Copyright Alliance Attacks As 'Repugnant,' Wants DMCA System With No Public Accountability

from the stop-publishing-legals-forms-and-sworn-statements! dept

Sandra Aistars of the Copyright Alliance issued a statement during the recent DMCA-related hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee. As was noted earlier, a bunch of effort was made to turn the “notice and takedown” system into a “notice and stay down” system, and weirdly, the word “free” was thrown about as if it was synonymous with “infringement.”

Her statement details the shortcomings of the DMCA system from the expected position, citing the personal travails of creators like Kathy Wolfe, who for some reason has chosen to spend half her profits battling infringement. In general, it painted a bleak picture for future creativity, claiming that unless infringement is massively curbed, creators will stop creating. (There seems to be no place in this argument about the lowered barriers to entry, and the swell of creation that has enabled.)

But where her statement really goes off the rails (even for the Copyright Alliance) is with the attack on the popular copyright notice clearinghouse, Chilling Effects.

The activities of are repugnant to the purposes of Section 512. Data collected by high-volume recipients of DMCA notices such as Google, and senders of DMCA notices such as trade associations representing the film and music industries demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of DMCA notices sent are legitimate, yet the site unfairly maligns artists and creators using the legal process created by Section 512 as proponents of censorship. Moreover, by publishing the personal contact information of the creators sending notices (a practice which Chilling Effects only recently discontinued), it subjects creators to harassment and personal attacks for seeking to exercise their legal rights. Finally, because the site does not redact information about the infringing URLs identified in the notices, it has effectively become the largest repository of URLs hosting infringing content on the internet.

How publishing an unaltered takedown notice “maligns” the sender isn’t explained. All Aistars says about it is that it’s “unfair” because the site name links takedown notices with “censorship.” But she glosses over the DMCA’s status as the go-to tool for censorious entities — something’s that cheaper and easier than hiring a lawyer to draft a C&D.

She also glosses over the fact that the site is purely voluntary and far from comprehensive. In trying to paint the entire DMCA process as deeply flawed (which it is, but not in the ways she claims…), Aistars cordons off the “Google” side of the internet and attempts to portray it as harmful to creators… by doing exactly what they’ve asked it to do.

Her argument (if it can even be called that) makes as much sense as those griping about the fact that YouTube notes the party issuing the takedown when it grants requests to remove infringing videos. According to those advancing the “it’s not fair” argument, this information is irrelevant and only serves to make rightsholders “look bad.” Well, if everything about the statement posted on the deleted videos is true, why is there so much complaining? You don’t like the way the facts were delivered?

As for the claims of being harassed for issuing takedowns, those who issue bogus takedowns deserve whatever they get. Legitimate takedowns are generally free from abuse. And if legitimate takedowns are resulting in “harassment” and “criticism,” those siding with Aistars need to ask themselves why they care about the opinions of infringers.

Redacting the links makes no sense either. Infringers who use Chilling Effects as a piracy “address book” are probably so far down the scale as to be completely nonexistent. Not only is it a highly ineffective way to infringe, but, as noted above, Chilling Effects is purely voluntary and far from comprehensive.

It seems Aistars (and others) want a powerful anti-infringement tool but none of the responsibility that comes with it. Takedowns should just be honored (and content should “stay down) and filed away in the back of a cabinet somewhere. The public apparently isn’t a stakeholder in this particular discussion (as is usually the case in IP-related debates). The Copyright Alliance is stumping for opacity, something that would be warmly received by censorious entities and shoddy copyright fighters whose mass takedowns have taken down tons of legitimate content over the years.

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Comments on “Copyright Alliance Attacks As 'Repugnant,' Wants DMCA System With No Public Accountability”

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Ninja (profile) says:

Repugnant? Tell me about that.

Don’t forget to add how Hollywood resorts to accounting trickery to make sure no movie ever make any profits which saves them in taxes and in money owed to the people involved in actually making the movies. Also, don’t forget how collection entities grab money from everything and distribute only to a few select artists while keeping a really generous amount for themselves and the labels. And what about when they force the artists to sign off their rights and lock themselves out of their own works? Or pile up imaginary fees and expenses so that only absurdly famous artists can make any sort of profit from music sales? What about suing single moms for sharing of a handful of songs her teenagers did? Or suing students into extradition? Or trampling with due process to get favorable rulings? Ar simply ignoring those and getting the Govt to raid a house of an innocent man with a full tactics force fully armed with heavy weapons against him and his family of a pregnant woman and a bunch of kids? Let’s also not talk about using your financial power to buy legislation all over the word to criminalize social behavior and prevent things from entering the Public Domain. And I haven’t even started mentioning the use of DMCA notices as censorship tools or the plain misuse of them for no valid reason.

