RIAA Still Can't Figure Out How To Use Google's DMCA Tools, Blames Google

from the but-of-course dept

This will hardly comes as a surprise, but the RIAA and other “anti-piracy groups” are still complaining that Google “isn’t doing enough” to prop up their old and obsolete business models. The latest complaint? That Google’s system only accepts a mere 10,000 DMCA takedowns per day and somehow that’s just not enough. It turns out that this isn’t actually true, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Much of the article focuses on Dutch extremist anti-piracy group BREIN saying that the limit needs to go away. But there is this bizarre statement from the RIAA as well:

“Google has the resources to allow take downs that would more meaningfully address the piracy problem it recognizes, given that it likely indexes hundreds of millions of links per day. Yet this limitation remains despite requests to remove it,” RIAA noted.

In addition to unthrottling the URL limits, RIAA also says it wants to lift the cap on the number of queries they can execute per day to find infringing content.

“Google places artificial limits on the number of queries that can be made by a copyright owner to identify infringements.”

This seems wrong on a variety of levels. As we noted last year when the RIAA raised some of these complaints, part of the problem appears to be that the RIAA doesn’t understand how Google’s tools work. There are some technical limitations in terms of how many URLs a “trusted partner” using automated means can submit at once, but no actual limit on the number of URLs that can be submitted total. There’s a practical reason for the setup: in case an automated system goes haywire, Google wants to be able to catch it. But that’s it. It does not limit the searches or the ability to submit DMCAs. We asked Google for specifics, and they confirmed:

While there is no limit on the number of DMCA notices that a copyright owner or reporting organization may send us, we put safety limits on the number of automated submissions that partners can make at one time using our tools in order to protect our systems from technical problems. We increase these limits for partners who have demonstrated a consistent track record of submission quality and volume.

On top of that, there’s the issue that takedown notices go through a review process before the takedowns happen, to hopefully weed out abuse. For the RIAA to compare handling of takedown messages to the automated process of searching is really bizarre. It’s basically them saying they want to be able to automatically takedown any content with no review whatsoever. That’s a massive problem for a variety of obvious reasons. Indexing the web for search is an automated process. Taking sites down requires at least some level of review, even if only cursory. Apparently, the RIAA not only misunderstands the tools available, but also the DMCA process itself.

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Companies: brein, google, riaa

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Comments on “RIAA Still Can't Figure Out How To Use Google's DMCA Tools, Blames Google”

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Ninja (profile) says:

Apparently, the RIAA not only misunderstands the tools available, but also the DMCA process itself.

Actually, they understand quite well. To youse your own words:

It’s basically them saying they want to be able to automatically takedown any content with no review whatsoever.

If Google did zero reviewing they would not be complaining.

Highboi says:

Re: Response to: Ninja on Feb 20th, 2013 @ 6:58am

I would like for them to not review anything and make it irreversible, the amount if hbo.com takedown links from hbo, Microsoft.com from Microsoft etc… These retards tools are censoring their own shit and legitimate content, I say let google bend over one more time to end it all, imagine, the Riaa removed your non illegal non infringing in any way website from googles index. You would be pissed right? Now imagine thus happens to 2 million people. Sounds like grounds for a class action lawsuit the end these dinosours for good

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Response to: Ninja on Feb 20th, 2013 @ 6:58am

It would be funny, the problem is how many indie artists and publishers would get nailed with such a system. Post your work and then get it yanked down from the system you primarily use for distribution because an automated bot sees a copyright on it. Your copyright. You can’t get the content back up in its usual service for days or weeks due to the administrative process.

This kind of thing as usual hurts the users and the smallest of OC creators. The big companies own their own distribution and marketing channels so they don’t care of their videos get taken down from another service.

IMO this has always been less about piracy and more about limiting choice and keeping people for realizing that to be an artist you don’t need a multi-million dollar contract and a greasy publisher.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It is in the nature of interest groups never being satisfied. I wouldn’t blame them for that.

