Microsoft Sends Google DMCA Takedowns For Microsoft's Own Website

from the yeah,-that's-working dept

Remember back when HBO sent a DMCA takedown notice to Google that included links to Apparently, the various services, which do automated DMCA takedowns, haven’t gotten much better. TorrentFreak has the amusing story of how Microsoft apparently is paying good money to LeakID to send DMCA takedowns, on behalf of Microsoft, to Google over links to Microsoft’s own website — including to its store.

Note that the “original work” URLs and the “allegedly infringing URLs” are identical. It really makes you wonder how much Microsoft pays to LeakID for this kind of “service.” LeakID certainly has quite a history of bogus takedowns, suggesting that whatever system it’s using to issue these takedowns is a complete joke. But, of course, since there’s no real penalty for bogus takedowns, LeakID can just keep sending completely ridiculous notices like this one. While Google caught this one before taking stuff down, that doesn’t always happen. For a functioning DMCA that doesn’t lead to censorship, it seems only reasonable to have real penalties for false takedowns and (at the very least) a notice-and-notice system that gives someone a chance to respond before the content is initially taken down.

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Companies: google, leakid, microsoft

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Comments on “Microsoft Sends Google DMCA Takedowns For Microsoft's Own Website”

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Rikuo (profile) says:

But but…piracy! Mike, this is just a rare anomaly, who cares if Google silences speech due to not catching a mistaken DMCA. After all, making sure Microsoft keeps their copyrights is more important than making sure Microsoft can make speech. If Google takes down the links, then it’s their fault, no way sir-ree it can be the fault of the automated DMCA bots or of Microsoft who pay them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

How many anomalies does it take before you’ve impeded someones 1st amendment right?

0.01% of a 1 000 000 is still 100. There are plenty more takedowns than that…

There’s a reason the justice system is supposed to follow due process. The rights are supposed to be GUARENTEED.

I’d rather catch 50% of all murderers than 101%. The next time you push for that 101% just remember that 1% could be you…

Joe DIrt says:

Re: Re: Re:

Seems to me that the exceptions are what we usually base our laws on.
For example… What percentage of the population would you say is transgender? 0.3% according to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
That would, to me, also fit the definition of an anomaly.
So based on your statements above, we shouldn’t need to address their issues right? We don’t need to assign any penalties to those that wrongly infringe on their rights. They are an anomaly.
Pick any fringe issue you like and I am sure it’s percentage is lower than the percentage of erroneous takedowns that have been issued.

In this country (U.S.) we err on the side of the people’s rights.

Blackstone’s formulation comes to mind, or Benjamin Franklin, or Maimonides, or John Adams. They all are actually based on something written in every Christian bible…

Genesis 18:23-32

23 Then Abraham approached him and said: ?Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[a] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing?to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right??

26 The Lord said, ?If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.?

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: ?Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people??

?If I find forty-five there,? he said, ?I will not destroy it.?

29 Once again he spoke to him, ?What if only forty are found there??

He said, ?For the sake of forty, I will not do it.?

30 Then he said, ?May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there??

He answered, ?I will not do it if I find thirty there.?

31 Abraham said, ?Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there??

He said, ?For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.?

32 Then he said, ?May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there??

He answered, ?For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.?

And is name-calling really necessary?

Ninja (profile) says:

It is said that Google does some background check to try to avoid bogus or erroneous claims from going through but I wonder if they do so in these cases. I mean it’s stupidly obvious it is a mistake but maybe if they let the errors go unchecked the copyright-morons will start hurting themselves enough to realize even they can’t do it right KNOWING what is infringing and what isn’t…

I’m fairly sure Microsoft removed itself from Bing too, eh?

Ed C. says:

Re: Re: Re: Google should just comply

That might sound like a principled stance, but the only way to prevent these ridiculous abuses is for the abusers to suffer for it.

Or to put it another way, it’s like a spoiled child who demands ice cream all the time. If you keep giving him ice cream, but then give him an anti-acid because you want to “do no evil” and prevent him from getting a belly ache, he’ll never learn. The only way he’ll learn why he can’t have ice cream for every meal is if he suffers the consequences.

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

I was thinking along the lines of BentFranklin and Ninja. If I was Google I’d go ahead and comply with the take down notice. Then when MS complains about it (biased algorithm, rabble, rabble) they can just point to the takedown notice and cover their butt. What’s the downside to doing that? That would point out the ridiculousness of these notices as well as censor a competitor, at the competitor’s request.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh and I thought I’d check the knowledge base article listed in the URLs (no way I’m going to try and guess the long URL at the top), and it’s a support article about Office 2010 SP1. Presumably then, the URLs are relating to a free patch, and not any paid product.

So, while the product in question will be copyrighted, it’s sure as hell not losing anyone any revenue. At best, you could argue that fake copies of SP1 should be taken down for security reasons but if so it’s especially hilarious that they’re inadvertently trying to take down the official source for the patch, and thus force people into areas that will put them at more risk.

Yes, this is clerical error/poorly formed bots/whatever, but that doesn’t excuse it when people are calling for draconian punishments against people accused by such a system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Woah there captain freetard. You can’t fix pirates, you have to lock them up or put them in financial slavery for the rest of there life.

