Fox Sends DMCA Takedown To Google To Remove Link To DMCA Takedown Sent By Fox

from the got-that? dept

Ah, meta DMCA takedowns. We just recently noted the growing trend of some DMCA notice filers to claim that the notices themselves are covered by copyright and thus should not be sent on to ChillingEffects.org, the clearinghouse for DMCA takedowns. It’s highly questionable whether or not such DMCA notices are actually covered by copyright, but we hadn’t seen anyone actually challenge the claims. However, TorrentFreak has an article on a slightly different, but related situation, where it appears that Fox sent a DMCA takedown to Google, ordering it to block links to a DMCA takedown Fox had sent Google earlier.

That may be confusing, so we’ll go through this slowly. Basically, Fox sent Google an initial DMCA takedown, to get it to stop linking to links to unauthorized copies of the movie Avatar. Fair enough. Google, as it does, forwarded this takedown to ChillingEffects and removed the links in its index. However, then Fox apparently sent another DMCA takedown, demanding that Google take down the link to its original takedown in ChillingEffects. The second takedown has a huge list of links that it wants Google to stop linking to, so the ChillingEffects one is buried in there.

However, I have to wonder if that’s a legit DMCA takedown. The only way it’s legit is if Fox really does have some copyright claim over the original DMCA takedown notice, and that’s iffy, at best. Of course, Google is pretty quick to takedown these links in order to retain its safe harbors. However, I do wonder if the folks at ChillingEffects, who certainly understand the law, will decide to pushback on this one.

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Companies: fox, google

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Comments on “Fox Sends DMCA Takedown To Google To Remove Link To DMCA Takedown Sent By Fox”

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56 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

In most cases, the proposition that a DMCA takedown letter is protected by copyright is not “iffy at best.” You really don’t need much original expression at all to get copyright protection. If the letter has a logo on it, that’s probably copyright protected.

A closer question is whether anything done by chillingeffects.com is actually infringing.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

given the people who send these types of notices in the first place would often be willing to claim that breathing at the same pitch as some singer who once did an cover song for an advertisement for them was infringing and regularly claim fair use doesn’t exist…

i think the first question’s more useful, in a ‘vaguely associated with reality’ sort of way…

legally speaking is an entirely different story mind you.

chris (profile) says:

in before yo dawg!

i heard you like DMCA take down notices so we sent you a DMCA take down notice on your DMCA take down notice so you can remove our content while you remove our content.

also in before philosoraptor:
if you send a DMCA take down on a DMCA take down, does that mean a DMCA take down notice is protected content?

or, if if you send a DMCA take down on a DMCA take down, does that take down the original DMCA take down?

Anonymous Coward says:

Things such as this just piss me off. I find it hard to believe that we’ve really allowed career politicians to draft legislation after legislation after legislation that brings about situations like this. When you begin to see redundancy of this nature it’s a sure sign the system if flawed. What makes it worse is that impotency I feel not being able to change a damn bit of it.

No wonder revolutions always turn violent when the “rebels” don’t have the means to play the game “by the book.”

Mojo says:

I think we should all join in an experiment – let’s all file DMCA takedown notices for random works that we have no ownership over just to show how easy it is for people to abuse this power.

The winner is whomever gets the “biggest” work taken down (aka claiming to own Star Wars), better yet let’s claim ownership of works that are in the public domain.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I assume this is said in jest, but FYI, in order for a DMCA takedown notice to satisfy statutory requirements, you have to sign under penalty of perjury that you believe you own the work or are acting on behalf of the owner and the other work is infringing.

I think perjury can get you up to five years in prison.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There’s a difference between a good faith belief based on a mistake (which may or may not apply in those scenarios) and intentionally lying.

Maybe those folks did have a good faith belief but were mistaken, or maybe they didn’t. At any rate, it would be harder to prove a criminal charge against them than it would be against someone claiming to own Star Wars.

Jackie (profile) says:

DMCA Takedown

An item isn’t copyright if it’s only the information contained in a document. A letter sent to someone to inform them of a fact has no implicit copyright. It has no creative element to be protected.

