Fox Uses Bogus DMCA Claims To Censor Cory Doctorow's Book About Censorship

from the but-of-course dept

Torrentfreak has discovered that News Corp's Fox studios has been sending DMCA notices taking down Cory Doctorow's latest book, Homeland, which is available under a Creative Commons (Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs) license, and can be freely shared. The issue? Fox is trying to take down unauthorized copies of its TV show that goes by the same name. And, in its rush to take down anything and everything that might possibly be its TV show, Doctorow's authorized novel is collateral damage. The really crazy thing is that it should be obvious to any human looking over these takedowns that it's not the TV show, as all of the links tend to have Doctorow's name in them:
This is not a one-off thing. It is happening over and over and over and over and over again. It's also worth pointing out that the actual takedowns are being sent by DTecNet. The same DTecNet that powers the infamous six strikes copyright alert system. I wonder if anyone's been getting any strikes for downloading Cory's novel....

When TorrentFreak asked Doctorow for comment, he joked, "I think you can safely say I’m incandescent with rage. BRING ME THE SEVERED HEAD OF RUPERT MURDOCH!" But, perhaps there's a more serious response. In response to Doctorow tweeting about this last week, Paul Levy from Public Citizen -- famous for defending people on the internet (including, at times, us) from bad things -- responded by asking Doctorow if he wanted to litigate.
Stay tuned, because this might get interesting. Considering that these takedowns are happening at a critical moment for the book, just as it's been launched, a very strong argument can be made that Fox has created tremendous damage for Doctorow and the success of the book. While the few attempts to go after those who send bogus DMCA takedowns haven't had much success, an argument could be made that Doctorow's situation presents a much stronger case.


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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:54am

    Mike, I do have an honest question here. The original Torrentfreak article mentions that Doctorow had published Homeland through Tor, wrapped in DRM.
    I've seen talks Doctorow has given about the evils of DRM and I agree with him there. Has Doctorow ever said why he publishes with DRM?

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      I don't know for sure, though it may have something to do with Tor really only embracing DRM-free last year. Perhaps he couldn't convince them to go DRM free on some old books. But I don't know for sure. I left that bit out of the story because it seems kind of off-topic.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re:

        FRrom the Torrentfreak article

        When we made this discovery back in February, Doctorow was more understanding. He told us that Tor Books sends out DMCA notices with his authorization, but only in instances where the book is wrapped in DRM, or when there抯 another violation.


        That is protecting his use of DRM free books, and presumably against someone else wrapping it in DRM.

         

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        Paul Renault (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re:

        You can read all about it on Cory's blog:
        http://craphound.com/homeland/download/

        Tor went _all_ DRM-free last year. But they've always published Cory's book as DRM-free. In any case, read the text at the link above.

        Don't go for the information third-hand.

         

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        Rikuo (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Okay thanks!

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      this is the actual text from the torrentfreak page. i think it is a little different to how you have tried to make it out to be

      'When we made this discovery back in February, Doctorow was more understanding. He told us that Tor Books sends out DMCA notices with his authorization, but only in instances where the book is wrapped in DRM, or when there抯 another violation.'

      it still doesn't alter the fact of what is happening here. and as for collateral damage, i reckon it's bull shit. Fox is doing this on purpose. there is no bigger self righteous, blame switching arse hole that Murdoch. even when he was giving evidence over the phone hacking in the UK, he refused to take any responsibility for it, when it was his business!! what a prick!!

       

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      Forest_GS (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 2:24pm

      Re:

      Some publishers force the use of DRM I believe.

       

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      Sheogorath (profile), Apr 25th, 2013 @ 8:53pm

      Re:

      The original Torrentfreak article mentions that Doctorow had published Homeland through Tor, wrapped in DRM.
      Really? Because I just copied my copy from one folder on my computer to another, an act rendered impossible by the presence of Digital Restrictions Malware.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:00am

    I wonder if they'll keep being called exceptions. I think it's about time some people recognized there is a problem with copyright as it is today eh? Exceptions, pesky exceptions....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:45am

      Re:

      I thought the term was "Anomaly".

       

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      tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:42am

      Re:

      This is not an "exception" or an "anomaly".

      It's a simple oversight that's creating an inadvertent abuse of the DMCA: there's no way these automated systems are actually downloading the offending content and ensuring that the content is indeed infringing.

