MUSO Just Can’t Stop Sending DMCA Notices On Behalf Of Indicted Fraudsters
from the please-stop! dept
Let’s be clear about this upfront: MUSO is a European copyright enforcement group with all the negative trappings that come along with that industry. That being said, MUSO has also distinguished itself from other piracy tracking groups by making some forward-thinking statements that don’t track with the copyright industries, such as coming out against the use of DRM or when it essentially told copyright holders to fix their business models to start bringing pirates in as customers.
But MUSO is, as we said, still a copyright enforcement group at the end of the day. It sends out millions of DMCA notices every year. Much of that is done on behalf of customers you wouldn’t bat an eye at. But as TorrentFreak points out, at least one of MUSO’s customers is causing raised eyebrows.
While going over the list of clients, one name stood out like a sore thumb. Apparently, Muso is also working with a company named MediaMuv Inc. While this name may not ring a bell with the average person on the street, it sits at the center of one of the most controversial copyright swindling schemes in history.
Last December, the US Department of Justice launched a criminal proceeding against two men suspected of running a massive YouTube Content ID scam. By falsely claiming to own the rights to more than 50,000 songs, the pair generated more than $20 million in revenue.
This would be a perfect place to remind everyone that the copyright enforcement mechanisms at major sites like YouTube are horrifically flawed in ways that opens them up to fraud and abuse. We actually wrote about the MediaMuv case back in April, some four months ago. One of the scammers has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing, which could potentially be incarceration over several years. MediaMuv has been shuttered.
Publicly available takedown notices show that MUSO continues to send takedown notices on behalf of MediaMuv, with the most recent one sent just a few days ago. Both Google and 4Shared took these notices seriously. Several URLs and files were promptly removed, even though the takedown notices were not sent by the legitimate rightsholder.
Apparently, MediaMuv was trying to limit piracy, which could have hurt their illicit Content-ID profits. And indeed, these notices do indeed target Latin American music, which is in line with the activities described in the criminal indictment.
Now, is it funny that these scammers also used MUSO to “limit piracy”? Hell yeah, dawg, that’s hilarious. But what’s not funny is that months after this scheme was found out, still MUSO is out there getting internet content taken down and/or delisted on behalf of those same schemers.
If your job is the enforcement of copyright on behalf of clients, it sure would be nice if MUSO bothered to be sure it was working for actual rightsholders. Or at least not admitted copyright scam criminals.