Fox Sends DMCA Takedown To Google To Remove Link To DMCA Takedown Sent By Fox

from the got-that? dept

Ah, meta DMCA takedowns. We just recently noted the growing trend of some DMCA notice filers to claim that the notices themselves are covered by copyright and thus should not be sent on to ChillingEffects.org, the clearinghouse for DMCA takedowns. It's highly questionable whether or not such DMCA notices are actually covered by copyright, but we hadn't seen anyone actually challenge the claims. However, TorrentFreak has an article on a slightly different, but related situation, where it appears that Fox sent a DMCA takedown to Google, ordering it to block links to a DMCA takedown Fox had sent Google earlier.

That may be confusing, so we'll go through this slowly. Basically, Fox sent Google an initial DMCA takedown, to get it to stop linking to links to unauthorized copies of the movie Avatar. Fair enough. Google, as it does, forwarded this takedown to ChillingEffects and removed the links in its index. However, then Fox apparently sent another DMCA takedown, demanding that Google take down the link to its original takedown in ChillingEffects. The second takedown has a huge list of links that it wants Google to stop linking to, so the ChillingEffects one is buried in there.

However, I have to wonder if that's a legit DMCA takedown. The only way it's legit is if Fox really does have some copyright claim over the original DMCA takedown notice, and that's iffy, at best. Of course, Google is pretty quick to takedown these links in order to retain its safe harbors. However, I do wonder if the folks at ChillingEffects, who certainly understand the law, will decide to pushback on this one.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    thublihnk (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Insiders say there's a third DMCA takedown notice from FOX for this article.

    Also, I just got a takedown notice in my inbox for this comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    And you sent me one for that DMCA takedown notice that doesn't exist, as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    David Liu (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re:

    Don't worry guys, soon enough there'll be a DMCA takedown to the entire world saying that we need to take down all knowledge of this ever happening from our minds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymouse, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Knowledge of what happening?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    the exponential growth of takedown notices will soon cover the earth in a sea of paper!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Dick (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    I just found my new business. Making paper.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re:

    DMCA are digital, who send paper anymore? You need to patent e-mail and then start trolling everyone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    shoutingloudly (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    They do have copyright in the takedown notice. It's a creative work fixed in a tangible medium. However, as both Fox and ChillingEffects lawyers certainly know very well, this is a classic example of fair use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    In most cases, the proposition that a DMCA takedown letter is protected by copyright is not "iffy at best." You really don't need much original expression at all to get copyright protection. If the letter has a logo on it, that's probably copyright protected.

    A closer question is whether anything done by chillingeffects.com is actually infringing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    in before yo dawg!

    i heard you like DMCA take down notices so we sent you a DMCA take down notice on your DMCA take down notice so you can remove our content while you remove our content.

    also in before philosoraptor:
    if you send a DMCA take down on a DMCA take down, does that mean a DMCA take down notice is protected content?

    or, if if you send a DMCA take down on a DMCA take down, does that take down the original DMCA take down?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    iamtheky (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Dear Google

    Why not just hire ChillingEffects.org to be a web based electronic delivery service for your DMCA notices. Thus making it a requirement of their job to post and bring and awareness to your DMCA notice.

    Or a link that reads it aloud. I suppose the "reading aloud" crackdown is next though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    I kinda see why they don't like chilling effects

    or these takedown notices being public because if I cared to watch Avatar that takedown notice you link to gives me over 100 links to try out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    Things such as this just piss me off. I find it hard to believe that we've really allowed career politicians to draft legislation after legislation after legislation that brings about situations like this. When you begin to see redundancy of this nature it's a sure sign the system if flawed. What makes it worse is that impotency I feel not being able to change a damn bit of it.

    No wonder revolutions always turn violent when the "rebels" don't have the means to play the game "by the book."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Re:

    Legal boilerplate is really stretching 'creative work.'

    Although I'd love for lawyers to have to come up with unique expressions of any argument they make, or face civil and criminal liability.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Mojo, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    I think we should all join in an experiment - let's all file DMCA takedown notices for random works that we have no ownership over just to show how easy it is for people to abuse this power.

    The winner is whomever gets the "biggest" work taken down (aka claiming to own Star Wars), better yet let's claim ownership of works that are in the public domain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Re: in before yo dawg!

