Center For Copyright Information Loses Company Status, Not Supposed To Conduct Business In The US

from the strike-one? dept

TorrentFreak has discovered that the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), better known as the company running the whole “six strikes” scheme in the US, somehow had its company status revoked last year for reasons unknown. However, this could have serious consequences:

“If entity’s status is revoked then articles of incorporation / organization shall be void and all powers conferred upon such entity are declared inoperative, and, in the case of a foreign entity, the certificate of foreign registration shall be revoked and all powers conferred hereunder shall be inoperative,” the DCRA explains.

It also may face penalties and fines. It appears that this may have just been a paperwork screwup, which does happen, but given the organization’s overall mission, you would think that they would have been a lot more careful dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s.

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Companies: ccia, center for copyright information

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Comments on “Center For Copyright Information Loses Company Status, Not Supposed To Conduct Business In The US”

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Anonymous Coward says:

The heroes of copyright prove once again that unless a law’s got copyright in it, they can’t be bothered to follow procedure or process.

Maybe that’s why, to the glee of its supporters, they haven’t had false strikes. Can’t send a false strike if you’re not allowed to.

Copyright enforcement at its finest, ladies and gentlemen. Maybe they can consult John Steele for tips on how to operate when you’re not supposed to.

out_of_the_blue says:

Deliberate anomaly to distract Mike.

Meanwhile, they’re probably re-incorporating in Cayman Islands, same building as 19,000 corporations are already in, to be totally outside US law.

Another of Mike’s characteristic “dunno what this means” pieces.

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up same place!
Some of Mike’s typical boilerplate text: “Honestly, this whole thing has left me really confused.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Deliberate anomaly to distract Mike.

So their entire operation is going to be thrown overseas, such that they don’t have to fulfill any legal obligations in operating like they would for the US? That’s not an anomaly. Hell, by your own claim, they’re joining the other thousands of corporations playing a legal loophole (which you claim is weaselism or something).

Continuing using your own threads of logic (such as they are), relocating won’t matter. The CCI would still be doing business with customers in the US (RIAA, MPAA and American ISPs), just as Dotcom was with Megaupload. By those qualifications as copyright maximialists have consistently insisted, should this actually be what CCI is doing, it wouldn’t help them. Any company doing business with the US is still subject to US law.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: I'll tell you why they didn't dot their t's and cross their i's

They didn’t do the basic paperwork right because this isn’t a real company. Real companies do the paperwork because they have real business to engage in. This “company” while not engaging in copyright trolling like the RIAA did, and Prenda still does; this company is merely in the “business” of harassing internet users. If they were truly in the business of enforcement, they would have real evidence, accuse a real person, and litigate. They successfully did it with Jammie Thomas-Rasset. Yet they don’t want any real due process or judicial review. That should tell you something right there.

They also know that real copyright enforcement would give them a PR disaster. They want to enforce their rights, but they don’t want to enforce their rights. They know deep down that the best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yup.

average_joe writes:

I have eight different computers, each with different user profiles
and multiple browsers. Whether I log in depends on which computer,
which user profile, and which browser I use. Although sometimes
I log in or out just because I feel like it.

Wow. That doesn’t suggest unclean hands, or a guilty mind. Not at all. Nosiree. You’re not acting like you have anything to hide.

Real grown ups can engage in real conversation and debate without ad hom attacks. Even when their POV is unpopular. But you don’t want to face that fact that the world is changing. You are locked in to the mid 20th century.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Yup.

I thought Techdirt was all about supporting privacy and anonymous posting. But now these things suggest “unclean hands”? Weird. It’s almost like you, “DannyB,” whoever you are, are applying a double standard. I recall you even authored an article for Techdirt, yet never identified yourself: Weird. It’s almost like when you do it, it’s OK, but when I do it, it’s evil. Weird.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Yup.

The technical term for this is “sock puppet.” Something you have been accusing Mike of doing – falsely – for years.

When I said “different user profiles,” I was referring to user profiles in the operating system. Sometimes I hop on a computer, and it’s signed into to Windows as my wife. Sometimes I bother to switch over to my user profile, and sometimes I don’t. Sockpuppet implies that I have multiple accounts on TD that I use so that I can agree with my own posts. I don’t do that.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Yup.

What was the other one?

I meant “another one of his favorites,” not another one that was shown to be illegal.