      I am certain that nobody is trying to censor Doctorow's book, but the fact that he used the same title as a television show makes it easy for the Fox's automated system to inadvertently flag the wrong thing.

      The thing is, this is a fairly simple fix, and it's all technological: the automated system being used by DTecNet ought to actually check the file type and size before sending out a DMCA notice.

      The thing is, I don't think this means Copyright is broken. This means that one particular enforcement system is broken: DTecNet needs to do a better job of actually determining whether a file actually infringes before filing a DMCA.

      Doing so by name alone is not good enough.

      From what I understand, there are remedies in the system for Doctorow, and I imagine he will be exercising them. Personally, I want to see this battle play out.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:10am

        Re: Re:

        "This means that one particular enforcement system is broken: DTecNet needs to do a better job of actually determining whether a file actually infringes before filing a DMCA."

        Unfotrunately, since DTechNet is being used by BIG companies, the chance that more files will be mistakenly-DMCAed is HUGE!
        Doctrow shoud sue Fox for damages.
        Fox would lose, then be forced to sue DTecNet for failure to provide contracted services (by providing a defective product)

         

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        JarHead (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re:

        The thing is, this is a fairly simple fix, and it's all technological: the automated system being used by DTecNet ought to actually check the file type and size before sending out a DMCA notice.

        The thing is, it is NOT simple to fix using only technological/automated means. File type and size? That's the easiest thing to spoof (intentional action) or collide (unintentional action). The next thing is using hashes, while it doesn't deter spoofing 1 iota, it can decrease collision chance considerably.

        While hashes seems like good news, consider it from copyright holder's view. 2 same media file, one slightly modified (i.e. resized by 1px for visuals, or apply filtering on unused spectra for audio) yield to a very different hash, hence uncaught infringement. Developing methods precise enough to handle this problem is hard and expensive. It's more easier to use "shoot 1st ask question never" approach cos DMCA is particularly weak in deterring this kind of approach.

        The only sure way to satisfy both party (accuser and accused) is to have conscious human being (or something similar ;P ) to do the final arbitration, and that still do not account for further "complications" like fair use etc.

        So
        (hard/expensive method for doing it right) + (no reprisal) = abuse + (collateral damage)^3

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The problem with hahes is that a 1bit (yes bit) change in a file cause a very different hash. This is why hashes are used to validate file when wrapped in public key cryptography.

           

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          tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 12:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In this kind of dragnet application, fair use doesn't really apply.

          What I could see working is automated analysis of the content of the video file: it would have to be rendered and compared to an official version of the work. If the first 10 minutes or so matches up, then it could be flagged as a match.

          The thing is, I'm of two minds on this topic: as a software developer, I don't like piracy, but as a freedom-loving Human being, I want to see the Copyright trolls shut down hardcore.

           

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        Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:43am

        Re: Re:

        Doing so by name alone is not good enough.
        And neither is file type and size going to do it either. File size might get you in the ballpark (a 10 KB file is probably not what you are looking for), but other than that what does a video named Homeland that is roughly the size of a one hour video (whatever that means) imply in terms of copyright infringement? Nothing more than to take a closer look. It might very well be infringement, it might be somebody else who has created a movie based on Doctorow's book or their own work entirely, or it might even be a one hour review of Fox's show that falls under fair use (perhaps not even showing a single clip from the show).

        If you are going to state that your copyrights are being infringed, you need to know your copyrights are actually being infringed. The copyrighted work is the entirety of the work, not the title, not the type, and certainly not the size. And with the Lenz v. Universal case, the copyright holder also has to take Fair Use into account as well. If you can't automate that, then you have no business filing a DMCA notice (under penalty of perjury I might add).

        Cory should sue. Fox should lose. DTecNet should go out of business. But increasing the check for filesize and type simply reduces the space required to look into. It doesn't tell you that you've found an occurrence of infringement.

         

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          ShivaFang (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The companies doing mass filings will never agree to file size checks. Most infringement comes via torrents which themselves are only a couple of KB in size, and they only have the name to go on with those.

          The 'problem' is that piracy is so wide spread doing it by hand and having to _actually_ validate each one would take way, way to much work and make the DMCA pretty much ineffective. (Problem in quotes because I would actually like to see the perjury penalty applied for misuse!)

