Movie Studios Filing DMCA Takedowns Over DMCA Takedowns

from the so-meta dept

We’ve seen this in the past as well, but TorrentFreak has noticed that a number of movie studios have been sending Google DMCA takedown notices that reference earlier DMCA takedown notices now appearing on 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal appear to be the main culprits. While it is true that those DMCA notices provide links to the original content, it seems a bit ridiculous to then argue that those notices themselves need to be taken down. ChillingEffects provides much needed transparency in how the DMCA is being used (and frequently abused) by companies. Google, thankfully, has so far refused to comply with such takedown requests. It’s not clear if these are just the result of the usual robot searches by the studios (probably) or a concerted effort to hide takedown notices (less likely, but still plausible). Either way, it does highlight the ridiculousness of arguing that Google should be liable for links to sites that link to possibly infringing content. But… that’s how the legacy Hollywood players view the DMCA these days. Anything, anywhere in the chain that might possibly lead one to a possibly infringing work must be liable as well, and those responsible for those sites must then, obviously, act as Hollywood’s personal police force.

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Companies: fox, nbc universal

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Comments on “Movie Studios Filing DMCA Takedowns Over DMCA Takedowns”

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That Crazy Freetard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 5th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

What a supremely awesome idea!

Why has no one done this yet?!

Seriously. Why haven’t the media companies banded together to inundate Google with lawsuits of one kind or another. I mean there has to be a good reason, right? Like maybe the media companies are grifting off of Google’s hard earned profits? Could it be?????

Nay, blasphemy!!!!

Every day, I hear the same old tropes about how one person or another is infringing copyright or otherwise contributing to it. Yet there’s so little direct action against the infringers. Instead, it’s just little bitch moves like 6 strikes. Fucking cowards, all of them.

And contributory infringement is a myth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Robo DMCA Searches

There is no requirement that you read a DMCA takedown before you send it. There is a requirement that you state, under penalty of perjury, that to the best of your knowledge the takedown is legitimate. In a sane and balanced system, you wouldn’t state anything under penalty of perjury that you haven’t read; unfortunately, the system isn’t balanced in favor of the public.

The relevant law is in section 512(f) of the DMCA. In order to get in trouble for a bogus takedown claim, you have to “knowingly materially misrepresent” your case. The key word here is “knowingly”; the takedown can be full of “material misrepresentations” (aka lies), but as long as you don’t know it, you’re fine. Ultimately, it would be in your best interests to never read any DMCA takedowns that you send; you’re only liable under the DMCA if you know what was in the takedown.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Robo DMCA Searches

I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Sure, the DMCA has its own wording. But even if that wording does not apply, you can still sue based on any other legal theory that may apply. The DMCA grants a lot of immunity, but that is granted to the service providers. It does not grant immunity to those sending notifications – and certainly not false ones. And the notification itself likely becomes invalid (perhaps fraudulent) if the person does NOT have a “good faith belief”, which by definition they cannot have if they purposely keep themselves ignorant.

I think the word “fraudulent” is appropriate here, don’t you? If someone sends a DMCA notice that specifically says they have a good faith belief, when in fact they have no knowledge whatsoever, with the purpose of having the service provider rely on this statement to take material down, what other word should be used? I think injunctive relief would be called for, prohibiting the use of bots to send notices – and if that is ignored, prohibiting them from sending takedown notices altogether. Now THAT would make everyone review their takedowns a bit more.

Hephaestus (profile) says:


Google seems to be showing the DMCA takedowns of DMCA takedowns. What I find amusing about this is, eventually they will get to the point where their DMCA takedowns will be DMCA Takedowns, on DMCA Takedowns, etc.

When they hire a new company to do the takedowns the whole system of DMCA takedowns will grow exponentially eventually exceeding spam e-mail.

special-interesting (profile) says:

Am so proud of and Google for ignoring these ignoramus letters of take down. This is a watershed event for at least two reason.

One. For several years all take-down notices were implemented regardless of their implausibility/legality. Now. Its common that outlandish DMCA take-down notices are scrutinized and some ignored completely.

Two. Its an over the waterfall event. Censoring the censorship. Covering up the attempt of covering up ones mistakes/machinations/evilness/wrongness/bad-publicity/etc. This stuff is societally scary. A cancerous wart on culture. This kind of reciprocity would be infinite in both paperwork and cost if followed to its logical conclusion. Or if the monopolies have their way nobody would hear of it again with a whole new level of secret hearings and review process(s).

There is no way just liking to a questionable site/content can be considered a bad thing. Following such flawed logic ALL sites would be labeled as ‘bad’ and ALL links would be illegal. The very basic foundation of WWW linking technology that revolutionized/popularized the thing we call the web/interweb today!

It would be wisdom to just toss out the DMCA (the courts seem useless these days) and other bad legislation (CFAA, CISPA proposals, etc) but what the real battle from after the fact votes is… Pride! Its classic that politicians do not ever, EVER admit mistakes while in office. Its just not done because of perceived weakness and possible verbal ammunition given to the opposition.

It may be a better tactic to replace such badly conceived legislation with newer well written constitutionally correct acts and bills. They can always be sold as a better alternative and avoids the political faux pas of finger pointing.

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