Microsoft Uses DMCA To Block Many Links To Competing Open Office

from the total-dmca-failure dept

Another day, another example of excessive DMCA takedown actions. The latest is that Microsoft has been issuing DMCA takedowns to Google directing the search engine to remove links to Open Office. Open Office, of course, is the open source competitor to Microsoft, and Microsoft has no copyright-related rights over it. As TorrentFreak points out, this does not appear to be a one-off occurrence. In June, Microsoft filed more than a dozen takedown notices that took down links to Open Office. Again, it is likely that what happened was yet another case of a really broken automated system, but that's no excuse at all. We're talking about flat out censorship, by abusing a legal process, to attack a direct competitor of Microsoft. But, because there's no real punishment for filing completely bogus DMCA notices, Microsoft can get away with this and continue to file identical notices with no real recourse.


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    Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    Another anomaly! Pesky anomalies! The anomaly sensor blew up when it got past 9000 =(

    Ahem. Sorry, I could not resist.

    From the snippet TF presents all of those were on known file sharing sites where there is a good quantity of infringing content (along with these obvious examples of non-infringing stuff). It could be that they went the lazy route and set up a system to search for "Office" on those trackers ignoring the fact that there are plenty of legit content that could go with the same name.

    If you scroll through the list of links you'll find a lot of interesting anomalies there. Open Office is just the most eye catchy ;)

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      It's outrageous that the punishment for infringement is still greater than the punishment for false takedown notices.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re:

        Worse: the punishment for being accused of infringement is greater than the punishment for false takedown notices

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      to #1
      apply all of you comment above but apply it to Microsoft Office instead of Open office and then picture the reaction when it was MS Office that was kicked off.
      it's always the same story. any excuse can and is used when it's something that shouldn't be removed, but is. if there were punishments for bogus and incorrect take downs, leveling the playing field, those who issue them would be more careful. the only reason it isn't like that is because the various 'legitimate industries' throw so much money into the pockets of corrupt politicians, the scales are and always will be heavily weighted in one direction. we all know what direction that it, dont we!

       

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      technomage (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:44am

      Re:

      Would that anomaly system be named HAL?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      Being somewhat of a programmer myself, I can say that it is absolutely trivial to refine search terms if you know what you are doing, for instance with regular expressions.

      Either Microsoft and friends are deliberately targeting free software or they simply are putting absolutely zero effort into their automated DMCA program and simply don't care how much it sucks. (kind of like Windows 8)

      If the former is true, which it likely is to some degree (the fact that it has not been fixed implies the tacit approval of the management), Microsoft's actions are highly illegal, and not just under the DMCA. But that's nothing new for them.

      The latter is also almost certainly true as well, Microsoft has a long sordid history of releasing broken, poor quality, and usually bug-ridden software, anyone remember Windows ME? This tool is no different, coded by people who don't care for a company that doesn't care either. Seriously if you were an overworked, underpaid, programmer locked in a cubicle, tasked with writing a DMCA tool for the most hated company in the world, would you do a good job?

       

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    identicon
    qw, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    The TF list helps to illustrate two things.

    Firstly that there's plenty of legit material on these filesharing sites, so we need to carefully apply the appropriate due process.

    Secondly, that there isn't any to carefully apply.

     

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    orange_ornithopter_tricky_bear, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Another wasted article not talking about how Google is Satan!

    Does your homosexual lover know are you Google's watchdog?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    I think part of the reason there is no real punishment is because Google has taken it upon themselves to police the DMCA takedowns it receives and reject mostly all illegitimate takedowns rather than obeying them indiscriminately and letting the affected people get mad and go after their oppressors.
    The lack of noise makes it seem like there is no problem here, only anomalies.

     

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      DannyB (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:54am

      You are wrong

      The reason there is no punishment has nothing to do with Google and everything to do with Hollywood.

      Google doing something useful by rejecting bogus requests is not the reason the DMCA lacks punishment for bogus takedowns.

      The reason is because Hollywood and friends want there to be no punishment so they can use DMCA as a censorship or competitive weapon whenever it suits them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:10pm

        Re: You are wrong

        Hollywood would blow a gasket if random people used their weapon against them and just started filing DMCA takedown notices everywhere for all of the big 200 Million Dollar plus movies as they are released. Then we would see first hand some way to twist the law and punish DMCA abuse.

         

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    DannyB (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    A suitable punishment

    A statutory fee, like $150,000, raised to the power of the number of bogus takedown notices filed?