           

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            Ed C., Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, but not doing so leaves you open to perjury under the DMCA and copyfraud. DMCA is still the law, and they have a right to use it, but carpet bombing takedowns with nothing more than a keyword match is an outright abuse that cannot be possibility seen as being in "good faith".

            The problem with the DMCA takedown regime is that it's not practical. It never was when it was first proposed, and never will be. The big publishers didn't care if the powers granted by the DMCA would actually be usable, they just wanted the power.

             

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            PaulT (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 1:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Most infringement comes via torrents which themselves are only a couple of KB in size, and they only have the name to go on with those."

            So? Open the file, join the stream and see what comes up. it should be relatively clear at that point, and you're not breaking any laws if you have the authorisation of the copyright holder to do that. The size of the torrent file alone is irrelevant, unless you subscribe to the lie that offering a link or torrent file is the same as hosting the content itself.

            Once again "it's too hard" is NOT a valid excuse for taking shortcuts with copyright enforcement - especially when those shortcuts lead to independent artists and creators getting shut down despite not breaking any laws, let alone the service providers being hammer for things they had no involvement with one way or the other.

             

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        Dirkmaster (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re:

        Or, you could look at the file size. Compression may be good, but I don't think you can get a TV Episode video down to under 500K bytes, which is what the epub format is. Other formats may be different, but they're ALL gonna be signficantly smaller than a TV episode video file.

         

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    A Libertarian, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:36am

    He should

    He should litigate.

     

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:43am

      Re: He should

      The American answer to everything

       

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        Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:48am

        Re: Re: He should

        As much as I detest the sue-happy stance of America, in this case just to make a point I would support it.

         

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        Baldaur Regis (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:58am

        Re: Re: He should

        Sadly, the only response to the assertions of posturing lawyers is to drag in another layer of attorneys. Traditional - honorable - remediations such as pillow fights or drinking contests are unavailing once the nuclear legal option is deployed.

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:22am

          Re: Re: Re: He should

          Traditional - honorable - remediations such as pillow fights or drinking contests are unavailing once the nuclear legal option is deployed.

          There is precedence the other way though. I believe a game of Quake III was used (though I believe it was unsuccessful,) in Mojang vs. Bethesda. But it ended up being settled anyway and Mojang essentially won because they were allowed to keep the "Scrolls" name.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:25am

        Re: Re: He should

        And yours is the ignorant outsiders' answer to everything.

        Just because some frivolous lawsuits are filed does not make all lawsuits frivolous. In this case, it wouldn't be frivolous, and that makes you seem foolish for trotting out the tired old "sue-happy Americans" cliche.

        In summation: get bent.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:47am

          Re: Re: Re: He should

          And just because some frivolous dmca notices are filed does not make all dmca notices frivolous.

          Thanks for pointing out the absurdity of this blog.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

            No one said they were? That straw man you hastily constructed sure said some absurd things though. Good on you for pointing them out.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 2:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

              Mike Masnick is constantly trying to dilute the power of the DMCA and its notification system, as it costs his employer (Google) money, and he loves piracy.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 1:28am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                "Mike Masnick is constantly trying to dilute the power of the DMCA and its notification system, and rightly so."

                Fixed that for you.

                It can't be denied that an increasing number of DMCA requests turn out to be bogus, just like this one. If the copyright maximalists insist on being allowed to file overly large amounts of takedown requests, then it's only right that they be *required* to ensure that their claims are accurate.

                A sensible precaution would be to make *any* false DMCA claim punishable by perjury. This would prevent occurrences like the article and may reduce the amount of claims filed overall.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 2:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                  Yep false DMCA take downs should have some significant legal peril associated with them. I think a sliding scale of fines that increases geometrically with each infringement. One would expect that the sixth or seventh false take down would get the attention of the stock holders and corporate leadership. A thirteenth would bankrupt most companies.

                  First fine 1 x 10^0 -> $1
                  Second fine 1 x 10^1 -> $10
                  Third fine 1 x 10^2 -> $100
                  Fourth fine 1 x 10^3 -> $1,000
                  Fifth fine 1 x 10^4 -> $10,000
                  Sixth Fine 1 x 10^5 -> $100,000
                  Seventh fine 1 x 10^6 -> $1,000,000
                  Eighth fine 1 x 10^7 -> $10,000,000
                  Nineth fine 1 x 10^8 -> $100,000,000
                  Tenth fine 1 x 10^9 -> $1,000,000,000
                  Eleventh fine 1 x 10^10 -> $10,000,000,000
                  Twelfth fine 1 x 10^11 -> $100,000,000,000
                  Thirteenth fine 1 x 10^11 -> $1,000,000,000,000

                   

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

            "And just because some frivolous dmca notices are filed does not make all dmca notices frivolous."

