It Happened Again: Antipiracy Outfit Asks Google To Delist 127.0.0.1 On Behalf Of Ukrainian TV Station
from the where-the-piracy-is dept
We’ve made this point before, but the moment you attempt to scale up copyright enforcement, you run into problems. Collateral damage from automated systems mistaking non-infringing content for infringing, the possibility of fraud and abuse, the blind eye towards Fair Use all become problems. But sometimes those problems are so silly that they expose what a pure fiasco this has become. Several years back, we discussed Universal Pictures asking Google to delist a bunch of supposedly infringing sites, listing one of them as 127.0.0.1. Depending on how computer savvy you are, you may recognize that this IP address is how a computer or system refers to itself. In other words, it essentially means “home.”
And, yet, despite how silly this all is, it just keeps happening. Most recently, the anti-piracy outfit used by a Ukrainian television broadcaster may have outed its own client by also asking Google to delist 127.0.0.1.
Ukrainian TV channel TRK has sent a rather bizarre takedown request to Google. The company’s anti-piracy partner Vindex asked the search engine to remove a search result that points to 127.0.0.1. Tech-savvy people will immediately recognize that the anti-piracy company apparently found copyright-infringing content on its own server.
The request was sent by TKR’s anti-piracy partner Vindex, which essentially flagged a file on its own machine. The ‘infringing’ link is 127.0.0.1:6878/ace/manifest.m3u. This points to a playlist file, possibly for the P2P streaming platform Ace Stream that’s often used to pirate content.
Now, a number of things here should be unsurprising to our regular readers. That an antipiracy outfit sucks at identifying proper sites for delisting is no surprise. Likewise, the idea that a company that is crying about copyright infringement might be guilty of infringement itself also fails to shock the mind. But what is surprising is that the antipiracy outfit may have accidentally outed its own client through its own stupidity as a party infringing copyrights so thoroughly.
Google obviously cannot delist the IP address, as there is nothing to delist. And, frankly, Vindex is known to suck at its one job.
Since 127.0.0.1 refers to the host computer, Google is technically asked to remove a file from its servers. A file that doesn’t exist. Needless to say, Google hasn’t taken any action in response.
The above suggests that Vindex may want to take a good look at its takedown bots. The company doesn’t have a stellar reputation when it comes to DMCA notices. Of all the links that were reported to Google, little more than 10% were removed by the search engine.
Adding to it that you imagine there are some uncomfortable conversations being had between Vindex and its client today and you’re left with the impression that there is a ton of egg on its face right now.