Yeah. Repugnant indeed.

Brazenly Anonymous says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The real reason they're mad

DMCA notices are not protected by copyright and Chilling Effects not only is well aware that any such DMCA would be fraudulent but has positioned itself as willing to actually fight that battle. That’s why they are first trying to change the law.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The real reason they're mad

Yes, using the DMCA to suppress uncopyrightable legal notices wouldn’t be an abuse at all.

Not only that, but the notices themselves are on shaky ground as to if they are even copyrightable. Even more so for automated DMCA takedown notices since there’s zero creative elements in those.

Mike made this argument back in 2011:

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The real reason they're mad

So he’s objecting to the very purpose of ChillingEffects? Fair enough.

I think this is a feature, not a bug — it will encourage companies who have legitimate copyright claims to go after those who are actually infringing copyrights rather than uninvolved third parties like Google.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The real reason they're mad

There are arguments both ways. For a company that isn’t out to abuse the DMCA, trying to go after all those that are infringing can be an expensive game of wack-a-mole. A lot of sites, especially those based in other countries, may give lip service at best. Leaving the rightful owner to pursue much more expensive legal options with dubious amounts of success, and decent odds of the same people setting up a carbon copy of the site elsewhere.

Keeping the URL off the first few pages of of google search results on the other hand, is almost as good for their purposes, and much more likely to be honored.

The flip side of this of course being that Google should really not be obligated to filter it’s results, especially for copyright reasons.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The real reason they're mad

“Keeping the URL off the first few pages of of google search results on the other hand, is almost as good for their purposes”

Except that it’s really not. Most people who pirate don’t use Google to find their pirated goods, so eliminating that listing isn’t exactly the biggest bang for the buck.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 The real reason they're mad

Since when has the Hollywood worried about getting value for their money? They waste it on lawsuits and bribes to politicians to futilely fight against technology in the name of stamping out piracy instead of investing it in embracing the technology to provide added value to their customers which would in turn create larger profits. Oh yeah that’s right, the suck at math.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 The real reason they're mad

That rather depends on their purposes.

For example, if what they really want is that when someone searches for the name of their new manga series, the first several results to not include a bunch of manga scanlation sites, they can do two things. One, try and destroy the sites that are getting top results. Which would be ideal, but takes a lot of energy and money, and it’ll be replaced by a similar site soon enough. Two, they can have Google remove the offending results. Yes the site is still there, but every new person looking up information on their new series won’t get casually directed to a bunch of infringing sites instead of legitimate sites, and there’s less wack-a-mole involved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 The real reason they're mad

Real publishers have restrictions pirates do not. For example a manga publisher that wishes to start publishing English language manga digitally on a weekly basis needs to release new chapters on the official street date of the magazine the series run in. They can’t undercut the business model of the Japanese company they’re licensing from, which itself is reluctant to screw over users of it’s existing model in favor of a new model. Similarly, they’re bound by geographic restrictions. If a company has already licensed all rights including digital rights, to a series to a print publisher in a certain country, the digital publisher has to honor that agreement or strike a deal with the local print publisher. They have to make a deal with multiple Japanese companies to get all popular series on one website, several of the companies probably being direct competitors with each other and unwilling to share space with their rivals.

Pirates don’t have restrictions. They can make scans of copies stolen from the first batch off the printing press, and have scanlations posted online within hours of the publisher sending the master off to the printing company. They have no need to respect the licenses other companies have, so they can have it available world wide. They can post all series, regardless of publisher.

Working with the pirates is worthless for them. They can’t do much about the restrictions they work within, and pretty much everything else the pirates can do, they can do better. The problem for them is that while they can simply compete with the pirates and for the most part eventually win on quality, it’s rather difficult to get your legal option out and stable when the illegal option dominates the early search results for a series. Hence them sending take down requests to Google.

Eponymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 The real reason they're mad

I think there’s then an argument that needs to be made that many of our economic models are outdated, maybe even the systemic structure of society at this point. What I mean is that we created business models to get things done; if you needed horseshoes for your steed a blacksmith was they way to achieve that. Now we have this concern that we need jobs so to employee people regardless of the reality that their job may be highly inefficient and unnecessary; thus we keep many “smitties” around even though we don’t needs their wares anymore. The deeper societal problem is the question of “how do you move into a system where much of your workforce is unnecessary and redundant?” Our modern day economy is not built for this contingency and there is the main conflict! A few passionate fans can release a manga worldwide more efficiently through illegal means than the original publisher can through legal ones. The purely logical response to such an outdated system of commerce is to do away with it all and let the better system prevail, but that’s not a solution that’s best for the individual people involved in the society. So instead we have to intelligently navigate these conflicting poles to come up with a solution that benefits both one and all. Smart money says hampering this emerging technology with the business models of old is not that solution.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 The real reason they're mad

All that is just moving things up the chain. There is stupidity in not embracing the opportunities of the internet and a dedicated fan base. Whether it’s the final publisher who’s stupid about it, or one of their suppliers I don’t know, and don’t find particularly important. My point is, every time you see an anti-piracy crusade, somebody is deciding to fight against these changes rather than trying to benefit from them, and that’s dumb.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 The real reason they're mad

I think part of the problem is that copy’right’ has turned into a system intended to only include those willing and able to pay whatever the IP holder wants. The whole purpose should be to promote the progress and give everyone, including the poor, access to more content. But it’s completely changed into something else. Poor people, for instance, can’t afford to pay for thousands of songs yet the effect of IP laws is simply to deny them the ability to have a library of thousands of songs that they wouldn’t pay for no matter what (or if they would pay for it it would come at an extreme cost to them). The purpose should be so that they have more free content (a larger public domain), the only end result is that they are able to have far less content (50 songs in opposed to 2000). If the only end result of copy protection laws is to reduce the amount of content everyone has (especially the poor) then it’s not serving its intended purpose and it’s not acting in the public interest.

So, in a sense, it’s turned into sports where you have the haves and the have nots and the have nots don’t get to participate in culture the same way that the haves do. and so you are wondering why so many people are losing respect for it, because its turned into a tool intended to exclude those that can’t afford to participate.

What we need to start with is establishing a public domain. We need to retroactively shorten copy protection lengths to something sane so that the intended purpose of providing people with more public domain content can be served.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 The real reason they're mad

You’re talking about wanting to prevent people who wouldn’t go out of their way to download pirated material from finding it on Google. That’s fair. The current system accomplishes that.

Those same casual users will never go to ChillingEffects to look at the DMCA request just to get the URLs. That’s something that only someone who is energetically looking for pirated stuff would do — in other words, the very people who wouldn’t be googling for the stuff in the first place.

I don’t see how posting the DMCA requests is a detriment to their goals at all.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The real reason they're mad

Sending notices to google to remove a page from their results is somewhat less useful when it still gives you a list of URLs that includes the removed one.

Except, of course, those web page addresses aren’t searchable – which is why rights holders wanted them removed from Google in the first place.

If you wanted to find infringing copies of the manga titles listed on that DMCA notice (the one you linked to), then there’s no way in Hell you’re going to Chilling Effects to find them.

Sheriff Fatman says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The real reason they're mad

Except, of course, those web page addresses aren’t searchable

Google undead riot and you’ll get the DMCA notice linked to above as the first result (at least, I do).

P.S. I think Chilling Effects do a grand job, and I think it’s absurd that Google can get valid DMCA notices for content it doesn’t even host.

Eponymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The real reason they're mad

Being part of the “pirate” problem I’ve recently used the DMCA takedown notice to find a stream of HBO’s True Detective. Maybe I’m an outlier here, but I reason that other people are using it for it’s a more reliable source for content than other link-bait sites that have none of the content they claim they do. While I’m on the side of de minimis copyright, I find it flawed toput forth the argument that people don’t use this process to infringe when I in fact do.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The real reason they're mad

You’re an outlier for certain. You have much better options than that.

My argument is not that what you do is never done at all. My argument is that it’s very rare. The argument for why it’s OK to censor Google search results in the first place (something I think is the exact opposite of OK, but that battle’s already been lost) is to prevent “accidental” downloading of infringing material.

People intending to pirate don’t use Google for that very much because Google (and looking up things on ChillingEffects) absolutely sucks as a way to accomplish that goal. Most pirates will use the far superior (as in faster, safer, more convenient) alternatives.

