Microsoft Sends Google DMCA Takedowns For Microsoft's Own Website

from the yeah,-that's-working dept

Remember back when HBO sent a DMCA takedown notice to Google that included links to HBO.com? Apparently, the various services, which do automated DMCA takedowns, haven't gotten much better. TorrentFreak has the amusing story of how Microsoft apparently is paying good money to LeakID to send DMCA takedowns, on behalf of Microsoft, to Google over links to Microsoft's own website -- including to its store.
Note that the "original work" URLs and the "allegedly infringing URLs" are identical. It really makes you wonder how much Microsoft pays to LeakID for this kind of "service." LeakID certainly has quite a history of bogus takedowns, suggesting that whatever system it's using to issue these takedowns is a complete joke. But, of course, since there's no real penalty for bogus takedowns, LeakID can just keep sending completely ridiculous notices like this one. While Google caught this one before taking stuff down, that doesn't always happen. For a functioning DMCA that doesn't lead to censorship, it seems only reasonable to have real penalties for false takedowns and (at the very least) a notice-and-notice system that gives someone a chance to respond before the content is initially taken down.


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  1.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 3:58am

    But but...piracy! Mike, this is just a rare anomaly, who cares if Google silences speech due to not catching a mistaken DMCA. After all, making sure Microsoft keeps their copyrights is more important than making sure Microsoft can make speech. If Google takes down the links, then it's their fault, no way sir-ree it can be the fault of the automated DMCA bots or of Microsoft who pay them.
    PIRACY!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  2.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Clearly Google should stop including Microsoft links in search results for a day or two until Microsoft complains.

     

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  3.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 7:21am

    It is said that Google does some background check to try to avoid bogus or erroneous claims from going through but I wonder if they do so in these cases. I mean it's stupidly obvious it is a mistake but maybe if they let the errors go unchecked the copyright-morons will start hurting themselves enough to realize even they can't do it right KNOWING what is infringing and what isn't...

    I'm fairly sure Microsoft removed itself from Bing too, eh?

     

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  4.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Google should just comply

    I think Google should just go ahead and remove them. :)

     

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  5.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    I was thinking along the lines of BentFranklin and Ninja. If I was Google I'd go ahead and comply with the take down notice. Then when MS complains about it (biased algorithm, rabble, rabble) they can just point to the takedown notice and cover their butt. What's the downside to doing that? That would point out the ridiculousness of these notices as well as censor a competitor, at the competitor's request.

     

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  6.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    In before ootb whines about anomalies without grasping the actual points being made!

    But yeah, I wonder how much time and money is actually being wasted to issue and process these notices rather than actually fix the reasons people pirate in the first place.

     

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  7.  
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    Alt0, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    It just may be a cry for help like, "Stop us before we hurt ourselves".

     

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  8.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    Oh and I thought I'd check the knowledge base article listed in the URLs (no way I'm going to try and guess the long URL at the top), and it's a support article about Office 2010 SP1. Presumably then, the URLs are relating to a free patch, and not any paid product.

    So, while the product in question will be copyrighted, it's sure as hell not losing anyone any revenue. At best, you could argue that fake copies of SP1 should be taken down for security reasons but if so it's especially hilarious that they're inadvertently trying to take down the official source for the patch, and thus force people into areas that will put them at more risk.

    Yes, this is clerical error/poorly formed bots/whatever, but that doesn't excuse it when people are calling for draconian punishments against people accused by such a system.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    Woah there captain freetard. You can't fix pirates, you have to lock them up or put them in financial slavery for the rest of there life.

    Fixing reasons indeed, it's like you people think that people pirate because the services they need aren't available or are massively over priced or something...

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:31am

    there definitely needs to be a fine for issuing bogus take downs that is equal to the penalty for genuine ones. from what i read, Google had double the number of take downs issued to it from the US entertainment industries. shame it doesn't say how many of those were bogus! mind you, before there were anything done to make it cost the one issuing the bogus take down, a lot of politicians, including Obama, will need to be converted, as they are funded by these industries. while you have the odds stacked against you, the change wont take place until it becomes an offense as well to accept any sort of 'lobbying' remuneration

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Anomalies

    Doctor, to the family of the patient after a botched surgery:

    "Oh, sorry we botched the operation and killed the patient. Turns out that I can't do heart surgery very well while under the influence of Tequila.