            And just because some ACs are idiots does not make all ACs idiots.
            Just you, boy.

            Thanks for pointing out your own absurdity.

             

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            Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

            And just because some frivolous dmca notices are filed does not make all dmca notices frivolous.

            Fair enough. Since you've got it all figured out, please enlighten us: what is the ratio of abuses to legitimate actions beyond which a law is in need of revision? Relatedly, what is the ratio beyond which reporting on the abuses is appropriate?

             

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              Mason Wheeler, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

              According to Google's studies on the subject, depending on how you interpret the data, the percentage of DMCA takedown notices received by Google that are actually legitimate is somewhere between 3% and 40%. So no, not all of them are frivolous, but the majority are.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 2:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                Sorry dimwit, you've got that backwards; Google processes 97% of DMCA notices believing them to be correct. It rejects 3%.

                Out of tens of millions.

                 

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                  Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 3:15pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                  3% of "tens of millions". So, at minimum, 600,000 abuses of the law and violations of free speech according to you.

                  But reporting on them is absurd?

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 1:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                  Emphasis on "believing them to be correct". How often will a claim be believed and turn out to be bogus?

                  As Leigh said previously, at minimum 3% is around 600k bogus claims. Why should that ever be acceptable?

                  The companies responsible need to be brought to account and punished.

                   

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            JP Jones (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

            And just because some frivolous dmca notices are filed does not make all dmca notices frivolous.

            So if you occasionally get speeding tickets when you weren't speeding but you were driving a car that was the same color as a speeding car, that would be OK because some speeding tickets are given to the actual speeding car?

            Also, instead of the police, you were pulled over by a private company that had no legal requirement to make sure you had actually broken any laws.

            Thanks for pointing out the absurdity of your comment.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

            Nobody ever said this. Ever. You should get bent too, but I'd imagine that's quite the feat with your head so firmly implanted in your arse already!

             

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        tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re: He should

        In this case, it's the only answer: Copyright is asserted through civil courts, so he will have to use the civil litigation process to assert his rights. That's just how the system works.

         

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          Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: Re: He should

          Copyright is asserted through civil courts, so he will have to use the civil litigation process to assert his rights. That's just how the system works.

          Unless you are the RIAA or the MPAA, then you have the federal government skip the entire legal process and just start seizing everything they possibly can.

           

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            tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 12:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

            That's only in the case of criminal Copyright infringement, which has certain thresholds. And regardless, for the victim of the infringement to get restitution, he must still sue the offender.

             

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              techflaws (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

              That's only in the case of criminal Copyright infringement, which has certain thresholds.

              Like the one met in the dajaz1 case?

               

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                tomxp411 (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 8:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                That's irrelevant.

                If I understand correctly, the domain name seizure has nothing to do with RIAA's members recovering damages. The domain name seizure is to stop further propagation of illegal content.

                The damaged parties, the ones whose rights are violated as part of the illegal file trading, still have to use the civil court system to recover damages.

                 

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                  Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 11:02am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                  Partially right about those who are "wronged". However, quite wrong about the government needing to do anything about it.

                  If the government wants to view it as they have the right to take a domain, then they could be just a tad less hypocritical and still afford the websites the protections of section 230. A website is not liable for the actions of their users.

                  The whole thing is so obviously corrupt. The government just rushes to seize anything, no matter how legal it is in the country of its operations. The US is not the king of the internet and the gov should stay the heck away from trying to police the entire thing.

                   

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                    tomxp411 (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 1:19pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

                    You may be right, but we're getting off course. THe original comment was related to the fact that Doctorow would need to use the courts to fix this problem (bad DMCA takedowns), and I stand by my response: that's the only way for an individual to assert his Copyrights.

                     

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              Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 6:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He should

              Except there are never any court cases here to prove any criminal copyright infringement, just the government seizing stuff illegally.

               

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        BobT, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re: He should

        Yup... Ain't much that can't be solved by a couple of beheadings...