“I reason that other people are using it for it’s a more reliable source for content than other link-bait sites that have none of the content they claim they do.”

Your reasoning is incredibly flawed here — the vast majority of sites that are named in these takedown notices are the very same scumbag sites that you are seeking to avoid.

Eponymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The real reason they're mad

My reason for this approach is that I’d rather stream the content (even at a lower bitrate) than download it off a site. If there are better options for streaming than this route I am ignorant of them. On the other hand if by better you’re talking about sites like the Pirate Bay I have no interest in having a personal copy on my computer taking up space.

As to the logic of my last point it goes something like this: if the site gets a DMCA strike it better have the infringing content, for if it just claims it does (to lure people to the site and spam them with ads) without actually having it that strike was in error (advertising you host infringing content isn’t infringement itself). I don’t know if all strikes are valid, but so far I have yet to come across one pointing to a scam link, though that’s anecdotal.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The real reason they're mad

“I’d rather stream the content (even at a lower bitrate) than download it off a site.”

What’s the difference?

“if the site gets a DMCA strike it better have the infringing content, for if it just claims it does (to lure people to the site and spam them with ads) without actually having it that strike was in error”

Lots and lots of DMCA takedowns are issued against sites that do not contain infringing content. Most of those claim to contain infringing content but do not.

Nobody actually goes to the sites to verify the presence of the content before the takedown is honored. Your sense of safety is an illusion. My recommendation? Stop looking for pirated content altogether.

Although, I have to admit, there’s so many oddities and weirdnesses in what you’re saying that I suspect you don’t actually do any of this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The real reason they're mad

That’s one reason they’re mad – but in reality, when was the last time you (or anyone) went to ChillingEffects to access infringing works? If they don’t like it they can go to court, prove their case, and force ChillingEffects to take down that specific URL.

They’re mad because they would actually have to go to court to do this. The DMCA has spoiled them – they expect stuff to get taken down NOW, without having to go to court or prove anything.

I also notice that, as much time as they spend complaining about ChillingEffects in their letter, they don’t actually suggest anything in their letter that would DO anything about them – except that congress should “question their motives”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The real reason they're mad

I also notice that, as much time as they spend complaining about ChillingEffects in their letter, they don’t actually suggest anything in their letter that would DO anything about them – except that congress should “question their motives”.

This is due to the subtlety of corruption and bribery you never publicly state what you , you just say something is terrible as a hint to the bribed person to do something for their money.This often results in the action being taken being what you wished for, which is often more than you could ask for.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘Wants DMCA System With No Public Accountability’

of course it does! the public want a system with no DMCA, or any of the other crap that prevents us from doing what we want with something we have paid bloody good money for!

how do you fancy that for a change, then, Sandra Aistars? you have no respect for us, why should we have any respect for you or the one sided view you keep ‘encouraging’ politicians to take?

Anonymous Coward says:

Notice and staydown - logical response

It seems to me that Youtube et al. ought to take this to the logical conclusion with an internal policy that any work traced to a rightsholder who likes notice&staydown ought to be brought down — even when Youtube knows the posting is authorized by the rightsholder. As a non-governmental platform, Youtube is obligated to carry works only when agreed to in a contract, so absent such a contract, why should they allow abusive rightsholders to use Youtube for any distribution, even trailers and other promotional materials? As the Viacom mess shows, rightsholders either don’t know or choose to pretend not to know when their works are posted with authorization, so zapping everything from such rightsholders is the only logical response to their copyright maximalism.

Anonymous Coward says:

yet the site unfairly maligns artists and creators using the legal process created by Section 512 as proponents of censorship

How publishing an unaltered takedown notice “maligns” the sender isn’t explained.

I think they’re not referring to the takedown notices there, but are referring to the front page of the site, where ChillingEffects makes wild accusations like “Anecdotal evidence suggests that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence other online users.”

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Since we’re being pedantic (a vice I have a very hard time resisting), I’d like to point out that one or more anecdotes actually is data. Data is just that — facts. Anecdotes count as facts in that they are things that happened.

What it might not be is meaningful information (information is meaning derived from facts.)

Easily Amused (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

excepting , of course, that a TON of anecdotes are third- or fourth-hand accounts of “data” … if not outright BS to begin with. They are also notoriously full of non-sequitur (or non-existing) logic, even personal first-hand accounts usually contain tenuous cause-effect links at best.

