Censorious, Abusive Spanish Anti-Piracy Firm Targets Chevron (Yes, Chevron) With Bogus Copyright Takedowns

from the who-do-you-root-for? dept

Here are two separate stories we’ve covered in the past that we never expected to link up. First up, there’s the massive set of legal disputes that Chevron has been involved in down in Ecuador. The legal battles have been going on for 20 years and still continue. I won’t get into all of the details there, but you can click that link to read the basics. We’ve actually written about this fight in a few more specific contexts over the years: (1) a few years ago, Chevron sought to force a documentary filmmaker to turn over some of the cut footage from his documentary, which Chevron won. The company claimed that the footage would help it get the lawsuits dismissed, whereas the filmmaker argued it was like forcing a reporter to give up his sources. (2) Just a few months ago, we wrote about how a judge in NY gave an incredible ruling, giving Chevron access to nine years’ worth of Americans’ email metadata, as they went in search of details about those who have fought the company concerning the case. (3) Even more recently, we wrote about how the whole “corporate sovereignty” concept — better known as the boring-sounding (but extremely important) “investor state dispute settlement” — was being used to try to kill off the $18 billion judgment against Chevron by the Ecuadorian courts.

Second, there’s the strange case of Spanish “anti-piracy” firm Ares Rights, which didn’t actually seem that interested in “anti-piracy” but in out-and-out censorship via copyright fraud on behalf of various Latin American countries. Ares Rights (correctly) realized that copyright notice-and-takedown provisions were a de facto censorship tool, and has used that to the maximum advantage possible, regularly issuing highly questionable copyright takedown claims to take down all sorts of content that might embarrass the governments of Ecuador or Argentina, even if they have no legitimate copyright interest in the material.

Now, however, Adam Steinbaugh alerts us to the news that Chevron itself has posted a blog post on a blog the company has dedicated entirely to the Ecuador lawsuit (yes, they have an entire blog on the topic) in which the company explains how Ares Rights has begun issuing a similar series of completely bogus takedowns on Chevron’s own videos.

You may have noticed that our videos on The Amazon Post are currently down. In late November, Ares Rights, a firm based in Spain that claims to be “devoted entirely to the defense of rights on the Internet,” filed copyright infringement claims against videos legitimately posted to YouTube by Chevron.

Chevron also chides Ecuador for its recent attempts to “rebrand” itself as the “home of internet freedom” at a time when it’s doing plenty of things that suggest it is not a fan of internet freedom at all.

Chevron claims that it’s working to get those videos back up, and details past abuses of copyright law for the sake of censorship by Ares Rights. No matter what you might think of Chevron, it’s difficult not to think that, if the company decided to pursue Ares Rights with a DMCA 512(f) claim of misrepresenting the copyrights and seeking sanctions, the case could suddenly get very interesting. It would certainly be the most money ever behind establishing a 512(f) violation, and it would be nice to get a good ruling on that front in a case where the actions are especially blatant, obvious and censorious.

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Companies: ares rights, chevron

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Comments on “Censorious, Abusive Spanish Anti-Piracy Firm Targets Chevron (Yes, Chevron) With Bogus Copyright Takedowns”

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out_of_the_blue says:

"No matter what you might think of Chevron," Mike makes it out to be the good guy, huh?

Hmm. I’ll just forego other comment and drop a reasonably apt tagline (Mike’s re-write actually includes this scope):

Mike frequently runs items on copyright abuse and mis-use intended to STIFLE expression knowing full well that his fanboys use those bad acts to justify their own STEALING of copyrighted content. As Mike never runs items condemning STEALING, it’s difficult to see how he “supports copyright”. — Mike therefore sets up a false alternative: in fact, BOTH STIFLING AND STEALING ARE BAD.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "No matter what you might think of Chevron," Mike makes it out to be the good guy, huh?

I like how you package all the “fanboys” as stealers of copyrighted content. I am, for a majority of the articles, a, “Fanboy by your terms”, of Mikes works. His, “repackage of stolen, pirated, infringed, copyrighted, or how every you imagine it”, work is how I keep up with a lot of issues I see as a problem when working in the IT industry. I, “as your view of fanboy”, don’t justifies anything because I don’t steal, infringe, pirate, whatever you think is I do just because I support Mike’s views. I agree with his views on copyright because I have seen first hand that it works far better then whatever outlier views you seem to have.

rummeltje says:

Re: Re:


While drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1990, Texaco ? which merged with Chevron in 2001 ? deliberately dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled roughly 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor. To save money, Texaco chose to use environmental practices that were obsolete, did not meet industry standards, and were illegal in Ecuador and the United States.

The result was, and continues to be, one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet.

Anonymous Coward says:

what made the judge concerned give Chevron the right to go through the meta data of emails for a 9year period? what made that same judge think it would be seen as anything except bias? what the fuck is wrong with the legal system and those who are supposed to be ‘upholders’ of that system? sure, Chevron is an extremely big, powerful and wealthy company but if it has done wrong, especially using the 3 traits mentioned above, it should not only be found guilty and face the consequences, those consequences should be all the wore severe

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