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re: He should

        Just because some people think it the answer to everything does not mean it's answer to nothing.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:41am

    It would certainly be interesting to see what happens when someone decides to litigate against bogus DMCA takedowns.

     

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    wallow-T, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:43am

    one for the lawyers

    In the boiler-plate DMCA takedown notice, the "person" filing the notice claims a good-faith belief that the material is infringing.

    Does the presence of the string "Homeland" in a file name constitute a good-faith belief that the material is infringing?

     

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      crade (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:48am

      Re: one for the lawyers

      Honestly, they probably believe everything on any torrent site is infringing. The question is how stupid are you allowed to be and still have your beliefs factor into law.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re: one for the lawyers

        "Honestly, they probably believe everything on any torrent site is infringing. The question is how stupid are you allowed to be and still have your beliefs factor into law."

        You haven't been following the Prenda stories?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:56am

      Re: one for the lawyers

      The notice is probably generated by a script from the search results. The maximalists are prepared to torch everything in vain attempts to protect their copyright.

       

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        tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re: one for the lawyers

        I think so too.

        IMO, filing a DMCA notice based on a filename alone should be considered abusive.

        Now I can see how it would be prohibitively expensive to download every single infringing work out there, just to prove that it's actually infringing, it's simple for people to put up a file named "Homeland" that has nothing to do with the TV show.

        It sounds to me like DTecNet just isn't doing enough to verify the content they're filing takedown notices on. That doesn't mean the company should be put out of business, but I think a major overhaul of their methodology is in order here... along with an injunction to force them to stop filing takedowns until they have proven that their new system doesn't file false positives.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re: one for the lawyers

          Good luck getting that to happen. No company has ever been properly called out and punished for their inaccuracies.

           

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            ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: one for the lawyers

            Good luck getting that to happen. No company has ever been properly called out and punished for their inaccuracies.

            The same was said not to long ago about Copyright Trolls. That is currently working out so well for Prenda.

            There is always a first time for everything.

             

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            •  
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              beltorak (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 12:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: one for the lawyers

              the difference between this and the prenda circus is that prenda pissed off the court. the dmca takedown system is extrajudicial, meaning no court ever has to see it. and they have (honestly, sincerely) more important things to deal with than a bunch of entitled ostriches throwing a hissy over imaginary property rights.

              therefore it seems that the solution must also be extrajudicial. there should be some way we, the people, should be able to call out and publicly shame those that abuse the dmca takedown provision.

               

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                ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 2:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: one for the lawyers

                the difference between this and the prenda circus is that prenda pissed off the court. the dmca takedown system is extrajudicial

                I agree, though this would be a perfect case for the owner to strike back. They took down material that was commercially available, which they had no copyright for, and as a result, it hurt another company. If anything should be considered unlawful interference of a business model, this should. This would be a perfect case for testing the limits of DMCA.

                 

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      Lowestofthekeys (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:02am

      Re: one for the lawyers

      "Does the presence of the string "Homeland" in a file name constitute a good-faith belief that the material is infringing?"

      Good point, and one thing it relates to is the constant bickering on how Google does not enforce removal of copyrighted content the same way it enforces the removal of child pornography.

      If these guys have such a hard time knowing what is, and isn't infringing, how is Google supposed to do it?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:17am

      Re: one for the lawyers

      I don't think they can claim a good faith belief here. Claiming a good faith belief that something with that title is infringing without checking would be like looking in the phone book for Will Smith's number and them claiming I have a good faith belief that it is the number of the actor. Maybe it is, but without further checking (like calling the number, or verifying that the address matches) it's very likely I only have the number of someone with the same name.

      "Homeland" was the title of a book even before Doctorow's came out. Beyond that, it's an actual word. It should be obvious to anyone that if you blindly send takedowns based only on a title containing "Homeland", you're going to get loads of material that aren't the TV show.

      I hope he litigates and gets not only damages but an injunction prohibiting them - both Fox and DTecNet - from sending takedown notices when they don't know what they're taking down.

       

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      techflaws (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:59pm

      Re: one for the lawyers

      Does the presence of the string "Homeland" in a file name constitute a good-faith belief that the material is infringing?

      Absolutely. The Twilight guys got away with it too.

       

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    crade (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:44am

    They do it that way because there is little to no reason to care when they take down stuff that isn't infringing.