The things you can blame them for is ignorance, misinformation or bastardisation of good praxis science and lack of coherent logical ideals. Those areas are so large and important to educate people about that news about how deranged they are, can justify a complete blog of its own…

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ya know when Google puts at the bottom of its search page “Due to a DMCA takedown notice, we have removed one of the links, here it is on ChillingEffects.org?” There have been DMCA notices to Google, to tell them to take down those links. So there have already been DMCA notices to take down DMCA notices, and DMCA notices to take down the DMCA notices to take down DMCA notices, and so on and so on…

PT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

When I see one of those Chilling Effects links, I click on it first. The “offending” URL is invariably still working and is usually what I was looking for. Though the other night I clicked through one and ended up at Hulu, viewing content provided by the organization that issued the takedown. Go figure…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“You know, at some point, there might be some piracy focused search engines that stay underground. But the RIAA won’t notice. These people are not that bright.”

Those are called private trackers.

I know of at least 3. They have tons and tons of games, movies and music, and thousands of users, but no one bothers them at all. It’s baffling. It’s like, I dunno, they are targeting Google specifically for some nefarious reason.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If you call Baidu(Chinese) or Yandex(Russian) underground that is fine.

Imagine if the Chinese or Russians become the leaders in search and are the ones getting all that juice traffic, what would that mean for the US?


JarHead says:

Re: Re: Re:

The RIAA not only doesn’t get that fact, they also don’t get the fact that there are other search engines unrelated to Google.

What other “unrelated” search engine? There’s no such thing. Search = Google. When you try to find something on the net, you “google” it, not “duckduckgo” it, nor “altavista” it, etc.

Those “other” search engine? That’s just Googgle re-branding for specific demographics, or maybe even shell companies setup so Google can say “competition”…

…or so thought people related to the ??AAs…

PaulT (profile) says:

“It’s basically them saying they want to be able to automatically takedown any content with no review whatsoever. That’s a massive problem for a variety of obvious reasons. Indexing the web for search is an automated process.”

They’re morons, with not a thought given to those who would be shut down despite being completely innocent. As long as their imaginary “lost” income is somehow protected, they don’t care about anyone else’s.

But, part of me wishes they could get what they want. Unlimited notices with action taken immediately without review. On recent evidence, I’d give them a day before they’ve removed their own content from the web completely.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

But, part of me wishes they could get what they want. Unlimited notices with action taken immediately without review. On recent evidence, I’d give them a day before they’ve removed their own content from the web completely.

But they still complain when they have this ability. They complain that Google, or whomever, should have somehow known that the content wasn’t infringing and therefore should have been automatically ignored for that specific request. No matter what happens or what laws are passed and enforced the RIAA will never be happy.

jackn says:

They better not look at bing. Because google is so responsive, it is hard to find pirated software. but in Bing, its game on. I sent a few DMCA’s to bing myself. They don’t cooperate and want to keep the entries in their results. If you took out all the pirate sites from bing, there wouldn’t be much left.

I have a lot of fun with Bing’s dmca agent. Google’s is no fun, they just take it out of the results without any fun and games. Bing has many excuses and it set up like the rest of the ‘customer service’ functions – designed to make you go away or at least have to create some fxxing live, bing, hotmail, id (or something).

jackn says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Also, I believe in fair use, so I don’t send DMCA to squash criticism, etc. I generally don’t send DMCA for using my media on a blog, facebook, etc…

Nowadays, only when a site is hosting my software, do I send a dmca. Although, I working out a way for everyone to be happy, the pirates can pirate my software, and for those that would’ve paid, I might be able to entice them them to pay.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

So basically, you don’t send takedown requests for criticism, but any search engine link (which actually has a habit to reappear no matter the takedown) pertaining to free publicity towards your work, you would rather have it taken down? Clearly you haven’t read about how HADOPI failed in France.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Yep, that’s half the point that flies over the heads of some people. A large chunk of the people pirating are people who would never pay for it in any way even if piracy was impossible.

