RIAA Apologizes For Incorrect Threatening Letter

from the oops dept

As the RIAA goes around sending out “tens of thousands” of “DMCA takedown” notices – alerting network owners that they believe someone is illegally sharing copyrighted works, and that the network needs to be shut down immediately, it seems they don’t have much of a review process in place. At least, that’s what Penn State learned this week when they were sent a takedown notice for a server that had no infringing materials on it. Instead, it had the research of a professor named Peter Usher, who showed up during an RIAA search on the term “Usher” (a popular musician). The RIAA now admits it was a mistake, which they blame on a “temporary employee” (perhaps made temporary due to this mistake). Even though the RIAA apologized and said they do their best to prevent these sorts of mishaps, this does demonstrate the biggest problem with “takedown” notices. If this weren’t a university machine where the administrator knew everyone on the machine, it probably would have been taken down immediately. The law requires network operators to take down the server first, and protest later. Due process doesn’t apply when the music industry is involved.

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