     

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      tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:49am

      Re:

      I was under the impression that you could be fined for filing bogus takedown notices.

       

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      •  
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        crade (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re:

        yes, I could. hypothetically speaking, it's possible that fox could too. That hypothetical situation just doesn't give them a reason to care when they take down stuff that isn't infringing. If once in a while, some super dedicated individual actually wins, they just pay the piddly fine.

         

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        That One Guy (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 12:32pm

        Re: Re:

        On an individual basis, maybe, but if you're talking about a decently sized company, not a chance. At most you'd be looking at a mild slap on the wrist and a 'don't do it again' from the judge for a company that files bogus DMCA notices.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:44am

    OOTB in to defend Fox抯 shenanigans in 543

     

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    •  
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      Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Actually, I'm not sure this can be defended so he will go with the standard personal attack on Mike.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:

        My guess? He'll defend it, insisting that Doctorow had it coming for who-knows-what-fucking-reason.

         

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          icon
          tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, Cory Doctorow embraces free content, and he even dares to publish his work under Creative Commons.

          Something must be fishy if he's not willing to force people to pay for his work!

           

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      @ S. T. Stone, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:44am

      OOTB in to defend Fox抯 shenanigans in 543

      -----------

      Gosh, you're as eager to see me as 10-year-old girls are to see Justin Bieber!

      When will you dolts get over the us-them, for-with, Mike-Fox FALSE dichotomies? I'm be against Fox AND Mike, or ANY number of wrongs, all at the same time.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Pirates should start tagging every upload with names of free CC licensed names.

    It will show just how flawed their system really is.

     

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    identicon
    RD, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:01am

    So what happens to Fox now?

    So, now that Fox has been shown to CLEARLY and unequivocally issued multiple takedowns that are both flatly fraudulent and perjurous (sp?), when do THEY get slapped with multimillion dollar fines and shut down IMMEDIATELY and keeping them down while their case is dragged slowly through the court system?

    Why is it only the general public and fan/link/news sites that get taken out and issued lifetime-crippling fines?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:21am

      Re: So what happens to Fox now?

      Because they've already paid multimillions, the difference is that they paid them to the government before the legislation is passed, instead of after.

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:08am

    There's too many links to check!

    How could Fox possibly know whether any given one is authorized?

    2nd point is that all publicity is GOOD publicity: as a practical fact, this lifts obscure crap with FREE publicity.

    3rd: "The really crazy thing is that it should be obvious to any human looking over these takedowns that it's not the TV show, as all of the links tend to have Doctorow's name in them:" -- NO, WAIT A SEC! You've said MANY times that it's NOT obvious, Mike! "Doctorow" could just be the tag name of a pirate: they've an urge to tack their names on what they stole.

    No, I'm not defending Fox, just pointing out that the usual canards here can apply in the other direction.

    Anyhoo, I encourage Doctorow to sue. -- What have I got to lose? He either takes a bit of Fox's money, or the case flops, perhaps even backfires and the automated take-down systems based on mere text are better validated.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:17am

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      1. So too big for your favourite corporations to check, just like Viacom. Got it.

      2. There's publicity, and there's egg-down-your-face scenarios.

      3. So it's not obvious, and corporations should never sue for anything. I actually want the MPAA to come up with a film called "The", and then see them sue every file with "The" in the title.

       

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      identicon
      RD, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:22am

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      "3rd: "The really crazy thing is that it should be obvious to any human looking over these takedowns that it's not the TV show, as all of the links tend to have Doctorow's name in them:" -- NO, WAIT A SEC! You've said MANY times that it's NOT obvious, Mike! "Doctorow" could just be the tag name of a pirate: they've an urge to tack their names on what they stole.

      No, I'm not defending Fox, just pointing out that the usual canards here can apply in the other direction."

      How about those issuing the takedowns maybe, you know, INVESTIGATE and VERIFY before taking an ILLEGAL action to remove content that THEY DO NOT OWN? How about that, blue? How about they take some actual RESPONSIBILITY instead of just shooting at every single thing that MIGHT POSSIBLY be infringing?

       

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 2:08am

        Re: Re: There's too many links to check!

        Of course not. He's fully in the mindset of the MPAA/RIAA - "Fair use? F**k you, pay us. Oh, fair use might be a defense we can use to save money in court? Of course it applies!".

