah, that would be the elite hacking group called the 57r4w m3n.

      2. yossarianuk

        Re: Name and shame ....

        No idiot I was suggesting that *WINDOWS8* is an unusable piece of crap, any thing else would be a lie.

        You do know that most modern Linux distros have a GUI nowadays ?

        KDE for example is in my opinion more usable than any version of Windows as a desktop, once you compare it to Windows 8 you would actually cry at how much better it is.

        Win8 is very much like Unity in Ubuntu which also a steaming pile of crap, however a few hours with Windows8 made me realise how much more usable Unity is.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GIGO

    Plenty of garbage goes into MS software.

  13. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    CBeebies?

    They were probably worried that Mr Tumbles garish and brightly coloured spotty bag bore too much resemblance to TAFKAM and kiddies might get confused.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like claim 19.

    Cartoon network Punch time explosion XL (XBOX 360)

    There are no allegedly infringing URLS.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems absolutely fair enough to me. Windows 8 and the Modern UI are going to revolutionize computing as we know it. I've been using it for over a month now and thus have first hand experience rather than other's mere conjecture and can safely say that the productivity benefits have been nothing short of outstanding. Microsoft richly deserves to be rewarded for that and not let the freetards win. If the C-Beebies site was indeed linking to automated activation servers, then MS is well within it's rights to ask the DMCA to be enforced.

    1. rurwin
      Linux

      The deck is rigged.

      I've not used it yet, but it seems perfectly possible to me that Windows 8 is a huge leap forward in efficiency and usability. After all, Windows 7 and the Office ribbon added at least one extra mouse click to just about every task. All that would be necessary would be to take that click away again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ten downvoters with no sense of irony, it would seem.

      1. Steven Roper

        Re: Ten downvoters with no sense of irony, it would seem.

        If you were being ironic, perhaps you did too good a job. Look up "Poe's Law" sometime, it'll explain your downvotes quite effectively.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ten downvoters with no sense of irony, it would seem.

          I know all about Poe's law - and the above is an example of how adept I am at proving it.

    3. Mike Flugennock
      Coffee/keyboard

      p'wah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha -- oohh, I wet 'em

      These days, it's not so much that comment forums such as these are polluted by shills as the fact that the shills suck so badly at what they do.

      Thank you for playing, here's a copy of our home game. Who's our next contestant, Bob?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: p'wah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha -- oohh, I wet 'em

        How dare you call me a Shill - I am merely an extremely happy MS user, and I can say confidently that Ballmer's boys have delivered on this one. I've not been this ecstatic with a product since MSDOS 3.3 - only Windows ME came close in the interim years - and have been utterly disgusted with the reception this product has received from what I can only describe as technophobic morons.

    4. horse of a different colour
      Flame

      Burn the witch!

    5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      10/10 would troll with!

    6. Steve Martins

      Using it for what thought?

      Perhaps you would enlighten us as to what you actually use it for?? I personally upgraded from windows 7 to a pencil and pad for note taking, my productivity went through the roof, and my data loss fell to almost zero!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Data loss fell to almost zero?

        Almost zero? Sounds like that 'Door left open on a windy day' bug has struck again. And don't get me started on that 'pencil needs sharpening' error.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Richard Jones 1
    Happy

    For Kids Only

    I can see the reason for confusion, I have tried to make use of Win (H)8, but not being an under school age child I have found it awful, frustrating and, highly restrictive. I guess that CBBC and MS are competing for the same market, though the former probably does a better job.

    Does being falsely targeted by MS entitle the BBC to 10, 000 free win licenses?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather wait for a x86 version of Android. I tried the Windows 8 beta and it's just as bloated as Windows 7. Unworthy of being put on a tablet. Now if SSDs would get away from 2.5" form-factor and follow a PCMCIA like removable SSD media for tablets and laptops, I would think twice about getting Windows 8. Maybe then it would worth pirating.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'd rather wait for a x86 version of Android"

      ..also for the wheel and movable type? ^ ^

      You can already run x86 Android, and you can do the usual stupidity like running it up on a netbook. Hell, there's an x86 Android phone, though being Motorola, I wouldn't touch it with someone else's bargepole (slimy bootloader relocking lying about upgrades etc.).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's betting...