    Anyway, don't feel sad: this only happens 5% of the times! Rest assured that we will not make any changes to our procedures. This incredibly low amount of perfectly preventable incidents does not warrant such changes, in our honest opinion.".

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    I think they should take them down also. But they should expand it to include all the record labels, TV studios, and movie studios. The content owners would then have to insist on accuracy from the companies they hire.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:40am

    Is that Microsoft falling copyright strike 5 time.
    And so they should be cut of from the internet and have there bandwidth managed once they are reconnect and then ever user in the Microsoft offices will have to do a online copyright education program.

     

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  14. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

    Since there's nothing here but Masnicking, I'll just say that when I saw this bit of trivia a couple days ago, KNEW it'd show up here, eventually.


    Masnicking: daily spurts of short and trivial traffic-generating items.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: Google should just comply

    Sure, why not?

    On a normal bogus complaint they should push back. But when when a bogus complaint means a company is taking its own stuff down, why not? The DMCA clearly states that Google has no liability for complying.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    Google should have complied.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:50am

    OOTB #14

    And many thanks for boosting that traffic with your visit and post. Keeps Mike in business and lines his pocket with advertising dollars. So kind of you to have Mike's well-being at heart.

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    I think they have a week or two to put it back up. No need to rush.

     

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  19.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    What anomaly?

    Considering that HBO did it to themselves, and NBC did it to themselves...

    Yeah, one's an anomaly, two is a trend, three is a problem.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

    You knew this was coming up and didn't prepare a thousand word Google rant? I'm disappointed.

    With regards to what you said, I find it interesting and helpful to have an easily searchable list of these "anomalies" so that I can show to others that they're not anomalies by their sheer number.

     

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  21.  
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    S. T. Stone, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

    When a bogus takedown over official websites happens once, you can call it an anomaly.

    When the same kind of bogus takedown happens twice, you can call it a coincidence.

    When those bogus takedowns happen multiple times, however, you can call it incompetence.

    This situation makes it look as if LeakID has a problem with identifying actual infringing links. Any company that would want to hire LeakID to handle DMCA notifications should take a long look at this situation and consider whether LeakID's incompetence makes for a worthwhile investment.

    The government should also look at this situation and consider whether the cost that companies incur from dealing with these bogus takedowns (in both money and time) makes for a worthwhile reason to create an actual punishment for filing false DMCA notifications.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 8:56am

    Notice-and-notice system

    "Hello, Microsoft? I'm calling you about a DMCA notice sent by Microsoft alleging that you, Microsoft, are infringing Microsoft's copyright."

     

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  23.  
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    JP, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re: Notice-and-notice system

    Oh no, Microsoft lawyers on infinite loop. That's going to be one big legal bill.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Looks more like Microsoft confessing to piracy to me!

    This looks more like Microsoft confessing to Google that they're a bunch of evil pirates to me! Google should respond by removing all Microsoft links in their search engine, after all, Google doesn't want to support pirates like Microsoft, do they?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:19am

    Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

    You knew it'd show up here eventually? Another example of a system that isn't perfect that copyright goons insist are infallible with every fiber of their being till they are blue in the face would SHOW UP ON TECHDIRT.COM?!

    Wow! You must be this century's nostradumbass, please, feel free to break your arms patting yourself on the back for cracking the complex and alien code required to figure out what TechDirt will report on!

    I hope your parents proudly beat you to death for this accomplishment and then notifying complete strangers on the internet with your pointless babbling.

     

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  26.  
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    avideogameplayer, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    If Microsoft can't even get DMCA right, makes kinda wonder what kind of info the NSA is getting...

     

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  27.  
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    Martin, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    What are they hidiing..

    They should just take all of their links out of the search index and be done with it. Problem fixed.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

    Whether this is an anomoly or not really isn't the point.