    In related news:

    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation disappears from face of the earth. Random witnesses reported seeing a very large logic wormhole appearing just prior to their disappearance. Story at 11:00.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    CommonSense (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Dunder Mifflin is back in business baby!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Qritiqal (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Of what happening? What the heck are you guys talking about? The "article" and all the comments up to here are blank. In fact, the comment I was responding to just disappeared... Wait, where am I???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: I kinda see why they don't like chilling effects

    Finding a source has never really been much of an obstacle...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: in before yo dawg!

    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation disappears from face of the earth...
    And nothing of value was lost.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    cseiter (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Inception 2: Google vs. Fox.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re:

    DH could make a boatload hiring himself out for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: I kinda see why they don't like chilling effects

    Oh I agree those of us with sources have sources but it does kind of defeat the purpose of taking links down when in doing so you are putting up a list of all the links you don't want people to look at.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    cseiter (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    I own TechDirt!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "A method of sending a digital version of a paper document" seems broad enough and with prior art so it should be approved in thy USPTO right away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    cseiter (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Crap. And techdirt too!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    I would love to publish a DMCA takedown notice for a DMCA takedown notice... just to bait another DMCA takedown notice, which I would then publish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re:

    I assume this is said in jest, but FYI, in order for a DMCA takedown notice to satisfy statutory requirements, you have to sign under penalty of perjury that you believe you own the work or are acting on behalf of the owner and the other work is infringing.

    I think perjury can get you up to five years in prison.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Jackie, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    DMCA Takedown

    An item isn't copyright if it's only the information contained in a document. A letter sent to someone to inform them of a fact has no implicit copyright. It has no creative element to be protected.

    An item isn't copyright if it is a legal document because a legal document is 1. published by being sent or served and 2. it is not being re-published but it's existence is being established by a link. In this case it is simply being exhibited. As such, links to it would come under fair use law.

    Fox is just creating another version of a SLAMM lawsuit. They know their reputation is to be the A********** of creation and it is in their very nature to continue being so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: in before yo dawg!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    blah, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Because the DMCA notice contains the links to the content

    The ironic part is - now people can visit chilling effects to find a good link to a known-pirated copy of Avatar:

    http://chillingeffects.org/dmca512c/notice.cgi?NoticeID=31773

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    the more they do this, the less powerful and more meaningless DMCA will become.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Re: DMCA Takedown

    I have a hard time understanding what you're trying to say, but all the DMCA letters I've actually seen contain enough "originality" to be protected by copyright. The bar is extremely low.

    As far as "legal documents" again I have trouble understanding what you're saying, but something does not lose copyright protection simply by virtue of being a "legal document."

    I do, however, think chilling effects has a strong fair use argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Re:

    given the people who send these types of notices in the first place would often be willing to claim that breathing at the same pitch as some singer who once did an cover song for an advertisement for them was infringing and regularly claim fair use doesn't exist...

    i think the first question's more useful, in a 'vaguely associated with reality' sort of way...

    legally speaking is an entirely different story mind you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: in before yo dawg!

    added value get!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re:

    uh-huh.

    and all those corporate lawyer types who get content issued by their company, all authorized and the like, taken down on DMCA grounds... (we've had stories of this happening), they're in jail now, right?

    yeeeeeeeeeah, that's what i thought.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    grip.. tightening... systems... slipping through fingers...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Divide By Zero, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Talk about the snake eating its own tail...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's a difference between a good faith belief based on a mistake (which may or may not apply in those scenarios) and intentionally lying.

    Maybe those folks did have a good faith belief but were mistaken, or maybe they didn't. At any rate, it would be harder to prove a criminal charge against them than it would be against someone claiming to own Star Wars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: DMCA Takedown

    "...but all the DMCA letters I've actually seen contain enough "originality" to be protected by copyright. ... "

    The assertion that DMCA letter is "protected" by copyright should be immediately dismissed under both "fair use" and the First Amendment. Give me a break, the local bully picks on you and you are prevented from protecting yourself!! That is an absurd proposition.

    Not only that, but lets consider the DMCA notice as a "gift". As a gift, the issuer of the DMCA notice gives up all rights to the content. After all, the DMCA notice is not something that you requested. If not requested why should you be bound by its demands?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    jayflatiron, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Notice

    You are herby notified that "DMCA" and more specifically "DMCA takedown" are copyrighted terms that you are using in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. You are ordered to remove all references to the above named Thing About the Thing that Covers Stuff, or TATCS, which is also a copyrighted term. As counsel to the injured I will be sending you settlement letters before contacting a judge, which is my copyrighted method.