     

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      Togashi (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 11:58am

      Re: A suitable punishment

      Hell, $5 raised to the power of the number of bogus takedowns filed. With the way they do it, that could easily get into the billions.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re: A suitable punishment

        It would go way beyond billions, after 80 or so bogus notices, that would be more dollars than there are atoms in the observable universe

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

      Re: A suitable punishment

      In New Zealand the $25 fee charged to make a claim under the 'three-strikes law' has resulted in absolutely zero claims from Hollywood, and the only music company claiming is Universal.

      NZFACT -(which is 'hollywoods' face in NZ) are going to keep going back to get the fee waived.

      End result = It's illegal to download stuff, doi it three times and I loose my internet, but as long as I don't download anything on Universal ( though it seems all claims have been for Rhianna songs) I'm alright.

      So yea, in this case a fee works very very well, and the best thing is that because this is a numbers game the fee doesn't have to be set high.
      $150 000 sounds really punitive, but NZ's proved that $25 is all it takes.

       

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

    "Again, it is likely that what happened was yet another case of a really broken automated system," -- "really broken" is redundant with "Microsoft".

    Mike is unconcerned with all of Microsoft's prior crimes: leveraging the market, anti-trust, buying out competitors, outright stealing of products -- its actual monopoly is a crime in and of itself: led to crappy products with new version differing only in deliberate incompatiblities.

    BUT OH, chance to attack copyright brings him out!

    Techdirt's official motto: This isn't surprising.

     

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      DannyB (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:57am

      Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

      > Mike is unconcerned with all of Microsoft's prior crimes.

      Nowhere is any such thing said nor implied.

      Known evil actors should not be trolling here.

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

        @ "DannyB "
        > Mike is unconcerned with all of Microsoft's prior crimes.

        Nowhere is any such thing said nor implied.


        You are trivially wrong and/or lying. Here's first page example with Google search for "microsoft monopoly" which shows definitely that Mike's unconcern with the Microsoft monopoly is at the very least implied:

        We recently mentioned the latest round of Microsoft's antitrust fight, dating back to some of its actions around Windows 95. To be clear, I think the action against Microsoft is pretty silly. It's pretty clear that the market is quite capable of dealing with any perceived Microsoft "monopoly" and routing around it.


        http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111021/00401016444/funny-how-microsofts-views-responsibili ty-to-competitors-differ-based-whos-antitrust-hot-seat.shtml

         

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          PaulT (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:22am

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          You do realise that what you quoted not only doesn't prove what you claimed (it certainly doesn't say he's "unconcerned with all of Microsoft's prior crimes" - not the ALL - as you claim), it also raises further issues, right? As in, the DMCA in these cases is removing the fair market that would be required for such routing to occur?

          In other words, your claims don't change anything in the article. At least you've got another misconception to whine about other than the expect "(yet another) anomaly!) or "Google!" or "this isn't important, look over there!" or any of your other usual idiocy.

           

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            identicon
            out_of_the_blue, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

            @ "PaulT" "You do realise that what you quoted not only doesn't prove what you claimed (it certainly doesn't say he's "unconcerned with all of Microsoft's prior crimes" - not the ALL - as you claim),"


            What I KNEW was that an explicit quote from Mike hisself wasn't going to sway fanboys who'll just move the goalposts. Nonetheless, I soldier on.

            So what part of this don't you see as at the least "implies" unconcern? "We recently mentioned the latest round of Microsoft's antitrust fight, dating back to some of its actions around Windows 95. To be clear, I think the action against Microsoft is pretty silly. It's pretty clear that the market is quite capable of dealing with any perceived Microsoft "monopoly" and routing around it.

            Mike's ironic-quoted "monopoly" manifests unconcern to any impartial judge.

             

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              Wally (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              Nobody please report out_of_the_blue. You'll find looking past his rants about Mike Mansick and TechDirt and fanboys therein quite on subject.

               

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:26am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

                "Man throws a lighted match in a forest, starts a forest fire, gets blamed for starting the fire, blames fire."

                No, I think I'll choose not to reward "boy-who-cried-wolf" behaviour and report the brainless little brat.

                 

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                PaulT (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 2:21am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

                He's being reported for the rants and the constant personal attacks on other commenters as well as his frequent, blatant lies (a.k.a. trolling, something a person can be legitimately reported for). If he doesn't like being reported, he should stop doing that and he'll stop getting reported.