Fixing reasons indeed, it’s like you people think that people pirate because the services they need aren’t available or are massively over priced or something…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Anomalies

Doctor, to the family of the patient after a botched surgery:

“Oh, sorry we botched the operation and killed the patient. Turns out that I can’t do heart surgery very well while under the influence of Tequila.

Anyway, don’t feel sad: this only happens 5% of the times! Rest assured that we will not make any changes to our procedures. This incredibly low amount of perfectly preventable incidents does not warrant such changes, in our honest opinion.”.

Anonymous Coward says:

there definitely needs to be a fine for issuing bogus take downs that is equal to the penalty for genuine ones. from what i read, Google had double the number of take downs issued to it from the US entertainment industries. shame it doesn’t say how many of those were bogus! mind you, before there were anything done to make it cost the one issuing the bogus take down, a lot of politicians, including Obama, will need to be converted, as they are funded by these industries. while you have the odds stacked against you, the change wont take place until it becomes an offense as well to accept any sort of ‘lobbying’ remuneration

Baldaur Regis (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The DMCA has no provision for fines or penalties. However, there is precedent for the argument that companies are entitled to administrative fees for processing legal claims.

Let’s say Google charges a $10 fee for processing just the patently bogus copyright claims. According to Google (as quoted in this TD article), about 37% of all claims are bogus. And according to Google’s own stats, they received 13,956,302 removal requests just last month. That gives us 5,163,832 bad claims, times $10 is…$51,638,317.00. Per month. Times twelve is $619,659,808 per year.

$619.7 million dollars is chump change for Google, but still…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Google’s grifting”

You know, I’m actually glad we have terms like this floating around. I helps identify the complete morons who haven’t considered any of the arguments.

I note you haven’t refuted any of the arguments presents, you jumped straight to swearing and throwing a tantrum. Nice.

“millions of legitimate takedown notices”

Do you have actual figures for this, especially figures for legitimate vs. illegitimate notices (and no, the figures on “correctly filed” DMCA notices don’t count, since the above MS vs. MS would count as “legitimate” under those criteria)? If you do, I’d love to see them since they’d lay to rest some arguments.

I suspect however, that you’re one of those people who assumes that all most notices are correct, and don’t give a shit how many rights are trampled over in the process so long as your **AAs think they’re making a difference (which they’re not so long as they try to rip off everyone from artists to streaming services and their legal customers).

So come on, are one of you people going to provide valid evidence for once, or is it half-assed assumption time again?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

You knew this was coming up and didn’t prepare a thousand word Google rant? I’m disappointed.

With regards to what you said, I find it interesting and helpful to have an easily searchable list of these “anomalies” so that I can show to others that they’re not anomalies by their sheer number.

S. T. Stone says:

Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

When a bogus takedown over official websites happens once, you can call it an anomaly.

When the same kind of bogus takedown happens twice, you can call it a coincidence.

When those bogus takedowns happen multiple times, however, you can call it incompetence.

This situation makes it look as if LeakID has a problem with identifying actual infringing links. Any company that would want to hire LeakID to handle DMCA notifications should take a long look at this situation and consider whether LeakID’s incompetence makes for a worthwhile investment.

The government should also look at this situation and consider whether the cost that companies incur from dealing with these bogus takedowns (in both money and time) makes for a worthwhile reason to create an actual punishment for filing false DMCA notifications.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

You knew it’d show up here eventually? Another example of a system that isn’t perfect that copyright goons insist are infallible with every fiber of their being till they are blue in the face would SHOW UP ON TECHDIRT.COM?!

Wow! You must be this century’s nostradumbass, please, feel free to break your arms patting yourself on the back for cracking the complex and alien code required to figure out what TechDirt will report on!

I hope your parents proudly beat you to death for this accomplishment and then notifying complete strangers on the internet with your pointless babbling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Thanks to my tutoring you can all recognize an anomaly!

Whether this is an anomoly or not really isn’t the point.

The point is that both the movie and music distribution industry keep complaining that Google isn’t doing enough to stop links to pirated media from showing up in their search engine, and yet they can’t seem to identify their own content themselves without including links to themselves/each other/content the don’t own.

Anonymous Coward says:

Looks more like Microsoft confessing to piracy to me!

This looks more like Microsoft confessing to Google that they’re a bunch of evil pirates to me! Google should respond by removing all Microsoft links in their search engine, after all, Google doesn’t want to support pirates like Microsoft, do they?

That One Guy (profile) says:

If the system lacks a penalty, ADD ONE

For cases like this, Google should follow the DMCA claim to the letter and take the infringing link down, and only put it up when the companies involved personally send a notice that the link was in fact legitimate.

Also don’t let them ‘opt out’ of being targeting like this, make them send the notice for each and every link, maybe if the companies have to actually go through the hassle of unblocking their own products and sites each and every time something like this happens they’d make sure the accuracy of the DMCA service they use was just a titch better.

Hopponit (profile) says:

takedowns, microsoft

I’m beginning to think that Google needs to go ahead and start taking the sites down as soon as asked. Why! To give a good dose of feedback to companies that they are doing it WRONG. If they can do it in a manner where it hits the legacy industries the hardest it might be worth the suffering that would ensue. Can you imagine how loud the cry of “Wait! I didn’t mean do it to me too!”would be? I don’t think some of them would learn, but most might.

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