Take note, however, that he did also defend Righthaven (by claiming the Silvers court was “wrong”). Though, to his credit, he did say “the lawsuits border on vexatious.” So, calling them one of his “favorites” would not be accurate.

I’m sure Hart is your hero. He ran Copyhype while he was still in law school, and obviously attracted the attention of the “Big Content” copyright holders. Because, soon after passing the Pennsylvania bar exam, he became Director of Legal Policy for the Copyright Alliance. All without ever stepping foot in a courtroom, or even (so far as I know) without ever having worked for any law firm.

So, keep it up, and soon the MPAA and RIAA will be signing your checks, too!

Anonymous Coward says:

so a company that is supposed to watch and then basically end up suing people for doing something illegal, is in actually fact, completely illegal itself? is it any wonder that no one trusts a thing the entertainment industries say or do? they cant even get a bonefide company to do this job! i seem to remember something about the new person in charge of organising things over the 6 strikes crap saying nothing but good things about this lot. what a freakin’ joke!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not really big deal

Uhh, they’ve been operating illegally for over a year, under US law. Why should they be permitted to hold a position of authority over IP issues, if they cannot be trusted to correctly run themselves.

Sure, you say, “just refile and p[ay the fees”. But that isn’t really the point. It’s a massive own-goal to not even check the paperwork on your contractors, then find out that they technically don’t exist.

You and AJ kept saying that “the law is the law”. If that is the case, then this company’s contracts should be legally void and they should get nothing…under the law.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not really big deal

You and AJ kept saying that “the law is the law”. If that is the case, then this company’s contracts should be legally void and they should get nothing…under the law.

Yes, they should (and will) have to pay the extra fees for forgetting to renew with the Secretary of State (or whatever the equivalent is in DC). Just like every other business that does this. You guys sure are desperate with this stuff. I’d love to hear how you think this voids all of their contracts. Which contracts of theirs does it affect? What precedent or statute are you relying on in making this claim? I’m sure you’ve got these answers and aren’t just spouting faith-based FUD. Oh wait, of course you are. This is Techdirt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Not really big deal

Being that FUD == Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt … how are the comments to which you refer actually FUD?

I do not fear anything as a result of reading said comments.
I do not have any uncertainty resulting from same.
And I do not doubt anything as a result of said comments.

Oh and “faith-based FUD” … oooooo that’s the worst kind.
Because it is not based upon science? – lol sort of redundant, no?

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not really big deal

Saying that their contracts are “legally void” without having any idea of even what contracts they have, where they were executed, or what law applies to them, is total faith-based FUD. It’s a silly and desperate attempt to discredit the CCI based on nothing more than them forgetting to renew some paperwork–something that happens all the time with lots of corporations, but which, of course, only is a “big deal” here because it’s the big, bad, evil CCI.

For example, the Memorandum of Understanding and its amendments are not affected: Those went into effect before the CCI was even created. In fact, part of the MOU was that the parties would thereafter create the CCI for the following purposes:

o assist in the effort to combat Online Infringement by , among other things, (i) taking an active role in educating the public about the laws governing the online distribution of works protected by copyright, including educating the public regarding civil and criminal penalties for Online Infringement; (ii) interfacing with third party stakeholders on issues and questions of common interest to the Content Owner Representative s and the Participating ISPs pertaining to Online Infringement and related matters; (iii) assisting in the design and implementation of a process that provides for consumer and Subscriber education through the forwarding of Copy rig ht Alerts to, and application of Mitigation Measures (as defined in Section 4 (G)(iii) below) on, Subscribers engaged in persistent P2P Online Infringement, including reviewing the accuracy and efficacy of Content Owner Representative processes for identify ing instances of P2P Online Infringement and ISP processes for identifying the Subscriber accounts associated with such P2P Online Infringement; (iv) periodically reviewing the effectiveness and impact of such processes as further described in Section 9 below; (v) collecting and disseminating to interested parties and the public data regarding Online Infringement and the lawful means available to obtain non – infringing copy righted works; and (vi) facilitating the involvement of non – participating ISPs in the work of CCI and in the Copyright Alert program (as defined in Section 4(G) below).