I used to know someone like that – he’d automatically download everything added to certain music feeds, then end up deleting half of it straight away either because they were duplicates or something he wouldn’t like. None of those downloads are lost sales, and I dare say that if he couldn’t have downloaded like that he’d just use radio streams or – at most – Spotify. Thousands of downloaded tracks, and at most they represented lost revenue of around ?5/month (assuming he paid Spotify and didn’t just put up with the ads).

That’s why this whole thing is so stupid and frustrating. The methods being used to address piracy on the fantasy assumption that those people can be made to pay are actively losing them sales from the people who already do. Rather than realise that, they just double down on the wrong tactics and make things worse, while causing all manner of unacceptable collateral damage and unintended consequences.

Anonymous Coward says:

the RIAA doesn’t misunderstand anything. it ignores the bits it doesn’t like, then, as usual, blames someone else for the failure and expects that someone else to spend money doing what RIAA could, but refuse to do or pay for themselves. if RIAA were able to be trusted and only issue dmca takedowns that were genuine, and paid suitable fines for false take down demands, it would be ok. however, they can’t be trusted because they done even know when they want their own files removed (how stupid can you get??) and refuse to compensate anyone when they should. they do expect to be compensated when their stuff is removed, intentionally or not! the usual double standards!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Dude, they couldn’t even take down the Pirate Bay, and that platform is actually dedicated to infringement. What makes you think that they’ll sue Google?

And for what purpose? Google actually gives them more tools than anyone else to fight infringement and platforms for monetizing their stuff.

From a strategic point of view, attacking Google right now is a boneheaded idea. More so if you consider that there are many more targets worthy of attention.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

“a consistent track record of submission quality”

Which means they are fucked.
They hire lowest bidder companies who churn out tons of results, and the cartel membership thinks the number submitted is the quality indicator.

If the **AA’s want to cram more results into the system, they need to start paying for every bad submission.

Google isn’t getting a handout from the government to process these takedowns, and when HBO’s agent is submitting content on HBO.com as material to be removed it should be clear to anyone that they are doing it wrong.

Instead the **AA’s are working on trying to get someone with authority to demand that Google give them better access. Oh we can’t submit as many as we need to, make them give us direct access. We are being robbed blind and we need special powers because IP is worth way more than the rule of law.

Lets just charge them $50 for each url they submit that isn’t actually the work. The system will get much better.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re:

Unfortunately, someone somewhere will realize that the day that happens, the internet will be flooded with billions of links to nominally infringing content in an attempt to bankrupt the RIAA, so it would never get off the ground. Though it would be humorous to watch the poisoning of search results with fake content work against them.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Someone working for MS sent a takedown packed to the rafters with urls because it matched like 2 numbers in a row. (was in an article here somewhere)

They are already poisoned because they use the crappiest methods, they do no checking, and just throw them at Google and tell them to take care of it and put the effort into making sure they don’t remove/censor the wrong links.

I think the $50 for each bad hit would get the attention of the cartel membership and make them aware that the **AA is lying that this system works. They understand money much better than they understand tech.

Ophelia Millais says:

Re: RIAA (and other's) takedown notices

The DMCA doesn’t mandate the use of automated takedown submission tools. It was only recently that Google even started accepting electronic submissions; a few years ago, it had to be by fax and snail mail only, with about a 10-day turnaround time. They ought to go back to that.

So, does the limit to the number of requests apply to the fax and snail-mail submission methods?

Wally (profile) says:

Re: AOL was better at running the Internet

No AOL was no better:

“What AOL did……what the RIAA does”

Cornering your customers into TOS contracts….BMG Rootkit scandal.

Sends out free samples encouraging you to buy into their in house services…..Suckers customers into pay per listen schemes and UltraViolet.

Blocked off AOL users from the real World Wide Web and substituted their own content….sells discs that make DRM laden MP3 files due to watermarking scheme (for which they got sued for)

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