In this particular instance, I think it would be better stated that “evidence suggests that some individuals…” and leave the ‘anecdotal’ out, given how much evidence exists and how blatant it usually is.

Ed Allen (profile) says:

Enforcement costs

The Maximalists need to face the reality that even infinite money spent on enforcement will not get 100%.

They can spend X dollars and get most of the infringement. Or they can spend 4X dollars and get a couple of percent higher.

Beyond that the multiplier of X goes up rapidly but with almost no percentage gain for those additional funds. The RIAA and
MPAA know this already which is why they are attempting to offload the cost to ANYBODY else, Google and Netflix are prime
target because they have been able to make money on the Internet where the old methods have not.

They could change but that would require effort and some higher ups would no longer be able to draw multi-million
dollar bonuses. So the plan seems to be to offload the enforcement so they can continue to get money for doing nothing
like they have for generations.

That the expenses they are trying to offload will not EVER eradicate “Piracy” seems to be something they absolutely
will not face up to. (Maybe because they might have to admit that “doing nothing” is not lucrative any more.)

Alien Rebel (profile) says:


The Copyright Alliance is just another purely artificial astroturf organization, doing what it’s paid to do by a select group of special interests. It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the words uttered by Sandra Aistars are just nonsensical crap thrown at a wall in the hope that some of them will stick, and have some political effect. Look no further than who the Alliance founders and staffers have been; either MPAA execs, Nickles Group LLC lobbyists, or alumni from the Progress & Freedom Foundation, which played a role in Newt Gingrich’s ethics troubles back in the 90’s. Copyright Alliance Staff, 2008.

I had the displeasure of spending quality time on the phone with Ms. Aistars; “hack attorney” is exactly right, IMO. Former Time-Warner VP, attorney from Weil, Gotshal, & Manges. Defender of “creative individuals”? Yah, sure.

Strafe says:

Pure idiocy.

The so called copyright industry is full of egos more bloated than a puffer fish and twice as poisonous. 8^p

If only they were capable of taking their egos out of the equation and tried, just for once, to view the massive financial potential the internet offers from a solely logical point of view. They’d finally see how what they’ve been doing over the past decade is pointless and wasteful, making very little sense.

They’ve always done exceedingly well when forced to embrace new technologies and plenty of studies have shown us that the internet was no different. If any potential income has been lost, which is highly doubtful, it’s because of their own idiocy, not the file sharers they so love to blame.

They were handed this awesome gift and what did they do with it? They crapped all over it like a schizophrenic with a bowel disorder.

Alien Rebel (profile) says:

Re: Pure idiocy.

Actually, people such as Sandra Aistars are not doing any of this based on ego. It’s money. The only egos here are those of artists, musicians, and authors who naively buy the propaganda over so-called “theft,” and are just being used as foot soldiers by industry interests that see dollars in reducing the market share of anyone not them.

zip says:

strategic subterfuge

Since virtually all user-posted content sites of all kinds remove content upon demand from copyright owners (TPB famously being the sole exception) there is no real need to even involve Google. Unless, of course, the copyright industries are playing a strategic political game here. Since Google rebuffed their demands to completely de-list file-sharing sites of all kinds from Google’s search results, perhaps phase 2 of their strategy is to bury Google under such a mountain of takedown requests until they eventually throw in the towel.

How else can anyone explain why, after more than a dozen years of silence, the sudden explosion of takedown demands being fired at Google? Or the fact that takedown notices are filled up with mostly obscure sites that practically no one has ever heard of — no one, that is, except for the people who read Chilling Effects.

Gracey (profile) says:

Well … I’m confused I guess.

Sending a “takedown” notice to Google search only results in the URL being removed from search engines.

It doesn’t end up in “the actual content” being removed. Not unless the site hosting it is also owned by Google.

Seems to me the people filing the DMCA notices need to send notices to whoever is HOSTING the infringing contents in the first place.

When the content is removed from the host server, the URLs become useless anyway.

Maybe the DMCA filers should be less concerned about the URLs and more concerned about the content host.

I’ve filed my own share of DMCA notices. First, if the site carries advertising and the advertising company has an avenue for DMCA, I file with them. After that, I contact the site owner directly. Then, I file with the webhosting company of the website owner asking for removal of the hosted content from the server. And let the DMCA service do it’s job, which it usually does.

I file a DMCA with Google Search. Once the content is removed from the host, I don’t really care if the URL is still in search or not. It might be faster to get the URL removed from search, but it’s an effort that is useless if the content still exists.