        The blinding hypocrisy is only one of his many failings.

         

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      Avatar28 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:45am

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      Okay, fine. If the name isn't enough of a giveaway, how about the size? An ebook is going to be 1-2 MB at most. A tv episode is going to be MUCH larger. Oh, how about the file contents? Opening the torrent file or magnet link will give you the file names, none of which are video formats.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:53am

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      "How could Fox possibly know whether any given one is authorized?"

      They should know because they are the ones doing the authorizing. But if they do NOT know, then they should not state that they have a good faith belief that the work is infringing.

      "There's too many links to check!"

      That's sad, but that's Fox's problem. And the solution is not to take down everything. That would have been like the Boston police arresting everyone in the greater metropolitan area on the grounds that there were "too many people to check".

       

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 2:15am

        Re: Re: There's too many links to check!

        "How could Fox possibly know whether any given one is authorized?"

        It's funny how that's the defence used by the corporate worshippers, but the reverse - "How could Google possibly know whether any given one is authorized if Fox can't even tell?" - is usually rejected when that's pointed out. Their real aim is just to pass all responsibility on to 3rd parties and collect in court when they fail to achieve the impossible.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:06am

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      "How could Fox possibly know whether any given one is authorized?"

      Talk about missing the forest for the trees.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:38am

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      "How could Fox possibly know whether any given one is authorized?"

      Idiot. Who would know better whether a given work is authorized than the ones responsible for licensing that work in the first place?

       

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      techflaws (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:02pm

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      How could Fox possibly know whether any given one is authorized?

      By comparing file size/type? Too lazy to do it? Don't issued DCMA notices. It's almost too easy, isn't it?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 1:38am

      Re: There's too many links to check!

      "There's too many links to check! How could Fox possibly know whether any given one is authorized?"

      Perhaps if they had incentive to ensure that they were actually making a factual claim, they would take the time to check.

      As I said above, the penalty of perjury for any false DMCA claim is sensible, and also well overdue.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:08am

    This will probably be followed by an "oops, sorry" and the abusers will, one again, go unpunished thanks to the horrible legislative situation.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      But this one involves a newly published book. Doctorow will probably be able to show actual damages, unlike some guy who gets his cat video taken down. And it's not some borderline fair-use case where he's using a clip from the TV show or something.

      And it also involves someone who cares about the issues involved, and someone from Public Citizen is asking if he wants to litigate. This means they may not settle for a small amount, as might otherwise happen. This may not end well for Fox and DTecNet.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        PRMan, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re:

        Might be tough to prove damages on a completely free book...

         

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        •  
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          tomxp411 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The thing is, when the free version is blocked and removed from distribution, his First Amendment rights are being violated.

          And when you violate someone's civil rights, you can ask for more than statutory and real damages: you can also get punitive damages, which can add up to a lot more than just Doctorow's lost revenue.

           

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        •  
          icon
          AndyD273 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not completely free, just creative commons:
          http://us.macmillan.com/homeland-1/CoryDoctorow ($18)

          He just doesn't go after people who share the digital version because he uses the digital version as a promotional tool to advertise the print version, as well as promote the Cory Doctorow brand, among other things.
          By taking down these files, they are censoring his advertising which can directly effect his book sales, and hurt his brand.
          And yes, lots of people will buy the print version of something that they can get in an electronic version for free. Scott Sigler is another great example of this working.

           

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        •  
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          PaulT (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 2:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not necessarily, although he wouldn't be able to use the idiotic "I'll assume that my losses are equal to full retail price x number of copies downloaded" used by the corporates. Doctorow does make money from his books, he just gives people to option to access a free copy. I'd presume that he'd be able to use figures from previous releases under the same model. plus, he makes income from speaking on copyright issues, etc. He could conceivably claim damages there if his reputation has been damaged by takedowns on his work without his permission.

          Sadly, it's not only tough, but a direction he's unlikely to follow, since he's someone that doesn't depend on court action and fantasy figures to make a living. A pity, because what's really needed is some push back from the people being negatively affected by the corporate push to "protect" their product at all costs.

           

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 9:42am

    dmcaoutliers.com

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      poorendjustifymeanslogic.com

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:51am

      Re:

      At what percentage do "outliers" start becoming "disturbing trend"? What percentage are we at at this very moment?

      And if you attempt to answer the second question, please provide your peer-reviewed source.

