Movie Studios Filing DMCA Takedowns Over DMCA Takedowns

from the so-meta dept

We've seen this in the past as well, but TorrentFreak has noticed that a number of movie studios have been sending Google DMCA takedown notices that reference earlier DMCA takedown notices now appearing on ChillingEffects.org. 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal appear to be the main culprits. While it is true that those DMCA notices provide links to the original content, it seems a bit ridiculous to then argue that those notices themselves need to be taken down. ChillingEffects provides much needed transparency in how the DMCA is being used (and frequently abused) by companies. Google, thankfully, has so far refused to comply with such takedown requests. It's not clear if these are just the result of the usual robot searches by the studios (probably) or a concerted effort to hide takedown notices (less likely, but still plausible). Either way, it does highlight the ridiculousness of arguing that Google should be liable for links to sites that link to possibly infringing content. But... that's how the legacy Hollywood players view the DMCA these days. Anything, anywhere in the chain that might possibly lead one to a possibly infringing work must be liable as well, and those responsible for those sites must then, obviously, act as Hollywood's personal police force.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    TL;DR version

    Yo dawg!

    I herd u like DMCA takedowns.

    So we installed a takedown in your takedown, so you can screw your customerz while you screw your fanz!

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    artp (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Links are Communist!

    Hey, if it results in DMCA takedown notices being illegal under the DMCA, I'm all for it.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Connor Clawson, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 2:55pm

    This reminds me of a previous techdirt article, you know, the one about someone trying to sue cellular carriers for being liable for allowing possibly infringing text messages. I forget how old the article is.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    This is some kind of weird 6 Degrees of Separation kind of thing.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    This is some kind of weird 6 Degrees of Separation kind of thing.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Anything, anywhere in the chain that might possibly lead one to a possibly infringing work must be liable as well, and those responsible for those sites must then, obviously, act as Hollywood's personal police force.
    I'll be happy when they start going after that pirate haven known as PACER.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:23pm

    Now this is what I call innovation. If it weren't for these content companies innovating like this, I just don't know where we would be as a species. Keep up the good work!

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Dave Xanatos, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Heh. I can see this becoming recursive. Next year it'll be notices on notices that were for notices.

     

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

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Why shouldn't they be DMCAd? All Google is doing is reporting the links on another site so they can continue their exploitive practice of selling ad space on pirate sites.

    Google needs to be sued out of existence.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Robo DMCA Searches

    Something that's always confused me about blaming these stupid results to automated DMCA searches - isn't someone, by law, meant to review the searches before sending out the DMCA?

    I should someone my informed than I could clarify.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:37pm

    Too bad they won't get in trouble for clearly bogus notices.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Darn that pesky First Amendment!

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Darn that pesky First Amendment!

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Re: TL;DR version

    Are you sure this isn't Inception instead?

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Explain what contributory infringement- reposting pirate links- has to do with the 1st amendment.

    Good luck with that.

    Google needs to be sued out of existence.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:18pm

    Re:

    You're not making any sense, as always.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Robo DMCA Searches

    There is no requirement that you read a DMCA takedown before you send it. There is a requirement that you state, under penalty of perjury, that to the best of your knowledge the takedown is legitimate. In a sane and balanced system, you wouldn't state anything under penalty of perjury that you haven't read; unfortunately, the system isn't balanced in favor of the public.

    The relevant law is in section 512(f) of the DMCA. In order to get in trouble for a bogus takedown claim, you have to "knowingly materially misrepresent" your case. The key word here is "knowingly"; the takedown can be full of "material misrepresentations" (aka lies), but as long as you don't know it, you're fine. Ultimately, it would be in your best interests to never read any DMCA takedowns that you send; you're only liable under the DMCA if you know what was in the takedown.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:24pm

    It's like ChillingEffects divided by zero.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    That Crazy Freetard (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    What a supremely awesome idea!

    Why has no one done this yet?!

    Seriously. Why haven't the media companies banded together to inundate Google with lawsuits of one kind or another. I mean there has to be a good reason, right? Like maybe the media companies are grifting off of Google's hard earned profits? Could it be?????

    Nay, blasphemy!!!!

    Every day, I hear the same old tropes about how one person or another is infringing copyright or otherwise contributing to it. Yet there's so little direct action against the infringers. Instead, it's just little bitch moves like 6 strikes. Fucking cowards, all of them.