An item isn’t copyright if it is a legal document because a legal document is 1. published by being sent or served and 2. it is not being re-published but it’s existence is being established by a link. In this case it is simply being exhibited. As such, links to it would come under fair use law.

Fox is just creating another version of a SLAMM lawsuit. They know their reputation is to be the A********** of creation and it is in their very nature to continue being so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: DMCA Takedown

I have a hard time understanding what you’re trying to say, but all the DMCA letters I’ve actually seen contain enough “originality” to be protected by copyright. The bar is extremely low.

As far as “legal documents” again I have trouble understanding what you’re saying, but something does not lose copyright protection simply by virtue of being a “legal document.”

I do, however, think chilling effects has a strong fair use argument.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: DMCA Takedown

“…but all the DMCA letters I’ve actually seen contain enough “originality” to be protected by copyright. … “

The assertion that DMCA letter is “protected” by copyright should be immediately dismissed under both “fair use” and the First Amendment. Give me a break, the local bully picks on you and you are prevented from protecting yourself!! That is an absurd proposition.

Not only that, but lets consider the DMCA notice as a “gift”. As a gift, the issuer of the DMCA notice gives up all rights to the content. After all, the DMCA notice is not something that you requested. If not requested why should you be bound by its demands?

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Re: DMCA Takedown

Creative element achieved:

I RITE AS ATTORNEY 4 XYZ CORPORASHUN.

AS U R, NO DOUBT, AWARE, XYZ OWNS ALL OV TEH RITES 2 (STUFFS WE THEENK U STEALIN FROM US) AN ALL RITES RELATIN THERETO (COLLECTIVELY “OUR PROPERTIEZ”). THEES RITES R PROTECTD BY NUMEROUS COPYRITES TRADEMARKZ IN BOTH TEH PROGRAMS THEMSELVEZ AN TEH CHARACTERS, SETS, AN OTHR ELEMENTS APPEARIN IN DOSE PROGRAMS.

WE HAS RESENTLY LERND DAT U HAS POSTD VARIOUS ELEMENTS OV OUR PROPERTIEZ ON UR SIET AT http://WWW.BUNCHAMEANSTEALERS.COM. UR POSTIN OV THEES ITEMS IZ AN INFRINGEMENT OV XYZ’S RITES IN OUR PROPERTIEZ.

BASD UPON TEH FOREGOIN, WE HEREBY DEMAND DAT UR CONFIRM 2 US IN WRITIN WITHIN 10 DAIS OV RECEIPT OV DIS LETTR DAT: (I) U HAS REMOVD ALL INFRINGIN MATERIALS FRUM UR SIET; AN (II) U WILL REFRAIN FRUM POSTIN ANY SIMILAR INFRINGIN MATERIAL ON TEH INTERNET OR ANY OTHR ON-LINE SERVICE IN DA FUCHUR.

TEH FOREGOIN IZ WITHOUT WAIVR OV ANY AN ALL RITES OV XYZ CORPORASHUN, ALL OV WHICH R EXPRESLY RESERVD HEREIN.

VRY TRULY YOURS,
ATTORNEY

P.S. DONT TELL NOONE BOUT DIS LETTER OR ELSE

jayflatiron (profile) says:

Notice

You are herby notified that “DMCA” and more specifically “DMCA takedown” are copyrighted terms that you are using in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. You are ordered to remove all references to the above named Thing About the Thing that Covers Stuff, or TATCS, which is also a copyrighted term. As counsel to the injured I will be sending you settlement letters before contacting a judge, which is my copyrighted method.

Sincerely,
Evan Stone

LRN says:

IF the DMCA letter is hosted on Chilling Effects, why is it Google who get the new DMCA takedown notice? That would mean that it’s not the DMCA letter itself, but the *links* on Google’s pages that are infringing. Those links are Google’s own, not something they host for someone else, so I wonder if safe harbour matters at all. It would be Google themselves who would need to file counter-claims against the second DMCA notice, not a third-party (and not Chilling Effects), so it seems that a DMCA takedown isn’t the correct approach here.

Then again, IANAL.

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