    The point is that both the movie and music distribution industry keep complaining that Google isn't doing enough to stop links to pirated media from showing up in their search engine, and yet they can't seem to identify their own content themselves without including links to themselves/each other/content the don't own.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Google should have honored the DMCA with a warning to Microsoft that the domain "microsoft.com" appears to be infringing on a "commercial scale" (since there were so many infringements at one time) ... and then required Microsoft to "prove" they are the copyright holders before reinstating the URLs

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Linux FTW

     

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  31.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    If the system lacks a penalty, ADD ONE

    For cases like this, Google should follow the DMCA claim to the letter and take the infringing link down, and only put it up when the companies involved personally send a notice that the link was in fact legitimate.

    Also don't let them 'opt out' of being targeting like this, make them send the notice for each and every link, maybe if the companies have to actually go through the hassle of unblocking their own products and sites each and every time something like this happens they'd make sure the accuracy of the DMCA service they use was just a titch better.

     

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  32.  
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    aikiwolfie, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    If I were Google I'd have complied with this request and then informed Microsoft. I'd then charge Microsoft a fee to re-list their site.

     

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  33.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

    Mr Vegeta, what's the anomaly count?
    The tracker cannot bear the sheer amount! It broke down just over 9000!

    Welcome to ootb world, where everyday events are considered anomalies.

     

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  34.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    The DMCA has no provision for fines or penalties. However, there is precedent for the argument that companies are entitled to administrative fees for processing legal claims.

    Let's say Google charges a $10 fee for processing just the patently bogus copyright claims. According to Google (as quoted in this TD article), about 37% of all claims are bogus. And according to Google's own stats, they received 13,956,302 removal requests just last month. That gives us 5,163,832 bad claims, times $10 is...$51,638,317.00. Per month. Times twelve is $619,659,808 per year.

    $619.7 million dollars is chump change for Google, but still...

     

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  35. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    " Mike, this is just a rare anomaly"

    That's *exactly* what it is, you silly buffoon.

    Does it come even remotely close to equaling the amount of legitimate takedowns? No, it doesn't.

    That, by definition, is an anomaly.

    And you, by definition, are a complete fucking idiot.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    "37% of all claims are bogus"

    LOL uh, no.

    Not even close.

     

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  37.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re:

    That could be an interesting initiative. Charge for bogus copyright claims (and stop processing the claims from those who don't pay). I wonder if it would be legal?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re:

    How many anomalies does it take before you've impeded someones 1st amendment right?

    0.01% of a 1 000 000 is still 100. There are plenty more takedowns than that...

    There's a reason the justice system is supposed to follow due process. The rights are supposed to be GUARENTEED.

    I'd rather catch 50% of all murderers than 101%. The next time you push for that 101% just remember that 1% could be you...

     

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  39.  
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    Joe DIrt, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re:

    Seems to me that the exceptions are what we usually base our laws on.
    For example... What percentage of the population would you say is transgender? 0.3% according to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
    That would, to me, also fit the definition of an anomaly.
    So based on your statements above, we shouldn't need to address their issues right? We don't need to assign any penalties to those that wrongly infringe on their rights. They are an anomaly.
    Pick any fringe issue you like and I am sure it's percentage is lower than the percentage of erroneous takedowns that have been issued.

    In this country (U.S.) we err on the side of the people's rights.

    Blackstone's formulation comes to mind, or Benjamin Franklin, or Maimonides, or John Adams. They all are actually based on something written in every Christian bible...

    Genesis 18:23-32

    23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[a] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

    26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

    27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

    “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

    29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

    He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

    30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

    He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

    31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

    He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

    32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

    He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”


    And is name-calling really necessary?

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, great counter-argument!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, almost as good as posting a 4 year old Google press release, issued before companies got sick of Google's grifting and started issuing them millions of legitimate takedown notices.

    You're also a complete fucking idiot.

     

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  42.  
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    AC Unknown (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re:

    Can't tell if sarcastic or real.

     

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  43.  
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    AC Unknown (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And reported for ad-hom attacks. Congratulations.

