Anti-Piracy Agent Says Full Site Blocking Only Makes His Job Harder

from the total-failures dept

We've pointed out for years that the whac-a-mole game of entertainment industry organizations trying to take down entire websites was a really dumb idea. Not only would it create significant collateral damage for legitimate sites, but it makes things even worse in terms of actually preventing access to content. That's because once the content is out there, it's out there. And as you shut down big sites, you pretty much guarantee that the same content will be just as widely available, but in a more distributed manner, making it that much harder for those focusing on takedowns to be effective. It appears that this is exactly what's happening. Torrentfreak recently pointed out attention to an article by James Brandes, who works for an anti-piracy company, but who says that site takedowns are actually making his job a lot harder.

 So is this wack-a-mole policy working? No. It’s plainly evident that every single time a site is blocked at the ISP level, new URLs take their place. This has further ramifications for content owners and their agents.

 As an anti-piracy agent, I can report that this is making life more difficult particularly with regards to DMCA submissions to Google. But why? During an anti-piracy project, I send Notices to Google to remove infringing results that appear via their search engine. In the past, this may have included results for The Pirate Bay, KickAssTorrents, & H33T. The major problem now is that whilst infringing search results for the aforementioned torrent sites have been removed by Google, new infringing search results appear constantly as a consequence of these sites being forced to use proxies & alternative URLs. Predictably, this creates far more work for content owners (particularly for small independent labels who are not members of the BPI) and their agents. For example, I’d estimate that well over 5 million additional search results have been removed from Google as a result of sites using alternative URLs. Just check the following Google Transparency for piratebayalternative and you’ll see why I’ve reached this conclusion! So it’s certainly fair to say that the blocking policy is perhaps backfiring badly.

This shouldn't be surprising. Pretty much anyone who has any experience with this kind of thing could have predicted exactly that. And yet, the recording and movie industries keep pushing for site blocking in the completely ridiculous belief that it will actually do something useful.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    But I am sure the site blocking resulted in a huge surge in profits for the recording and movie industry. No? Well maybe a tiny blip in profits. No? Well at least there was a moral victory because they made those horrible dirty pirates mad. Oh, those horrible dirty pirates are also some of our best customers and now they are mad at the industry? Well at least they have the satisfaction of knowing that they are providing a healthy living for the anti-piracy contractors. Their share holders aren't going to catch on to how much all this anti-piracy stuff is costing the industry. Right?

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    I don't believe it's site take down notices making his life harder but the industry clients he's working for who refuse to adapt better customer relations.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Jessie (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Reminds me of a three year old.

    Oooh, a red circle on top of the stove....OWWWWWWW that hurts. Ooooh, a red circle.......OWWWWWW. Oooh, a red circle..

    and so on and so forth. Maybe it's time to try something different?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    I wish I could get a job at any anti-piracy company. I'd love to be paid to do something that does nothing.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    TasMot (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Something Different

    You mean something different than issuing takesdowns to Google? You know, the company that finds the infringing material and POINTS to it. Kinda like telling you where the stuff is! No, don't go over there and get rid of it, send a DMCA notice (or a million) to Google. Yeah! That's a good idea. Don't get the actual material taken down, just tell Google to stop pointing to it. That makes a lot of sense. Now, Google, here is the next set of a million DMCA notices for the new names for the same old places..... repeat repeat repeat repeat ... - there is no end to this merry-go-round

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Jessie (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Something Different

    It's like trying to sue a map maker because you can use their map to find directions to a crack house.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Re:

    The more they have to play whac-a-mole, the more money the labels and studios have to pay those trying to deal with the problem. They can add a suitable mark up and charge the creators of content, and boost their own profits.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    I send Notices to Google to remove infringing results that appear via their search engine.

    Somebody tell me how a search result has been twisted into something that infringes on copyright.

     

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

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    a) You're assuming this isn't deliberate dis-info put out by big media to make you think that you're winning; b) the point of blocking sites isn't to make life easy for Anti-Piracy Agents! It's to continue maintaining the RIGHTS of creators expressed in copyright.


    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    If Mike supports copyright, why are the pirates here? They take him same as I do: PRO-PIRACY!

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:26am

    he needs a raise is what hes saying .. now the mpaa and riaa can say they've lost more money to piracy

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Low level employee with allegiances contrary to his employer and acts like a Trojan horse. Gosh, that's never happened before...

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    a) Why would big media won't to say that blocking is bad?
    b) How do you keep a monopoly right if you can't stop the source from spreading freely?

    Here block the link.

    The Pirate Bay

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:44am

    Re:

    > Low level employee with allegiances contrary
    > to his employer and acts like a Trojan horse.

    Yeah, 'cause that's the more likely scenario here.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    "" b) the point of blocking sites isn't to make life easy for Anti-Piracy Agents! It's to continue maintaining the RIGHTS of creators expressed in copyright.""