                If he's capable of typing a paragraph without launching into his usual idiocy, his points will come across and he won't be reported. Simple.

                 

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              PaulT (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 2:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              "What I KNEW was that an explicit quote from Mike hisself wasn't going to sway fanboys who'll just move the goalposts"

              No, I'm addressing your words. What you quoted doesn't match what you claimed. I'm sorry you're too dumb to understand that.

              "So what part of this don't you see as at the least "implies" unconcern?"

              This part:

              "We recently mentioned the latest round of Microsoft's antitrust fight, dating back to some of its actions around Windows 95. To be clear, I think the action against Microsoft is pretty silly."

              Two sentence, quite clear. The first sentence refers to the antitrust fight and the latest action being taken. The second comments on THIS action, not EVERY action.

              Get it? He's not saying "I think ALL action against Microsoft is silly" - which is what you're claiming. He's referring to THIS action. Which is not what you're claiming.

              "Mike's ironic-quoted "monopoly" manifests unconcern to any impartial judge."

              At the time the article was a written, Microsoft was no longer a monopoly in that market.

              I'm sorry the English language is so hard for you to parse and understand, but what you've quoted doesn't imply what you think it does.

               

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          DannyB (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:30am

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          You said Mike is unconcerned with Microsoft's crimes.

          I said no such unconcern is stated or implied.

          You then quote something that demonstrates the very concern you claim does not exist.

          Nonetheless, it is irrelevant and distracts from the DMCA issue -- which is exactly what your paymasters want.

           

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            out_of_the_blue, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

            @ "DannyB":
            You said Mike is unconcerned with Microsoft's crimes.

            I said no such unconcern is stated or implied.


            You are only engaging in lying semantics after I provided an exact and explicit example of Mike's unconcern with what HE ironic-quotes as "monopoly".

            Perfect example of Techdirt. I'm done with you lying kids and your semantic games on this topic.

            Mike's fanboy-trolls imitate him by taking no position except the pejorative.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              You realise that he is only unconcerned because in his view open source software is superior and he can see from the evidence that people are slowly moving away from microsoft products (in other words their monopoly is shrinking).

              You obviously fail at reading comprehension but its actually nice to see you try and argue your point, better than the usual stunned silence.

               

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              Pragmatic, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              Then kindly fuck off, crazy cat/copyright lady. Nobody will cry when you're gone, not even Mike.

               

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              The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              You're lying semantics!

              Lying SEMANTICS!

              Means using words! Words hard!

               

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          ottermaton (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:36am

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          Sorry, it's YOU who are "trivially wrong and/or lying".

          its actual monopoly is a crime in and of itself

          False. Monopolies are not crimes in and of themselves. See: http://www.girardgibbs.com/antitrust-monopoly/

          You can't even get simple FACTS right. It's even worse when you try to draw implications/extrapolations from things other people say.

           

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            out_of_the_blue, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

            @ "ottermaton"
            > its actual monopoly is a crime in and of itself

            False. Monopolies are not crimes in and of themselves.


            TRUE. Certainly so for Microsoft. Older body of law and public opinion -- before corporations were "persons" which is manifestly wrong -- regards BIG AS BAD, and that's the RIGHT way to view it.

            I'm sure you believe that corporations are "persons", but they're just legal fictions which should always be closely regulated, not allowed to run wild as at present; it's a major source of societal ills.

            Just because corporations have bought politicians and lawyers to make statutes and rulings in their favor doesn't change the fact that monopoly is a crime in and of itself.

             

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              S. T. Stone, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              monopoly is a crime in and of itself

              So what does that make the pesky government-sanctioned monopoly we call ‘copyright’?

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              And yet you constantly argue that we should increase the scope and power of the very government you here decry as being bought by corporations. How do you deal with what must be deafening cognitive dissonance?

               

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              John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              TRUE. Certainly so for Microsoft. Older body of law and public opinion -- before corporations were "persons" which is manifestly wrong -- regards BIG AS BAD, and that's the RIGHT way to view it.


              You're wrong on the facts here. It is not illegal to have a monopoly in the US. Microsoft was never convicted or legally charged with having a monopoly. They were accused of something that actually is illegal: abusing a monopoly position.

              Now, if you want to argue that a monopoly is a Bad Thing, I'll agree with you 100%! But good/bad and legal/illegal are two distinct things. Lots of Bad Things are totally legal, and lots of Good Things are not.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 11:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

              Clearly you didn't (or can't) read the link I provided.

