Another Bogus Copyright Claim Silences Millions Of Rickrolls (Briefly)

from the some-might-find-that-a-good-thing dept

Two years ago, we wrote about how YouTube took down the original "Rickroll" video of Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up" -- perhaps the most well known internet meme ever. It seems that that video was taken down yet again, this time due to a "copyright claim from AVG Technologies."
Not surprisingly, soon after the news of this came out the video was put back up.

TorrentFreak claims that this AVG is the same as the maker of the popular anti-virus software, who almost certainly has no legitimate copyright claim to the video. And while there are other options out there, as well, it once again raises some questions about bogus takedowns, and the "silence first, ask questions later" process that is almost mandatory under the DMCA. Sure, the world isn't suffering much from a bogus Rickroll takedown (and some may argue they benefit), but just the fact that random third parties seem to be able to take down super popular videos raises serious questions about why we've set things up to work this way.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Troll them hard!

    A certain community could protest by taking down politicians videos--during election season. Maybe take down some of the videos on the President's YouTube channel as well. That should get this addressed; or get somebody arrested for "cyber-terrorism" which also sets a useful precedent.

    ;-P

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:12pm

      Re: Troll them hard!

      DMCA sit ins!

       

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    •  
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      PlagueSD (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:29pm

      Re: Troll them hard!

      Time to go visit Romney's youtube site (if there is one.)

       

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      •  
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        The Mighty Buzzard (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re: Troll them hard!

        With ACTA, SOPA/PIPA, and TPP all on Obama, it really confuses me as to why you'd want to DoS in favor of him.

        Personally, I think they're all entirely too willing to screw us because they're too insulated from the consequences of their actions. I say we take away their Secret Service protection and see if they behave any better.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Machin Shin (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

          You know, that would be interesting to see. Take away secret service and we would change presidents every couple days probably.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

            At least until leaders started running for president and not plottingticians

             

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          •  
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            The Mighty Buzzard (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 2:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

            Nah, see the great thing about that would be the kind of guys who want power for power's sake aren't the types who'd put their necks on the block for it. It takes seriously believing in something to be willing to knowingly risk your life for it. Or stupidity.

             

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

          "With ACTA, SOPA/PIPA, and TPP all on Obama, it really confuses me as to why you'd want to DoS in favor of him."

          I don't think Obama's really in the loop on these matters.
          The Prez's dealing with other matters (like the economy) and, unfortunately, he's just listening to people he trusts or his party tells him to trust.

          And please don't tell us Romney would be any better...

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

            So, your position is: "My President ignores me but that's OK, he's such a busy guy. He shouldn't be held accountable for those to whom he delegates my trivial issues. Anyone else would treat me exactly the same way anyway."

             

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          •  
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            The Mighty Buzzard (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 2:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

            Let me put it another way then. I really don't care about the motivation of someone who's poking me in the cornhole without so much as a bit of lube. I only care that my butt hurts.

             

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        •  
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          The eejit (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

          Because, quite frankly, neither candidate is very good on this issue, so if both keep getting taken down consistently, perhaps they'll see what a fuyckup copyright actually is.

          But I'm an optimist.

           

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          •  
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            The Mighty Buzzard (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 2:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

            It's a nice thought but you need to actually vote the incumbent out of office a few times before they'll do anything but carve themselves an exception into law.

            That's for people voting their conscience though. I plan on going a contrarian play and voting Obama again on the grounds of he's done a pretty wonderful job of screwing us repeatedly. Maybe the people who voted for him will get it through their thick heads why we don't elect guys like him very often. Also so the people who financed and voted in the Republican primaries will possibly get a clue and run someone who's not a complete douche next time.

            I guess I am a bit of an optimist too if I still have hope that voters might actually ever learn anything.

             

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:54pm

      Re: Troll them hard!

      You should see what AVG said about it.



      "" YouTube is a piracy haven with on last count, over nine thousand videos promoting the use of cracked versions of our software""

      ""YouTube facilitates the promotion, of the theft of our intellectual property"


      See the rest of the article , they even talk about pushing through laws that will block YouTube.

      source : http://tiny.cc/AVG-Response-To-Youtube

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 5:27pm

        Re: Re: Troll them hard!

        Well played sir.

         

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        •  
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          ltlw0lf (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 9:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

          Well played sir.

          Seconded. It has been a long time since that move was played successfully. You sir, win 100 Internets. Please use them wisely.

           

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2012 @ 2:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

            thank yous for the much coveted points.... my internets supply was running low.

            Played the same comment on TorrentFreak.... No great win of internts there : (
            I did win Lulz...Other commentators got mad, flagged the comment.
            Who would have thought.... A rickroll on a rickroll thread ! : )

             

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

          I would've clicked, if it weren't for your comment making me reconsider.

           

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      •  
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        G Thompson (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 11:44pm

        Re: Re: Troll them hard!