    And this anti-piracy guy makes it very clear that site blocking is a waste of time. So this comment of yours really proves your point in stating that it continues maintaining the RIGHTS of creators expressed in copyright when this anti-piracy guy has stated that site blocking is a waste of time. You must think we are dumb to fall for your BS as per usual. lol

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    The guy actually doing the job knows more about it than the guy that hired him to do the job. That's never happened before...

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    Three words: Pointy Haired Boss.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 10:58am

    Cut one off

    Cut off the head and 3 more will take its place.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    So instead of taking 100% of the profit, they'll take 105%?

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hollywood accounting FTW!

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    "You're assuming this isn't deliberate dis-info put out by big media to make you think that you're winning;"

    So, if its misinformation, that would mean that they lie. Meaning that nothing that Big Media says (wait a second...you just called them Big Media...when did you start doing that?) can be trusted...not that they were trustworthy to begin with.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Edward Teach, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Paying those trying to deal with the problem

    the more money the labels and studios have to pay those trying to deal with the problem

    Has anybody else worked in a corporate environment? Has anybody who has worked in such an environment notice how contracts for things like "anti-piracy" (I'm thinking independent verification and validation, auditing, compliance, PCI DSS compliance) tend to go to businesses with some kind of connection to the original corporation?

    Like an aerospace company, required by DoD to have someone else do IV&V on a big rocket or satellite or whatever, the contract goes to a smallish company that just happens to employ someone from the CEO's family.

    Yes, that's right, I, Edward Teach, think that "anti-piracy companies" are a way to siphon money out of a big company, and into an insider's family.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    Well you could always see about getting a job with the TSA.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Joe Dirt, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    Are you really that stupid or just being obstinate?

    Yeah right, the RIAA and it's ilk are running a disinformation campaign to sneak up on those nasty 14-year-old pirates who want the latest copy of Bieber's Album.

    The point of the story is that their efforts to date aren't "maintaining the RIGHTS of creators expressed in copyright",/I>. In fact it's doing exactly the opposite.

    They're going after the tool, not the offender. It's as silly as blaming guns for violence instead of the person using the gun.


    You can always make another tool.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    'b) the point of blocking sites isn't to make life easy for Anti-Piracy Agents! It's to continue maintaining the RIGHTS of creators expressed in copyright.'

    And if blocking entire sites is demonstrably making 'maintaining the rights of creators' more difficult, why exactly do you think it's a good tactic again?

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    a)How were you able to type that without the your brain shutting down from major cognitive dissonance?! I damn near had a stroke reading that.

    b) Now blocking sites are some sort of corpate expressionist art piece?!

    Also I'm a pirate and I am amused by site blocking. I think you are confusing "people with legitimate concerns of breaking the internet" with "Pirates that laugh at really stupid attempts to stop them as they update a link and get back to business in less time it took you to read this sentence"

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    Think about this for a moment.

    File sharing really started hitting it's stride with Napster. When Napster was put out of business, the courts gave new file sharing sites a road map of what not to do to be legal. Don't have a centralized setup.

    So wack-a-mole hit with Kaaza, DC, Edonkey, Limewire, and AudioGalaxy, to mention a few. From one site to deal with to a bunch of them.

    When they went after those, Torrents came on the scene and the proliferation expanded by magnitudes. Every step of the way has done nothing but increase file sharing sites.

    Now they don't even have to setup a new site, just a new domain and linking. In addition wack-a-mole is still going strong.

    There's a way to stop pretty much all of it but the entertainment industry isn't going to want to do that. Give the customer what he wants at the deal he wants, and no one needs go to a pirate site. The other way would be to just sell licenses to the sites and be done with it. Most of these sites would sell their left nut to have that.

    Yet none of this is being done. So good luck changing the definition of insanity.

     

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

  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Hey Mikey--

    You know what other kind of blocking is stupid? You trying to block me. I can post whenever I want.

    Why are you trying so desperately, yet in vain, to censor me?

    Don't worry. I'm sure there's a couple of people who believe it's not because you're scared of me.

    Bawk. Cluck. Bawk.

    I fucking own you and you know it. You're too scared to discuss things on the merits with me. I love it!

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    AC Unknown (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    Fuck off, AJ.

    Two words for you, moron: SPAM FILTER.

    You spam, your message gets held in moderation. That fucking simple.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymouse, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    obvious

    I am tired, seriously the entertainment media really do seem to be ignorant, willfully so.
    They know the solutions to the problem, they know the system has to change but they refuse to do so, as long as they refuse to change they lose money supposedly,or lose the ability to monetize the systems everyone is using.
    Damn i would pay to have legalized torrenting, not much mind you, but if they get all of the billions of people who torrent and encourage a few billion more to use the easiest system in the world, and supply very high quality files they could be making a killing.
    Damn i would pay 9.99 a month for access to everything i have access to free of charge now if i was safe in the knowledge that it would not change or be closed down.