    The offending machine has an infection and it is feeding click bait free software ad's to the scanning sw?

  20. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    A am not a lawyer, but...

    the 'take down' notice is a (false) accusation that the beeb (and others) are committing some sort of copyright offence. This accusation is not made to the beeb but to a third party. The beeb has a valuable reputation that can be badly damaged by such accusations. Doesn't that count as libel under British law? So can't the beeb sue M$ for BEEEELYONS of dollars? G'wan, g'wan, g'wan....

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: A am not a lawyer, but...

      Don't know about libel, but aren't DCMA take down notices filed under penalty of perjury?

      1. Keep Refrigerated
        Holmes

        Re: A am not a lawyer, but...

        Yes- also this 'whitelisting' bothers me. It speaks of one internet for the big knobs and one internet for the rest of us. Can I get my blog on a whitelist? I suspect not.

        Furthermore. AIUI the only 2 options to a DMCA takedown is delete or unpublish content. So whitelisting - no matter how big and 'trusted' the DMCA recipient is - is effectively circumventing the law.

        Microsoft should be slapped with a fine for false DMCA filing, but Google should also be slapped with a fine for ignoring a DMCA request... after all lets be fair and show the DMCA up for the farce it is.

        I do not like this brave new world that America has decided for us.

  21. BristolBachelor Gold badge
    Facepalm

    45

    I read somewhere that the disputed pages contained the number "45", so does that mean that MS are saying that they own the number and no-one else is allowed to use it? Has "IP" protection gone mad?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 45

      No. It's not "has" it's "did", a very long time ago.

  22. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Google's automated software

    Should auto black list any source that tries to take down a white listed site.

    Make them wait for manual checks and bill them for wasted time on bogus requests.

  23. The BigYin

    False DMCA?

    Aren't they issued under threat of perjury if they are false?

    Time for some MS execs to be put in the dock State-side I think.

  24. TwoWeeks
    Joke

    Impressive AI.

    The AI has already surpassed the intelligence of a large proportion of the British public and is forming great ideas of it's own!

    13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glock

    14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain's_Got_Talent

  25. mickey mouse the fith

    There definately needs to be a fine for all the unsubstantiated takedown claims, there have been a lot of people whos sites and work have been removed for no reason other than a bot (or organisation/rival) doesnt like it, and most people just havnt got the money/experience/time to fight it.

    The fine should be related to the size of the organisation issuing the false takedown i.e. if its someone like Microsoft, £1 million+any legal costs per offence, if its an average joe, £100+any expenses. If loss of earning can be proved, the loosing party should pay that as well.

    Or maybe, if an organisation is found to have filled a false claim, they are banned from using the takedown mechanism for a while, say 6 months.

    Both these things might make them pause for thought before firing off 10000000 takedown notices at random.

    And why would Microsoft be bothered about a few beta copies floating about?, I thought that was the idea of a beta, give it to as many people as possible to test.

  26. tkioz
    Facepalm

    Really? it's that hard to check a list before firing off legal threats? Really?

    Bloody hell... They really need to pull their thumb out and stop letting people file automated complaints...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I came to say the same thing, having an automated tool to locate possible infringing sites is one thing. Having it automatically firing off DMCA take downs is just asking for this.

      Given how people attempt to trick search engines for SEO, I can see a dodgy market emerging here to get competitors flagged up and taken down on your behalf by some foolish mega-corp.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it's a bot

    the request should just land in /dev/null. I thought it was a requirement that DMCA requests had to be checked, "I swear under penalty of perjury" etc.

    1. Thorne
      Terminator

      Re: If it's a bot

      The robot did swear and if it lied, then it's off to robot prison for it

  28. ChrisBoy

    Oh please...

    I don't come to work on a drab, grey Monday expecting to chuckly my way through the afternoon... that's normally reserved for post-lunch Friday hours!

    Whilst the individual(s) at Microsoft will likely be feeling suitably emsmallened* by this experience, on the positive side for them, it's not as though any of them are in a position to broadcast the news beyond the relatively tight-knit geek community of El Reg.

    It's not as if we're talking about the BBC's technology news department, CNN or The Huffington Post.

    *If 'embiggened' is a perfectly cromulent word, then so must this be.