Nothing about the CCI, once created, entering into contracts that would have become voided. So again, I’ll ask, which contracts have been voided? No one has that answer, hence it’s total faith-based FUD (Mike’s bread & butter). This is so dumb, it hurts. If you guys (Mike especially) spent even 1/100th of the time and effort actually discussing things that mattered rather than pumping out brainless FUD, you would actually be participating in the debate in a productive manner. Too bad that will never happen. Seriously. It’s too bad Mike can’t have a nice discussion about anything that matters on the merits. What a joke.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Not really big deal

As always, AJ, you miss the entire point. Right in the article Mike mention it was probably just a paperwork screwup. What it shows is that like so many other organizations that have taken a maximalist approach to copyright enforcement, they are hypocrites. It is complete hypocrisy to hold everyone else to intolerantly high standards of being on the right side of the law and then failing to follow the laws yourself. It is complete hypocrisy to cry “theft” everytime a pirate downloads something while at the same time “stealing” someone else’s work for commercial gain yourself. How can you possibly miss such inherent hypocrisy?

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Not really big deal

If they forgot to pay to renew, they will pay the penalty just like anybody else. If someone infringes a copyright, they should pay the penalty just like anyone else. I’m not seeing the hypocrisy. They believe that people should be held accountable for their actions. That applies to them as well.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Not really big deal

Sure, but the standard is subjective bad faith, which means that they have to actually know it’s a misrepresentation. For example, they have to know that they don’t actually own the copyright or are not authorized to act on the copyright holder’s behalf. I don’t think the “it’s obviously fair use” argument has much traction since it’s extremely hard to show that someone knew for a fact it was fair use yet sent the notice anyway. Regardless, it’s amusing to me that you guys focus on the outlier notices where maybe there’s bad faith, but you ignore the mainstream notices which are proper and are in reaction to the bad faith of some purposeful infringer.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Not really big deal

Nice waffling. You should be a lawyer. I also notice you’ve moved the goalposts from “they should be punished” to “you can’t prove they knew it was wrong” and therefore can’t be punished.

We see “bad faith” notices all the time that are not punished. Can you name any case other than Diebold (which is the only one this not-a-law-student can name)? I don’t see you advocating for penalties to be enforced on the thousands that are sent and you disagree any time Techdirt decides to highlight a few.

Anyone setting up a system that automates the sending of notices on the basis of keywords has to know that there will be false positives. So, under the same legal theory that holds the creator of a website liable for user submitted infringing content, why wouldn’t someone operating such an automated system be operating under de facto bad faith?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not really big deal

No, not desperate. Just somewhat perturbed, but not surprised, that you’re singing the praises of lawbreakers. Yes, they can refile. It also means that whatever shit they’ve tried to pull before refiling is not allowed (naughty, naughty).

Now that you’re here, I’d like a question answered that you so gleefully evaded. Have you been to China? Have you lived for a sufficiently lengthy period of time in China? Have you associated with enough people from Mainland China? Have you accumulated sufficient experience to correctly insinuate in your loaded question to Glyn Moody that his assertions in said linked article are wrong?

See, even the resident trolls try to have some degree of standard. average_joe claims he’s a functioning lawyer (I don’t disagree he’s a lawyer; what most people might disagree is whether he’s actually a properly functioning one). out_of_the_lube tries to be moderately consistent over the whole anti-corporate thing while he sings the praises of the great RIAA phallus. darryl, in all his unhingedness, still manages to claim he’s a solar panel engineer. You? You don’t cite; you don’t support; your arguments are little more than slightly subtly executed versions of sticking fingers in your ears and throwing a tantrum. You rant that Judge Otis Wright overstepped his bounds and extol the glorious “conquests” that was the Prenda disaster. You rant about anonymity online, and yet, you quite proudly bear the moniker “horse with no name”. Really? You’ve sunken so low, if not for the fact that China was in the way, you’ve have dug yourself a hole deep and fast enough to achieve escape velocity and dig yourself into outer space.

average_joe (profile) says:

Wow, the TorrentFreak article is all sorts of wrong.

TF: According to the Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), the company leading the six-strikes program has had its status revoked. This pretty much means that the company is unable to conduct any official business anywhere in the United States.

Um, CCI is NOT incorporated in DC, as the very image TorrentFreak posts shows. It’s incorporated in Delaware. I went to see if it’s in good standing there, but it cost $10 to find out and I don’t care that much. All this means is that their status in DC has been revoked, not that they are unable to operate “anywhere in the United States.”