To go any further isn’t worth the effort for me.

As for the Copyright Alliance, they don’t represent me. Nor would I want them to, since almost everything I’ve read about them appears to make them almost clueless.

Ed Allen (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They suffer under the delusion that nobody could FIND the content without Google.

Not even being told repeatedly that Google is used for only a tiny fraction of torrent searches
will alter their delusion. Google makes money. Google does not pay tribute. Therefore Google must be a Pirate.

Bing, being run by Microsoft, is “one of their own”. They ignore that the users of Bing are clueless technophobes
like they are. That young people use specialized search engines rather than either Google or Bing.

They just want the Internet turned into Television 2.0 so they can get these consumers to shut up
like they used to.

The desire to address a passive AUDIENCE is why they cannot create something like Spotify or Netflix
in spite of having an larger pool of content to draw from. They cannot deal with user CHOICE let
alone users talking to each other without them being in between.

Gracey (profile) says:

Need an “edit” button here. The following paragraph should read

I “DON’T” file a DMCA with Google Search. Once the content is removed from the host, I don’t really care if the URL is still in search or not. It might be faster to get the URL removed from search, but it’s an effort that is useless if the content still exists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

An edit button is problematical when people are replying to a post, as the edit could make a nonsense of a reply. Just post a reply to your own post and the correction appears in approximate time order in replies to the post.
You should have noted that corrections to the main article are carried out when someone points out an error. However this is acknowledged by a reply to the note of an error, and if necessary an updated note is added to the article.
The point is, it is very useful to be able to follow a conversation, including any corrections to posts. Correcting the main article is reasonable as that is all some people read, but it is done in a way that what happened is visible in the comments for anyone following them.

bob (profile) says:

You want public accountability?

How about this one for ya: if a DMCA notice is filed and not contested within, say, 72 hours, then the site must disclose the personal information and IP address of the person who posted the material. Furthermore, let’s add some more safe harbors for the sites that police this information. Google, for instance, could link everyone’s infringing YouTube posts with their email addresses and more.

I’m all for making all of this public because 99.9% of the DMCA notices are totally legit. Lets put these infringers in the public stocks. Lets shame them.

jameshogg says:

Re: You want public accountability?

Not only do many folk in society already openly reveal that they pirate many things, sometimes software worth up to thousands of pounds, everybody can see the pointlessness of calling the police, or the rights holders, in order to report this happening..

If it were a laptop worth a few hundred pounds that was stolen, police would be called. However, reveal in front of many people that you downloaded a cracked copy of Photoshop – also worth hundreds – and not only would no police show up, it is highly likely that anybody calling the police to report the theft would themselves be arrested for wasting police time. There is an unspoken rule that everybody knows here: “this is an obvious wild goose chase”. If one reports to the rights holders, one will get many rants thrown back about how there are “too many out there to sue”, or even “I’m just going to look like a dick if I sue”.

That’s why nobody reports, and even when there is info obtained (it is not too difficult to see the IP addresses of BitTorrent users), there is something called “I am Spartacus” that always comes into play. Rights holders simply can’t get everybody.

I could walk up to the offices of the MPAA, yell to them that I am downloading an MP3 without paying, and they will most likely not do a thing.

A law is only as good as the people who follow it. If the attitude changed and people started respecting copyright more, rights holders wouldn’t have such a tough time – but my objection is this: an economic system that calls itself copyright does not have a lot of integrity if it SOLELY depends on the attitudes of the consumer to function instead of the “practical” legal tools it SHOULD be functioning on, since global, god-like policing of property is realistically impossible and easily exploitable. In theory, copyright is supposed to work. In practice, it is laughable as the war on drugs.

An assurance contract is the only way an artist is going to be able to protect his property. Living in this utopian alternative where profits are assumed on trust instead of guaranteed before the creation’s existence is, ultimately, damaging to the artist. The artist’s faith in copyright is what causes his misery. If he names whatever price he chooses in his assurance contract, he will always be sure. And everyone else would suffer from a free-rider problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You want public accountability?

Here’s a fair compromise. You get this, but you have to swear, under penalty of perjury, that the links are infringing. No “good faith” loophole, you swear that there’s no extenuating circumstance for everything you want taken down.

This means that if it comes under fair use, or is something you have no rights to, you don’t get to avoid justice as you currently do.