       

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      •  
        icon
        PaulT (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 2:29am

        Re: Re:

        "At what percentage do "outliers" start becoming "disturbing trend"?"

        At a guess, the moment when a corporate product is taken down by an independent's attempt at DMCA protection, at which case they'll argue for protection against DMCA notices. Which they will then ignore as soon as they stand to benefit again - see also: fair use.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 12:47pm

      Re:

      deadurl.com

       

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    •  
      icon
      techflaws (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:04pm

      Re:

      failed-cop-out.com

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:40am

    The law needs remedies against improper takedowns, be they the result of negligence or outright fraud. This situation is inexcusable, and Fox should pay through the nose for it. It's not going to happen, but it should.

     

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  •  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:53am

    An alternative to litigating is to DMCA all of Fox's Homeland TV show content, including everything on fox.com.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:23am

      Re:

      "An alternative to litigating is to DMCA all of Fox's Homeland TV show content, including everything on fox.com."
      Is there any non-infringing Homeland TV show content other than the content on fox.com? Remember, you are dealing with dinosaurs here. The whole "Web 2.0" thing is alien to them, and they wouldn't take down content on their own website.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:47am

        Re: Re:

        Ah, but here's the fun part: once the Homeland videos on fox.com have been DMCA'd, if they refuse to take them down, they can be taken to court and put in a nice lose-lose situation: either they pay out scads of money, or they have to admit in a court of law that filename-matching is insufficient to identify a file, thus setting a useful precedent.

        . . . We can dream, right?

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think that any person that tried to DMCA Fox's videos would be the first and only person to ever get in trouble for a perjured DMCA notice.

           

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  •  
    icon
    Zos (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 10:59am

    they were quick on it too. i was upping it to mobilism since cory was on tour and it didn't go up on craphound for a few weeks, they were on top of that shit. turn around and take down from various lockers was less than 5 hours, a dozen times in the first week.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Didn't someone in the industry suggest that the VCR was to film like the Boston strangler was to women. It seems more like the DMCA is to free speech what the Boston strangler was to women.

     

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    icon
    ShivaFang (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:17pm

    It's important to realise that the DMCA notifications are made under penalty of perjury that the submitter actually owns the rights to the infringing work. I think a serious litigation for damages AND the perjury charge thrown in will be enough for these companies to wake up to the problems with their auto-submitting practices.

    Either that or it will be just another 'nuisance' and they'll go about their business (that's more likely) but at least it will be a bit of a sting.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      Wasn't there a fairly recent ruling on a false DMCA claim that spent way to much focus that the perjured statement includes the claimant has a "good faith" belief that they own the copyright and that it was up to the person who had originally uploaded the work the impossible task of proving bad faith before they would apply the perjury penalty?

       

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      •  
        icon
        ShivaFang (profile), Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, that makes sense in keeping with "Innocent until proven guilty." You have to prove that it isn't in good faith.

        I think in this case it should be obvious - the system is 100% automated with absolutely NO checks, and errors are made all the time. If the system worked reliably most of the time, they could say that they have good faith in their automated system, but with the number of errors that DO happen (and they know about these) I don't think that 'good faith' can be applied here.

        I don't know if a Judge would agree with that reasoning, however.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 5:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, that makes sense in keeping with "Innocent until proven guilty." You have to prove that it isn't in good faith.

          Yeah, on the surface, that sounds reasonable. But in the case I recall the standard being set such that you had to be a mind reader to prove it, making it impossible to get actual relief for a false take-down.

          Isn't something like a false DMCA filing accusation supposed to fall under the lighter civil burden of proof, anyway?

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Seek an injunction

    He should seek an injunction prohibiting Fox from issuing take downs on any of his works. In court, question Fox about why they don't bother to be sure in the first place. Make sure to point out that Cory encourages his fans to convert his books into other formats. I think his fan base would go nuts converting into every known format just to ensure that Fox would have to spend lots of money to keep up.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    anonymous, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 1:42pm

    If people are getting strikes over this ...

    If people are actually getting strikes over this, there's a credible argument that it is harming the legitimate right of the copyright owner to get his work out to his fans. This is one of Cory Doctorow's chosen distribution channels, which he has demonstrated is enormously successful. Blocking that channel with bogus claims can easily be shown to be harming him economically.

     

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


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