              Monopolies are NOT crimes in and of themselves.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          I love that you used a quote from an article about how Microsoft is a hypocritical bad actor to 'prove' that Mike doesn't care about Microsoft's prior actions.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 11:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

            He doesn't read the whole articles.

            Also irony is lost on OOTB, give him a break though, hes only a 12 year old girl.

             

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      S. T. Stone, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:07am

      Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

      Mike is unconcerned with all of Microsoft's prior crimes

      What proof do you have to back up this claim?

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:16am

        Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

        @ "S. T. Stone"
        > Mike is unconcerned with all of Microsoft's prior crimes

        What proof do you have to back up this claim?


        Just Mike's own text! (Admittedly, unreliable: still, indicative.) -- READ my above response to "DannyB".

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:09am

      Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

       

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      ottermaton (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:29am

      Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

      its actual monopoly is a crime in and of itself

      Untrue. A monopoly is NOT a "crime in and of itself." Here's a short (meaning you
      might actually be able to absorb and understand it) description of the actual law.

      Do you think anyone, anywhere, ever takes you seriously? Really, nearly everything you say is provably false.

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

        @ Corporatist lackey "ottermaton" -- Even your screen name shows that you're not a human so the opinion you've been programmed with by your corporate masters doesn't count among we HUMANS.

        Monopoly is a crime in and of itself.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:04am

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          Ah yes, the infamous proof ad praenomen.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:34am

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          Perhaps you're using a different definition of "crime" than the rest of us? I think "crime" means "doing something that is prohibited by law". Given that definition, monopoly is absolutely not a crime.

           

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          Gwiz (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          Even your screen name shows that you're not a human so the opinion you've been programmed with by your corporate masters doesn't count among we HUMANS.


          Damn Blue. Maybe you need a go a size larger with your tinfoil hat. I think it might now be cutting off the circulation to your brain.

          I mean really, if we are basing other people's humanity upon their screen names, you'd lose big time. "Out of the Blue" is only a turn of phrase, not even a life-form, right?

           

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          Definitely human, not a robot at all, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

          But see, my screen name shows that I am human, so my opinion does count. A monopoly is not a crime.

          That said, opinion itself does not matter when we're talking about crimes. Having a monopoly is not a crime. Abusing a monopoly position can be, but just having a monopoly is not a crime.

           

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      Ruben, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:07am

      Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

      Not evil, amoral. There's a difference.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:13am

      Re: YOT, BY A KNOWN EVIL ACTOR!

      Nice dodge. For a second there you might have had to consider that putting a tool like the DMCA in the hands of an evil actor like Mircrosoft who is a corporation, who you hate, run by 'teh rich,' who you hate, would lead to bad things and conclude that maybe, just maybe, there should be some limits on it. Thankfully Mike's name was on the article so you have an out that lets you completely ignore everything else.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:09am

    This should be treated like filing a false police report

    Filing a false DMCA should be treated like filing a false police report.

    That means throw some people at Microsoft in jail or fine them, whatever the punishment for filing a false police report over a dozen times is.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Pesky freetards and their legitimately free and open source software.

     

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    TheLastCzarnian (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Censorship?

     

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      TheLastCzarnian (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:20am

      Re: Censorship?

      I think the proper term is, "anti-competitive practices." Censorship doesn't have the economic price tag immediately associated with it.

      PS: Darn those default submit buttons!

       

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    crade (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Oh, they are just doing takedowns.. I thought for a bit they were using the anti-circumvention laws to attack them again, that would be much worse..

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    I think Microsoft is COMPLETELY justified in wanting to censor Open Office.

    If I were Microsoft I wouldn't want it to be seen that an open-source program could do a better job than our shitty and bug-ridden programming.

     

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    Wally (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    This may sound off the topic but...

    Before I begin I have to warn some of you that my comment may at first seen off topic. I assure you there's a point.

    We all know that these automated, non-human review searches have an extremely big flaw....not to be political, and this is for a reference only, we have the IRS scandal to thank for a great example as to why automated key word searches are a terrible way to make any sort of decision whether legal or determining non-profit status.

    That being sId, Microsoft uses a third party company that lazily uses such automation. As much as they gripe and pick at Google (though I think Bill and Melissa Gates sort of have a point about the lack of altruistic goals...I'll explain if asked), I don't think it fully their fault that this crap happens.