        Now and henceforth I deem that thou art to be referred to as

        "Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling"

        There is no physical award nor any other benefit that goes with this title other than the knowledge that you are a troll amongst trolls and of course that warm tingling feeling you get in your pants when you read your title.

        +1.0^12 Trolling and Rickroll points to you!

         

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        •  
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          Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), May 24th, 2012 @ 3:32am

          Re: Re: Re: Troll them hard!

          Title accepted !

          I would like to thank my wife, with her continued support I was able to achieve this prestigious title.
          Would also like to thank m....""Beyonce's single should have won"" ..SHUT UP KANYE , go sit in the corner.

          Anyway again, thanks for this title.

           

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      •  
        identicon
        JT, May 24th, 2012 @ 12:25am

        Re: Re: Troll them hard!

        That was perfect.

        Can I marry you? I want to get a sex change so i can have your babies

         

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      •  
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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re: Troll them hard!

        Over nine thousand?!?!

         

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      Baldaur Regis (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:30pm

      Re: Troll them hard!

      +1

      Better yet, forge the headers so the takedowns appear to come from an MPAA address.

       

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 4:12pm

      Re: Troll them hard!

      That is cute until one remembers the NDAA and how it means Gitmo is a destination for anyone without needing a pesky trial.

       

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  •  
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    DannyB (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    It's not silence first, it's CENSOR first, ask questions . . . maybe

    Censor first. Ask questions later, maybe, if ever.

     

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    DogBreath, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    I knew I felt a great disturbance in the Rickroll, as if millions of RickRoll'D" links suddenly stopped working, and were suddenly silenced.

    Oh wait, they're working again:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-HUgzYPm9g

     

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  •  
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    Peter N. M. Hansteen, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Intellectual property theft, demonstrated.

    This is exactly what intellectual property theft looks like.

    You see, one very important element of why stealing is bad is that your actions deprive the owners of the stolen object of whatever utility they would have had from the object had you not taken it away from them.

    The thief here is, if you haven't guessed already, the company behind the takedown, who apparently claimed to own the material without actually having any property rights in it at all.

    There have been several well publicized incidents where corporations or persons have falsely claimed to own a particular copyrightable item. I fail to understand the logic that decrees that depriving the a work's rightful owners (or the public in the case of material in the public domain) of their right to use, distribute or even profit from a work is not an actionable offense, while at the same time making copies of files for your friends could mean fines or damages amounting to of thousands of dollars or even jail time.

    People who issue bodus DMCA takedowns are the real intellectual property thieves. Keep that in mind while we work for copyright reform.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    My guess is that AVG had a company searching for torrents of its software. That company came across such a torrent which actually pointed to the Astley video. So the software did the utterly sensible thing and flagged the video as infringing AVG's software.

     

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      DogBreath, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      Perhaps the next torrent that hired company finds will point to AVG's main website. Oh the fun that will be had that day in watching a company shoot itself in the head. If this is the brainless manner in which they determine what is or is not infringing upon their copyright, then nothing of value will be lost.

       

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      •  
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        Ophelia Millais (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 2:31pm

        Re: Re:

        DMCA doesn't apply to sites like AVG's own. They're not a "safe harbor" intermediary.

         

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          identicon
          DogBreath, May 24th, 2012 @ 7:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Then they'll get no "safe harbor". ICE & DOJ can seize the domain AVG.COM for a year, without filing charges, then give it back to them in a year without an apology.

          They did it before, they can do it again.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Peter, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    You all have been rick'rolled...

    You guys have been rick'rolled... and...

    You people seem to forget that we have bigger fish to fry than being rick'rolled by TorrentFreak or anyone else. Read this:

    http://www.laquadrature.net/en/action-required-on-crucial-acta-votes-next-week

    http://ch ristianengstrom.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/eu-parliament-majority-expresses-support-for-acta/

    Don't you people think this is way more important then being rick rolled? Screw that... i'm not saying that TF/AVG/whatever did this on purpose to make you forget certain things but most of the comments i've been reading (not only here), to me at least, seem to make you forget the bigger problem we are facing right now and, instead of trying to do something, you guys (and gals) are forgetting what's going on in the EU next week.

    I'm not saying anything else, at least not for now...

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:43pm

      Re: You all have been rick'rolled...

      Shoot. I was hoping those links would get me rickrolled. That's all us guys here think about.

       

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      harbingerofdoom (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:16pm

      Re: You all have been rick'rolled...

      sooooooooooooooo, what you are saying is that we are too stupid to think about more than one thing at a time?

       

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        Peter, May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:53pm

        Re: Re: You all have been rick'rolled...

        I didn't exactly said that, did i? It that's the impression that it gave you, it wasn't my intention. All i said is that the majority of comments i've been reading out there (not just here) indicates that most are being, in some way, distracted from the ACTA matter (and not just ACTA, of course). Again, it wasn't my intention to "offend" or say something bad to you guys. Sorry about that. I just said what came out of my heart/mind. Sorry for being honest.