    Sincerely,
    Evan Stone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: DMCA Takedown

    Fair use has nothing to do with whether a work is protected by copyright. Rather, it has to do with the scope of that protection, and whether a particular use of a protected work is infringing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    trilobug, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    But if Fox sent the original DMCA then sent another to...oh god my eyes have crossed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: DMCA Takedown

    Creative element achieved:

    I RITE AS ATTORNEY 4 XYZ CORPORASHUN.

    AS U R, NO DOUBT, AWARE, XYZ OWNS ALL OV TEH RITES 2 (STUFFS WE THEENK U STEALIN FROM US) AN ALL RITES RELATIN THERETO (COLLECTIVELY "OUR PROPERTIEZ"). THEES RITES R PROTECTD BY NUMEROUS COPYRITES TRADEMARKZ IN BOTH TEH PROGRAMS THEMSELVEZ AN TEH CHARACTERS, SETS, AN OTHR ELEMENTS APPEARIN IN DOSE PROGRAMS.

    WE HAS RESENTLY LERND DAT U HAS POSTD VARIOUS ELEMENTS OV OUR PROPERTIEZ ON UR SIET AT www.BUNCHAMEANSTEALERS.COM. UR POSTIN OV THEES ITEMS IZ AN INFRINGEMENT OV XYZ'S RITES IN OUR PROPERTIEZ.

    BASD UPON TEH FOREGOIN, WE HEREBY DEMAND DAT UR CONFIRM 2 US IN WRITIN WITHIN 10 DAIS OV RECEIPT OV DIS LETTR DAT: (I) U HAS REMOVD ALL INFRINGIN MATERIALS FRUM UR SIET; AN (II) U WILL REFRAIN FRUM POSTIN ANY SIMILAR INFRINGIN MATERIAL ON TEH INTERNET OR ANY OTHR ON-LINE SERVICE IN DA FUCHUR.

    TEH FOREGOIN IZ WITHOUT WAIVR OV ANY AN ALL RITES OV XYZ CORPORASHUN, ALL OV WHICH R EXPRESLY RESERVD HEREIN.

    VRY TRULY YOURS,
    ATTORNEY

    P.S. DONT TELL NOONE BOUT DIS LETTER OR ELSE

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Well how the hell is ICE getting entire sites taken down?

    Who signed that paperwork?

    Why aren't they facing justice?

    84,000 sites seems like quite a pile of perjury.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    m, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Must be a right-wing thing. I just got a DMCA notice from a righty who smears people all over the Internet, but cries to attorneys when I repost her smears on my political forum. Apparently, her smears are "copyrighted." See: http://www.sheboyco.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4714

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    athe, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: I kinda see why they don't like chilling effects

    But if the recipient is complying with the DMCA notice, then those links will be gone anyway...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    Re:

    "If the letter has a logo on it, that's probably copyright protected."

    You may be confused about what trademarks are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Herp Derp

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: DMCA Takedown

    Seems you lack simple understanding.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    TechDan (profile), Mar 8th, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We Have to go deeper!!

    http://inception.davepedu.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    LRN, Mar 8th, 2011 @ 10:12pm

    IF the DMCA letter is hosted on Chilling Effects, why is it Google who get the new DMCA takedown notice? That would mean that it's not the DMCA letter itself, but the *links* on Google's pages that are infringing. Those links are Google's own, not something they host for someone else, so I wonder if safe harbour matters at all. It would be Google themselves who would need to file counter-claims against the second DMCA notice, not a third-party (and not Chilling Effects), so it seems that a DMCA takedown isn't the correct approach here.

    Then again, IANAL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Midnight_Voice (profile), Mar 10th, 2011 @ 4:46am

    That takedown letter refers to a 'television series', not a movie.

    Doesn't that invalidate it as a proper instrument of law?

    At the very least, it reveals it to be from boilerplate, and not the original work it would need to be for even the most dubious DMCA claim to get a toehold.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 10th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    The original DMCA request was to Google for a link as well, not against the actual content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Mar 10th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re:

    > I just found my new business. Making paper.

    Dunder-Mifflin is hiring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Nobody has ever actually been prosecuted for a false DMCA notice, so have at it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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