    And contributory infringement is a myth.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    No it isn't.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:58pm

    Re:

    Man if I could run google just for ONE day...


    Germany would not exist, nor would France, or Hollywood,all it's "products" would be gone

    Washington DC? Never heard of it.

    what Music?? I only hear the strumming of the celestial Stars


    So many things that would make the world a Better place

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:42pm

    Re:

    So it is your contention that Google is reporting these links to ChillingEffects so that the links are seen by people who will then go to the sites (which may or may not actually contain Google ads) and hopefully click on their ads?

    Are you sane?

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re: Robo DMCA Searches

    I wouldn't be so sure about that. Sure, the DMCA has its own wording. But even if that wording does not apply, you can still sue based on any other legal theory that may apply. The DMCA grants a lot of immunity, but that is granted to the service providers. It does not grant immunity to those sending notifications - and certainly not false ones. And the notification itself likely becomes invalid (perhaps fraudulent) if the person does NOT have a "good faith belief", which by definition they cannot have if they purposely keep themselves ignorant.

    I think the word "fraudulent" is appropriate here, don't you? If someone sends a DMCA notice that specifically says they have a good faith belief, when in fact they have no knowledge whatsoever, with the purpose of having the service provider rely on this statement to take material down, what other word should be used? I think injunctive relief would be called for, prohibiting the use of bots to send notices - and if that is ignored, prohibiting them from sending takedown notices altogether. Now THAT would make everyone review their takedowns a bit more.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    That Crazy Freetard (profile), Apr 5th, 2013 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Yes, it is.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 12:16am

    Re: Links are Communist!

    If you take down one of your earlier take downs, is it voided?

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 1:43am

    Re:

    Google seems to be showing the DMCA takedowns of DMCA takedowns. What I find amusing about this is, eventually they will get to the point where their DMCA takedowns will be DMCA Takedowns, on DMCA Takedowns, etc.

    When they hire a new company to do the takedowns the whole system of DMCA takedowns will grow exponentially eventually exceeding spam e-mail.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 3:25am

    Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    contributory infringement

    Does not compute.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:37am

    Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    "Explain what contributory infringement- reposting pirate links- has to do with the 1st amendment."

    If you need this explained, you might need to check yourself for brain damage.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re:

    "Are you sane?"

    We all know the answer is no.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Apr 6th, 2013 @ 2:50pm

    links

    Why does Google even remove links? Links aren't infringing. I guess they started doing it when it seemed like it might br possible to satisfy the entertainment companies, and now it's too late to stop.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    special-interesting (profile), Apr 7th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Am so proud of ChillingEffects.com and Google for ignoring these ignoramus letters of take down. This is a watershed event for at least two reason.

    One. For several years all take-down notices were implemented regardless of their implausibility/legality. Now. Its common that outlandish DMCA take-down notices are scrutinized and some ignored completely.

    Two. Its an over the waterfall event. Censoring the censorship. Covering up the attempt of covering up ones mistakes/machinations/evilness/wrongness/bad-publicity/etc. This stuff is societally scary. A cancerous wart on culture. This kind of reciprocity would be infinite in both paperwork and cost if followed to its logical conclusion. Or if the monopolies have their way nobody would hear of it again with a whole new level of secret hearings and review process(s).

    There is no way just liking to a questionable site/content can be considered a bad thing. Following such flawed logic ALL sites would be labeled as 'bad' and ALL links would be illegal. The very basic foundation of WWW linking technology that revolutionized/popularized the thing we call the web/interweb today!

    It would be wisdom to just toss out the DMCA (the courts seem useless these days) and other bad legislation (CFAA, CISPA proposals, etc) but what the real battle from after the fact votes is... Pride! Its classic that politicians do not ever, EVER admit mistakes while in office. Its just not done because of perceived weakness and possible verbal ammunition given to the opposition.

    It may be a better tactic to replace such badly conceived legislation with newer well written constitutionally correct acts and bills. They can always be sold as a better alternative and avoids the political faux pas of finger pointing.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 8th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Aha, Google is actually building the biggest and most organized database od infringing links even though they are not clickable. We need some script kid to index and make it searchable hahahaha

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This