    Microsoft's issue is that they are using a lazy company. I myself have come across this. When I got my first apartment, my patents had to sign on as credit holders because I never used a credit card in my life to that point. Now, while they did the background checks on all of us. The company that owned my aspiring living quarters used a third party to do the background check. My poor father, who was in a second bout of cancer at the time, who was forced into early retirement due to said cancer, turned out to be a sex offender according to the check. It turns out that the company that did the background check...used no other unique identifiers other than his first and last name...we had to resend everything and had the local police department do the second background check.

    So what am I getting at? While I do blame Microsoft for their stupidity in their own right for the chicanery (save aforementioned altruistic criticism from Bill Gates), I can't help but notice the third party automation company they chose to do these searches.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

      Re: This may sound off the topic but...

      Which might be a good point, if this was the first time such a screw-up occurred.

      It isn't, not even close.

      If you hire a company to do something in your stead, and they screw it up, then it's their fault. If you continue to use their services after that though, even though you know that they are terrible at what you're hiring them for, then both parties share the blame equally.

       

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        Wally (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re: This may sound off the topic but...

        True. I do think however, that if this particular third party was contracted for x number of years to do this, and they screw up this much...the person that hired them should be at fault and not the rest of the company. Post-Gates Microsoft is full of weird contract gaffes like this.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 9:38am

          Re: Re: Re: This may sound off the topic but...

          Every contract I've ever signed has included a performance clause such that if either party fails to perform adequately, the contact can be nullified. If a company fails to invoke the clause, then they are at fault for it, not the person who negotiated the contract.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

      Re: This may sound off the topic but...

      The problem is they have no incentive to use a competent service for this stuff, because there's effectively no consequence for bogus takedowns. In fact, they have an incentive to use someone incompetent, because if their competition gets censored it's just a plus for them. Worst case scenario they just get to blame the people who sent the takedown.

       

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    Michael Donnelly (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    DMCA notices are not "filed".

    Minor nitpick: DMCA takedown notices are simply sent to providers and then handled by that provider however they see fit. They are not "filed" with any organization or court.

    Not that it matters particularly much to this topic, but it's the kind of subtle error that slowly builds up confusion in readers who are not law fiends.

    DMCA takedowns already contain too much implied weight on their own. There's no need for people to think they are actual pleadings.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:05am

     

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    mr. sim (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    actually due to the court recently saying that patients cannot protect you from antitrust actions. the makers of open office can just sue microsoft for copy theft. even a fill in DCMA form explains your claiming copyright on the materials the link points to. microsoft is actually committing copy
    theft by filing these DCMA's.

    wasn't it Lasercomb America, Inc. v. Reynolds that said copyright misuse can be construed as violations of anti trust law

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    "Open Office, of course, is the open source competitor to Microsoft"

    It's not "the" competitor. In fact, the entire Open Office open source developer community jumped ship to LibreOffice once Oracle bought out Sun.

    IBM and users who haven't been following the news are really the only entities still interested in Open Office at this point.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      IBM and users who haven't been following the news are really the only entities still interested in Open Office at this point.


      That's not entirely true. I am neither IBM nor uninformed, but I still use OpenOffice, simply the reasons to switch to LibreOffice are not yet sufficient to overcome my lethargy.

       

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      Michael, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 11:01am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 15th, 2013 @ 10:28am

      Actually, OO is now under an Apache license and no longer under Oracle control. Do you read the news?

       

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    Shawn H Corey (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Sue Them

    Open Office should sue Microsoft for copyright infringement.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    The article say's " We're talking about flat out censorship, by abusing a legal process, to attack a direct competitor of Microsoft."
    But Open Office is still there if you want it.
    'Techdirt' say's "It's not censorship if we can still read it"
    So which is it? You can't have it both ways.

    And then in the comments we've got folks saying that there's nothing wrong with a monopoly because it's not against any law.
    But 'techdirt' says copyright is wrong because it's a monopoly and noone should have a monopoly on anything (especially if it's something I want for free).
    So again, which is it?

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

      Re:

      So which is it? You can't have it both ways.


      Those two things are not contradicting each other. First, that an act of censorship doesn't get all channels the speech goes through makes it no less censorship.

      The argument people make here about hiding comments isn't that you can still read the comments somewhere else, it's that you can still read the comments right here.