    So they could be making hundreds of billions a year if the used the torrenting system to share their content, with one pc to upload files it would cost them nothing to embrace the system.Oh sorry it would cost them a lot of money to setup a payment system, maybe a few hundred dollars at most

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Paraphrase

    Excuse me site blocker afficionada, I make my living engaging in the pointless activity of getting google to remove links to sites that may or may not contain copyright infringing material. I am able to make my living at this pointless activity because certain people against all evidence believe that search engines returning results that include these sites cost them money in the form of lost potential revenue.
    Unfortunately your pointless activity based on the same false belief is hindering my pointless activity.
    Although I have to say that us both being able to make a living at an utterly pointless activity places us alongside the greats of DRM who similarly make a lot of money off their pointless activity which is driven by the fear of people distributing digital files in a copyright infringing way and although their solutions never actually stop that happening these idiots who pay us all have yet to figure out that we are the ones actually costing them real money.

    As long as we keep their minds focused on the fictional money that potential lost revenues represent, we should be able to keep this going for years.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    It doesn't matter if profits didn't surge because it's a moral issue, except when we say it isn't but then it is again as soon as we want it to be, but it isn't and it is.
    They cost us money, but we can't prove it, because they don't, so it's a moral issue which costs us money though it doesn't and it doesn't matter because it's a moral issue.
    Lost revenues.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    It's more like blaming the metal in guns for gun violence
    It can be fashioned into a gun and so those who distribute it or trade in it are profiting from the potential violence of the user of the potential gun that the metal represents.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    That guy isn't an "anti-piracy agent". He's a kid doing data entry; iow, filing DMCA notices.

    This attempt at pirate propaganda is laughably transparent and yet another epic fail.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    Still dense as ever, I see. Site-blocking doesn't bother pirates, but it does bother legitimate consumers. We're all bothered by it. Ergo, we aren't the pirates you are looking for.

    Of course, this simple logic will never occur to OotB.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 5:52pm

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    If you have proof Mike is a pirate I'd love to see it.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    phoenix trite

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

    Re:

    I agree with Mike and I get blocked by the spam filter sometimes too. It's got nothing to do with wanting you censered you nutcase.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    R.H. (profile), Jul 10th, 2013 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Something Different

    This is especially funny since I know that at least KickassTorrents actually doesn't ignore DMCA takedown notices. Just have the torrent files removed from the indexing site. I'll bet that 2 more will pop up in their place but that's more effective than going after Google who is, in this case, an indexer of indexers of pointers to infringing files.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 6:59pm

    As an anti-piracy agent, I can report that this is making life more difficult

    oh dear, the poor anti-piracy agent is having to work a tiny bit harder, BOO FUCKING HOO..

    Who cares ??? I guess if you killed everyone in New York (or just told everyone to leave), the NYPD's job would be far easier too

    You seem to want us to believe that if a site with illegal content is shut down there are many others just waiting for when that happens who will instantly start another site and host that info !!.

    Does NOT HAPPEN or happens very rarely, it's a wack a mole game they are actually WINNING.

    Sure, if you ignore all crimes, you make the polices job easier, you don't stop the crimes, if a site is shut down, that might indicate that if you start hosting that material YOU will be shut down.

    Sooner or later you kill all the moles, or most of them, leaving only the severely brain damaged ones remaining, ripe for the whacking.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2013 @ 9:20pm

    Re:

    For once we're in agreement. Anti-piracy agent has to work harder? Yeah, boo hoo for him.

    On the other hand, you have a horrible definition of winning. But what else would we expect from a jackass who consistently manhandles the English language?

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2013 @ 12:05am

    Re:

    So I guess that this means that there is no longer any Copyright infringement if they are actually winning?

    So Kickass torrents, Piratebay and so many more that they have wacked are now nowhere to be seen?

    You are the severely brain damaged one who has no idea what they are talking about.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jul 11th, 2013 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re: Something Different

    It is like suing the K9 handler because the dog found and shows where the crack house is.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Jul 11th, 2013 @ 2:45am

    Re: AND so why are you pirates complaining about site-blocking?!

    a) You're assuming this isn't deliberate dis-info put out by big media to make you think that you're winning;

    You're assuming any dis-info put out by big media could ever cover up the fact they're losing. Think again.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2013 @ 7:14am

    Re:

    whole site blocking?

    how did that go in the case of kat.ph / kickass.to?

    guess what? if you type kat.ph into your browser, you are directed right to kickass.to

    Gotta love technology. Proving idiots wrong is such childs play.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    St. J, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 7:58pm

    Good.

    I've been a pirate since I was ten. And not always internet-based. I understand that, the companies and such might lose profit in our endeavors. I feel for them. Somewhat. But at the same time I stand not with the United States flag, or the confederate flag, but with the Jolly Roger and Joli rogue.

    Being in the anti-piracy business will never be easy and those who help run the show will never allow it to be easy. And if you're whining about it then I think it's time to pack up shop.

    Understand though that no quarter will be given should the Old Roger get it's claws on ya. Cheers.

     

    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