from the beyond-bogus-into-potentially-damaging dept
IP Arrow claims to represent Zuffa Inc., better known as the parent company of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship.) We know algorithms are flawed but whatever software IP Arrow is deploying seems to randomly collect links and dump them in a DMCA notice. (Second theory: an IP Arrow employee's personal searches are somehow making their way onto the submitted forms.)
The UFC is notorious for aggressively pursuing infringement of its PPV events. Apparently, there's plenty of pre-recorded stuff floating around the net and the UFC wants that gone, too. Unfortunately for the UFC, it gave this job to IP Arrow. In return, IP Arrow has filed a DMCA request claiming (remember, this request is a sworn statement) that the UFC is the rights holder for (possible) child porn.
This isn't the only issue with the DMCA request, but it's by far the most damaging one. The rest of the notice contains some links to UFC content, but those links are the minority. This isn't a case of a few inadvertent links being swept up because of similar keywords or file names. This is a nearly-random link dump that requests takedowns of a wide variety of content completely unrelated to the UFC.
http://www.vertor.com/download/Bigcutie+KennedyThat's just a sampling of what's claimed to be UFC's copyrighted content by IP Arrow.
According to Google's transparency report, IP Arrow is new to the anti-piracy game, having first showed up on August 5th. Since then, it has been very busy, firing off 61 takedown requests for 47,000 links in just over two weeks. Its other requests haven't been much better in terms of targeting only infringement of its clients' work. (Other clients are Lynda.com and Lionsgate Films.)
A takedown request on behalf of Zuffa/UFC sent August 5th asks for the removal of (among several other things) episodes of Big Bang Theory, a version of Nero Burning ROM and an album by the Handsome Furs. Here's an unedited chunk of one request, which shows the range of content IP Arrow is attempting to take down.
Its work for Lynda.com shows the same amount of incompetence. Lynda.com offers video courses on "business, software and creative skills" for $25/month. Here's what IP Arrow is taking down supposedly on Lynda's behalf.
Attempting to discover anything about IP Arrow's methodology is a dead end. Its website [which is down at the moment - cache link] is barely more than a placeholder (with a rather long TOS), sporting bold icons against a 1970s wood panel backdrop. It makes a few broad statements about how "different" its service is but contains no actual information as to how it performs this "different" work.
Judging from the quality of the DMCA notices it's issued, IP Arrow either has no idea what it's doing or just doesn't care. What's worse is that its submitted links have been taken down nearly 100% of the time, despite the fact that its DMCA notices are loaded with content its clients don't own. Its work for Lionsgate seems to be slightly more accurate than its takedowns for Lynda and Zuffa, but even those have a number of errors as well. Here it is attempting to take down infringing copies of one of the worst titled sequels ever, "The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia."
I've contacted the companies IP Arrow is currently issuing takedowns for (along with IP Arrow itself -- whose site is now mysteriously down) and will update if I receive any replies. While I appreciate the fact that these companies are seeking to protect their copyrighted material, I think they should be concerned that the agent representing them is now linking their names with very questionable porn. They should also be concerned that these sworn statements are also claiming they "own" copyrighted content belonging to others, but I would imagine things like "incest porn" and "15 year old vaginas" appearing on takedown requests in their names will be more troubling to them than the serialized false statements IP Arrow is issuing.