  29. Mectron

    Simple no

    URL should be REQUIRED BY LAW to be verified by HUMANS and fellow the proper court and police channels....... automated banning bot should be outlaw PERIOD. MS should be fined at least 1 billions for damage.

  30. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Coat

    Crazed Microsoft robot accuses BBC kids' channel of Win8 piracy

    Did they have 20 seconds to comply?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sponsored software helps artists profit from BitTorrent

    one of the blocked beeb pages...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18981491

  32. Bucky 2
    Black Helicopters

    Simple Test

    Did the offending sites vanish from Bing? If not, I'd assume something else was at work besides a simple "software error."

  33. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Fines

    $1 for first bad 'un

    $2 for second

    $4 for third

    $8 for fourth

    You can see where this is going, can't you? It might seem trivial to PHBs but by the time you get to the 32nd bad takedown it's up in the serious money stakes.

    (FWIW the final step is $18,446,744,073,709,551,616, which is an awful lot of rice)

  34. Graham Wilson
    Pirate

    A new lease of life for hackers and bot creators the next step?

    "The number of take-down requests Google is reported to have received has mushroomed in 2012: in August the search giant was asked to drop 1.5 million URLs ...."

    Google's reputation and income rests is on its excellent search ability. If it succumbs to pressure to kill access to URLs from every little pipsqueak who is offended then that's all it will need to put ever-eager bot writers and hackers to work.

    It seems to me the instant censorship becomes obvious or rife then that will be the moment other unofficial search applications/sites will appear to plug the gap. Through the lack of forethought it might be unfortunate if the dark internet suddenly became very light.

    If nothing else, what the internet has taught us is that censorship and secrecy are fragile concepts in the digital age (WikiLeaks et al).

    Perhaps these complainers should leave well enough alone.

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. JaitcH
    WTF?

    We host copies of MS software ...

    on one of our web sites. We keep them ether so employees can re-install software when travelling.

    For some reason MS thinks the DCMA applies outside the continental USA.

    Love those threatening letters.

  37. h3

    Windows 8 CLI is really good and consistant (Powershell)

    There is a few annoyances. (BorderPadding needs to be done in the registry).

    Smartscreen makes Firefox lag

    You don't have the inconsistent junk that doesn't work well with Linux. (Or gets broken all the time because it is maintained by people who don't understand the basic principles of How UNIX is supposed to work or the maths behind what they are dealing with.)

    avahi / pulseaudio / alsa / opensource graphics drivers (Intel is ok / radeon & nvidia is not)

    Modern Linux is getting into the mess that Windows got into pre Vista the difference is it will never get sorted out and made consistent again.

    The BSD's / Solaris are also getting polluted by GNU'isms.

    Gnome3 and Unity are a joke. Mac OS X won't let you have focus follows mouse (sloppy - no autoraise) mouse focus).

    Powershell is really good once you get the hang of it.

    But if you want a UNIX CLI then

    you can use AST with ksh93/UWIN and it behaves more like a traditional UNIX system than Linux does with its try to be like Windows and Mac OS X (Emulating only the problems not the good parts)

    http://www2.research.att.com/sw/download/

    (set -o gmacs if you don't like the standard which is vi).

    You can ssh to the box if you want. It supports the Microsoft Compilers.

    (All I need for my home machine is my pro soundcard to play music without resampling at +4dbu and display a browser and a few terminal windows (and focus follows mouse)).

    I still use emacs as a text editor.

    (The one thing Linux should have is meta mapped properly. i.e Windows Key. Wasting it on eyecandy shortcuts is stupid)

    The dual paste buffers in X is quite nice as well.

    Gnome 3 and Unity seem to be trying as hard as possible to remove everything that is good about *NIX leaving a poor clone of Mac OS X and Windows that works less well.

  38. Steve Martins

    search accuracy

    Microsoft are able to get such a highly accurate hit rate due to their use of product names that are completely unique product identifiers that don't match commonly used words of the English language such as Office, Word, Excel, Access, Metro, Outlook ... oh wait...

    it seems the Outlook for Access to my websites which seem to Excel in the use of the odd Word which could get the into trouble is not good!

    I'm of to my Office to rewrite all my websites to avoid a M$ DCMA takedown!!!

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