      Also, it's not abusive or even shady to hide comments on a site that you own and operate. The OP is talking about a case of hiding things on sites Microsoft doesn't own and operate. So the comparison is apples and oranges in any case.

      And then in the comments we've got folks saying that there's nothing wrong with a monopoly because it's not against any law.


      Oh? Who said that? What saw (and said myself) was that it's not a crime because it's not against the law. That's a far cry from saying that there's nothing wrong with it.

      But 'techdirt' says copyright is wrong because it's a monopoly and noone should have a monopoly on anything


      No writer on Techdirt has said anything remotely resembling this. You're just making stuff up. There are a handful of commenters that take this point of view, but it's far from clear they represent the majority view -- and no commenter represents "Techdirt" anyway. They represent themselves.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re:

        "The argument people make here about hiding comments isn't that you can still read the comments somewhere else, it's that you can still read the comments right here."

        No difference, Open Office hasn't moved, it's still were it was.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

    And also.. Why do people worry about lost revenue only when a website has been taken down?
    Revenue is a non-starter normally, it's brushed off as made up figures and so much bullshit, and there's other ways to make money and on and on.

     

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    identicon
    GEMont, Aug 17th, 2013 @ 3:09am

    Guerilla DMCA

    I keep wondering why the internet community has not yet figured out a way to turn this to its advantage.

    After all, if there is no consequence to filing a BS DMCA takedown notice, why not start a campaign to remove say, all of Microsoft's ads, or Verison, or AT&T, or Ford, or well.. you get the picture.

    Maybe, if a few million of these things get used to slap the big-boy's stuff off the web, the lawmakers will start to consider putting some consequences on the activity.

    ... or is it a necessity that in order to file a DMCA takedown one must also be a "member" of a large corporate entity??

    Just a thought...

     

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    Overcast (profile), Aug 18th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Oh this reminds me - the tablet I buy needs to support open office.

    Thanks M$, for the reminder while I'm poking around today.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Aug 18th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Either way - simple as this.

    MS Office - $200.00 +
    OR $99.00 a year.

    Open Office - Free.
    Just do the math, lol

    Open office can generate a good looking document or spreadsheet, fits my needs just fine. For the price - heck, it's even quicker to just download it and run it - no annoying MS activation BS either.

    Where's the upside to your product M$?

     

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    identicon
    CFWhitman, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Monopoly Not a Crime in Itself

    I haven't read through every comment yet, so someone else may have clarified this as far as I'm going to, but being a monopoly is not a crime in and of itself. In actuality the crimes outlined by anti-trust law don't even require a technical monopoly (what constitutes a monopoly legally and according to economists don't have to match exactly).

    A case in point. CH Products long had a monopoly on the manufacture of 3.5 inch floppy disks (and very well may still). Nobody cared because 3.5 inch floppy disks had been obsolete for quite some time, and were very cheap. CH Products would sell the floppies to various other companies who would in turn label and resell them to the public. The monopoly on 3.5 inch floppies only existed because nobody else bothered to make them, not because any anti-competitive behavior was going on.

    A second case is Microsoft itself. The company from an economic viewpoint may never have technically been a monopoly. However, from a legal standpoint that means nothing. Microsoft was able to leverage its market position to get computer OEM's to agree to sell their operating system exclusively, and refusing to sell competing systems like OS/2 or BeOS, even in small quantities. It was engaging in anti-competitive behavior like this that was illegal, not being a monopoly in the first place. If Microsoft didn't try to block potential competitors from gaining a significant foothold in the market by creating exclusive contracts with OEM's, then they would not have done anything illegal even if they had the same market share.

    It can be easily argued that since anyone else could have made floppies (just like anyone else could make an operating system), CH Products didn't technically have a monopoly even at virtually one hundred percent market share. However, that doesn't change the fact that it's engaging in anti-competitive behavior that is illegal, not having a monopoly market share.

     

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    identicon
    cancel a timeshare contract, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 8:51pm

    cancel a timeshare contract

    At the beginning of a high level paying job you will find that a college graduate is very quick to make adjustments in their lives. They will often want to live a life that is of the highly paid people. Granted, one should be able to enjoy their lives to the full. And going on holidays are one of the ways you can enjoy your life and appreciate your efforts. It is however important not to get into contracts that will tie you to payments over years that is not necessary. This could be things like timeshare contracts. Evaluating the need for commitment of this nature for a number of years is important before you start wondering how to cancel a timeshare contract you got yourself into in the moment of excitement.

     

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


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