Furthermore, let’s make a “three strikes” for DMCA abuses. Three false requests in one year and you can’t make any more takedown demands that year. Let’s even make it a graduated response:

First 3: No DMCA requests for 12 months.
Second 3: No DMCA requests for 3 years.
Final 3: DMCA requests BANNED.

It cannot be disputed that there are far too many illegitimate takedown requests. This would give the groups making these fraudulent requests an incentive to police their methods, as well as punish those who abuse the law (if perhaps giving them a little too much leeway). This can only be a good thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Moreover, by publishing the personal contact information of the creators sending notices (a practice which Chilling Effects only recently discontinued), it subjects creators to harassment and personal attacks for seeking to exercise their legal rights. “

First of all it’s not a legal ‘right’. It’s a privilege. Congress has the legal right to grant these monopolies but is not compelled to.

“The activities of are repugnant to the purposes of Section 512.”

Secondly, that’s the whole purpose of freedom of the press and democracy. So that the public can discuss and have a say in how we are governed. If we don’t like how the law is allowing you to abuse your legal monopoly privilege we have a right to speak up and criticize you for it and to demand the law be changed. Laws should be passed democratically, just because IP extremists have managed to undermine the democratic process and get bad laws passed (ie: 95+ year copy protection lengths and retroactive extensions) and the politicians and courts are bought and paid for through campaign contributions, revolving door favors, and other lobbying efforts (like taking lawmakers and judges on extravagant dinners) doesn’t mean that you should be able to abuse our broken legal system without any criticism. So a website comes up calling out all of your abuses and you are upset that people are criticizing you about it. You should be thankful our bought and paid for legal system doesn’t sufficiently punish you for your abuses. Infringement fines completely outweigh fines for false takedown notices and the opposite should be the case, not to mention the chances of someone getting fined for a false takedown notice seems to be very low.

You want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to be able to write the laws and abuse those laws without anyone criticizing you for it. You truly have no regard for morality whatsoever.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

If they think it is so horrible, what is their position on their membership who abuse the process?
There are clear penalties spelled out for everyone involved in this system except for those who make claims in violation of the law.

Repugnant is a system so broken that made up corporations can steal money from others creations.
Repugnant is a system that allowed a company to claim ownership of a bird song, not once but twice.
Repugnant is for all of the screaming about a legal process actually being transparent, they obfuscate their finances so much that they can plead poverty while paying this group anything.
Repugnant is that we have systems in place today that allow for global distribution and next to no cost, and these idiots pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Perhaps it is time we enforce perjury charges on the claimants of bogus takedowns and screw the idea that a computer be allowed to circumvent the provision to hold them accountable for making false claims.

If you don’t like the internet, walk the fsck away… I double dog dare you. They seem to think they can function without it, let them try.

Killion of HF Boards says:

Once again, fuck the Copyright Alliance! It’s time these pieces of shit and their scumbag supporters like Paul Vogelzang, Kurt Sutter etc. who control the politicians be put out of their misery. They had better dig a very deep hole to hide in, because that one will not be far enough away from home for them to dodge the bullet. All need to be put against a wall and be shot to death! Their pals like Saddam and Osama await to greet them below!

googleisevil (profile) says:

Google uses its blogger platform to host under aged pornography. I once made a mistake many years ago and took under aged nude selfies of myself. I subsequently deleted the images and thought nothing more of them. Then my laptop crashed and I took it to a repair shop to get it fixed, the shop owners son somehow retrieved the nude deleted images and posted them on several pornographic forums and blogs. The police traced the IP address and the perpetrator ended up in jail.

Subsequently with the help of the police my family and I were able to remove these images from these porn forums and blogs. However even though the blogs are deleted/closed, google continues to warehouse these images at urls terminating on their blogger platform. FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS google has refused ALL legal requests to remove these illegal underage images.

I have found Google to be a EVIL corporation. It funds a puppet organization called which is a baseless academic organization engaging in spurious academic drivel. acts as the single largest repository of active links to illegal content including ILLEGAL UNDERAGED PORNOGRAPHIC images hosted on Google servers and platforms such as blogger.

Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and the individuals who work for them are evil people who along with fraudulent organizations such as make it almost impossible to remove illegal pornography from their porn hosting platforms such as Blogger and from their search results. They are minting tons of cash on the misery of others.

The world needs to know about how these evil individuals make their billions. I no longer use any google products and I suggest you do not either. These unethical evil individuals do not deserve any of our goodwill.

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