TF: The revocation means that CCI?s articles of organization are void, most likely because the company forgot to file the proper paperwork or pay its fees. ?If entity?s status is revoked then articles of incorporation / organization shall be void and all powers conferred upon such entity are declared inoperative, and, in the case of a foreign entity, the certificate of foreign registration shall be revoked and all powers conferred hereunder shall be inoperative,? the DCRA explains.

Wow. Since CCI is a foreign corporation (being incorporated in Delaware), the first half of that sentence (“shall be void and all powers conferred upon such entity are declared inoperative”) doesn’t apply. That part only applies to corporations that are incorporated in DC. The second half of that sentence (“the certificate of foreign registration shall be revoked and all powers conferred hereunder shall be inoperative”) is what applies. DC can’t void the articles of incorporation of a foreign corporation–only the foreign jurisdiction where the corporation is incorporated can. DC can only revoke CCI’s ability to operate in DC.

TF: It appears that company status was revoked last year which means that other businesses now have the option to take over the name. That would be quite an embarrassment, to say the least, and also presents an opportunity to scammers. “When a Washington DC corporation is revoked by the DCRA, its name is reserved and protected until December 31st of the year the corporation is revoked. After December 31st, other business entities may use the corporations name,? the DCRA explains on its website.

The issue isn’t whether the name is available in DC. It’s whether it’s available in Delaware. I just checked, and “Center for Copyright Information, Inc.” is available in Delaware. Only $75. Not sure why it would let me register it if they’re in good standing there. Maybe they aren’t. If someone else registers it, they can just use something else like “Center for Copyright Information Corp.” It’s not difficult to change the corporate name with the Secretary of State. All it takes is a simple amendment.

MM: It also may face penalties and fines. It appears that this may have just been a paperwork screwup, which does happen, but given the organization’s overall mission, you would think that they would have been a lot more careful dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s.

I’ve forgotten to pay the Secretary of State before, and all that happened was the renewal that should have cost me $25 ended up costing $100. It’s just a “paperwork screwup,” as you say. Yes, it’s embarrassing–which is why you and TorrentFreak think it’s somehow newsworthy–but this happens all the time to lots of businesses. You only think it’s hard-hitting news because it’s happening to someone you despise. Wouldn’t you rather write about things that matter? Wouldn’t you rather discuss important issues on the merits? Oh wait, I forgot who I’m talking to. Of course you don’t want to have any conversations about anything that actually matters. Nothing scares you more.

Edward Teach says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I just have to ask: Why do you like six strikes?

I mean, I thought six strikes was put in place very reluctantly by older and wiser heads, so as to minimize damage to Those Things Americans Hold Most Dear, like freedom of speech, participation in free markets, access to information, etc etc. I thought six strikes was one of those necessary evil things, regretfully and thoughtfully applied only in the most heinous and obvious of cases.

Also, on a persoal level, it looks like it was designed by a committee. Six strikes? That’s not baseball, it’s not the magic number 3, it’s a compromise! And compromises almost always turn out to be bunk, right? Stand on prinnciple!

So, supporting, I can understand. Liking six strinkes, I have to wonder about…

Edward Teach says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Wait, Average Joe is asking for support for an assertion?

That’s rich. Average Joe’s assertions are Obvious To All Concerned, but when someone else makes an assertion, perhaps gainsaying one of Average Joe’s, that other person’s assertion needs support.

Hypocrisy, Average Joe. Total Hypocrisy.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Yeah, wanting loud-mouthed zealots to calm down and have a reasonable conversation on the merits is such a bad thing. I’m tired of even asking him anymore since I know for a fact that he’s a total fake and coward. I just feel sorry for him at this point. I can’t imagine being so unsure of myself yet so demanding of others. Nor could I ever be so fundamentally dishonest.

Just last week he demanded that there were no allegations of specific criminal infringement against the Mega Conspirators. I pointed out the fact that specific criminal infringement is alleged, and he just ran away rather than admit an obvious truth.

Mike claiming that no specific criminal infringement was alleged:

Me pointing out that there was such infringement alleged (over the movie “Taken”):

Crickets. Total fake. Total coward.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

For someone fond of saying others run away from reasonable debates, you haven’t answered me above^. Of course, that was about hypocrisy, so it’s kind of fitting.

You’ve espoused your support of six strikes for copyright infringement. Would you be in favor of a similar strikes system regarding DMCA notices? Something that included assumption of guilt, limited appeals routes, and little oversight or public scrutiny?

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