     

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  44.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "And is name-calling really necessary?"

    and the answer is:

    When that is all you have, Yes.

     

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  45.  
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    Ed C., Jul 30th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Google should just comply

    Agreed! Since there is effectively no legal penalty for bogus takedowns, making them suffer from their own indifference or ineptitude is just about the only recourse.

     

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  46.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Google's grifting"

    You know, I'm actually glad we have terms like this floating around. I helps identify the complete morons who haven't considered any of the arguments.

    I note you haven't refuted any of the arguments presents, you jumped straight to swearing and throwing a tantrum. Nice.

    "millions of legitimate takedown notices"

    Do you have actual figures for this, especially figures for legitimate vs. illegitimate notices (and no, the figures on "correctly filed" DMCA notices don't count, since the above MS vs. MS would count as "legitimate" under those criteria)? If you do, I'd love to see them since they'd lay to rest some arguments.

    I suspect however, that you're one of those people who assumes that all most notices are correct, and don't give a shit how many rights are trampled over in the process so long as your **AAs think they're making a difference (which they're not so long as they try to rip off everyone from artists to streaming services and their legal customers).

    So come on, are one of you people going to provide valid evidence for once, or is it half-assed assumption time again?

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you sure this isn't covered by Abraham's copyright? Afterall, it's only been something like 4,000 years....

     

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  48.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    From the view of the lawyers and companies getting paid to issue as many notices as they can, this is not a waste.

    If you adjust your perspective to being sociopathic, you can find the good in all sorts of fucked up situations.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Re:

    I hope Google doesn't remove MS links. I find it easier to look for MS software & patches by searching with Google then it is going to MS's site and searching... :-(

     

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  50.  
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    jackn, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Looks more like Microsoft confessing to piracy to me!

    Three strikes in one.

     

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  51.  
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    PRMan, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's God's copyright...and thankfully, he's a pretty forgiving guy...

     

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    PRMan, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Google should just comply

    I can think of no better proof that Google follows it's motto of "Do no evil." Personally, I would be tempted to give Microsoft what they asked for, instead of what they want. But Google isn't doing that. Good for them.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Jul 30th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Notice-and-notice system

    BSOD...over the phone. Huh...wonder what that would sound like.

     

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  54.  
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    Ed C., Jul 30th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Google should just comply

    That might sound like a principled stance, but the only way to prevent these ridiculous abuses is for the abusers to suffer for it.

    Or to put it another way, it's like a spoiled child who demands ice cream all the time. If you keep giving him ice cream, but then give him an anti-acid because you want to "do no evil" and prevent him from getting a belly ache, he'll never learn. The only way he'll learn why he can't have ice cream for every meal is if he suffers the consequences.

     

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  55.  
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    Rekrul, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

    If Microsoft is sending takedown notices for their own site, obviously they want it removed from the listings. After all, if you can't trust Microsoft to know whether or not they want their own site removed, who can you trust?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Did you really fall for Rikuo's trolling of the trolls and think it was a serious post????

     

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  57.  
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    ODD, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 9:58pm

    Its clear that Microsoft is a pirate. After all when was the last time they paid to install a copy of Windows?

     

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  58.  
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    edinjapan (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 7:51am

    I'm Bored

    LinkID Employee #1; I'm bored. There's nothing interesting to do.

    LinkID Employee #2; Here's a work order from Microsoft to take down infringing content. Check this out! It's for the DMCA takedown of Microsoft's site.

    LinkID Employee #1; Let's do it!

     

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  59.  
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    Hopponit, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 11:15pm

    takedowns, microsoft

    I'm beginning to think that Google needs to go ahead and start taking the sites down as soon as asked. Why! To give a good dose of feedback to companies that they are doing it WRONG. If they can do it in a manner where it hits the legacy industries the hardest it might be worth the suffering that would ensue. Can you imagine how loud the cry of "Wait! I didn't mean do it to me too!"would be? I don't think some of them would learn, but most might.

     

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  60.  
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    Trent Granstaff, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    Your right, most of them would learn and probably pretty fast. There would be a few that would not but for the most part it would be a good idea and they would learn.

     

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


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