         

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          harbingerofdoom (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 2:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: You all have been rick'rolled...

          there are distractions everywhere and its important to keep up with the ones that are meaningful distractions (like this one with its implications on how flawed DMCA is) and those that are not (like someone jumping up and shouting "look at the little monkey!").

          not offended, just pointing out that people are capable of handling more than one subject at a time is all ;)

           

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          G Thompson (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 11:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: You all have been rick'rolled...

          what are you blabbering about?

          Since All i get out of your two comments is that Everything that anybody should be talking about whether contextually wrong to or totally off topic is and should be ACTA and how it is going to affect the EU, World, universe if not every utterance is about it.

          There is more blematic things of social and ethical import occuring on the planet than what ACTA et.al is all about also people have the ability to multitask about different things at once plus also leading a happy and productive life. This involves having fun, being immature, enjoying life and not letting one problem (even if of major import on ONE field) control everything they do.

          Take a breath, sit back, enjoy something and then put effort into ACTA etc.. But if you are dedicating more than 50% of your life/thoughts to this then you really need to stop or the stress's will kill you.

           

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    John Doe, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    Here is an account of what happened

    For more information on why this was taken down, click here.

    http://youtu.be/oHg5SJYRHA0

     

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    Richard A, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    OMFG.... you should see what AVG said about it.

    "" YouTube is a piracy haven with on last count, over nine thousand videos promoting the use of cracked versions of our software""

    ""YouTube facilitates the promotion, of the theft of our intellectual property"


    Fuck me.... you should see the rest of the article , they even talk about pushing through laws that will block YouTube.

    source : http://tiny.cc/AVG-Response-To-Youtube

     

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  •  
    identicon
    JT, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    Change the takedown process

    I don't see why 'Proof of ownership' can't be (or indeed, isn't) a compulsory part of the takedown process. Just a simple thing, bu it would save a lot of trouble for a lot of people. Hell, you could even train people to become 'Ownership Verifiers' and thus create jobs.

    Two birds, one stone.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 2:47pm

      Re: Change the takedown process

      It can be, used to be, and should be again. This is a big part of why I think we need to bring back the registration requirement for copyright protection -- then there is a handy-dandy list of what is copyrighted, making these kinds of determinations easier as well as making it easier to find out who to get permission for use from.

       

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    Wig, May 23rd, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Why is the DMCA process set up this way?

    To eliminate any 'third party' in a dispute. Especially any third party that has the power to remove the content, and has every incentive to remain as untouchable as possible.

    As the term implies, being a third party in a dispute normally means that you are neither the accused, nor the accuser. As such, the entire dispute could theoretically be ignored by this party.
    Thus, removing material should only be done by the poster him/herself, possibly as a result of a ruling by a court. In the extreme case, the third party could be ordered by a court to remove material, but only after the dispute was brought to court.

    But the DMCA introduced the following paradox: the only way to remain a third party is to not remain a third party: either you comply with the takedown request or you don't. That leaves no room for third parties.

     

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      orbitalinsertion (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 4:08pm

      Re:

      Well, one is supposed to file for a takedown on good faith and after doing due diligence. Since there is apparently no punishment for violating this (it isn't enforced, even if it is written into the law), there is no reason for any party to avoid abusing the system for their own (or so they imagine) benefit.

      Make it hurt to falsely file a DMCA takedown notice, and it will stop. The entity filing should have to prove that they had made a reasonable error in spite of the fact that they had done their homework. "Oops, we pasted the wrong link" cannot possibly be an excuse, either. Automated systems cannot do due diligence, so neither are they an excuse.

       

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    identicon
    RD, May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    WHY IS NONE EVER SUED INTO OBLIVION FOR THIS BEHAVIOR??

    WHY IS NONE EVER SUED INTO OBLIVION FOR THIS BEHAVIOR??

    Its mind boggling. This happens all the time, and there are ZERO repercussions for it.

    Yet if you share a couple of songs, you get the Legal Hammer (tm) straight up your ass for $2+ million dollars.

    The first copyright maximalist scumbag that takes down one of my works is getting it straight in the teeth with everything I can throw at them: fraud, theft, rights misrepresentation, and whatever other tools the legal system has to offer.

     

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      Ophelia Millais (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 2:55pm

      Re: WHY IS NONE EVER SUED INTO OBLIVION FOR THIS BEHAVIOR??

      It's difficult to argue that you were harmed when a video someone uploaded to YouTube was blocked, especially if the video is itself pirated. Just as importantly, to claim damages under 512(f), the party issuing the bogus takedown must also be shown to have "knowingly" issued the takedown, i.e. they actually knew they didn't own copyright, or should've known with reasonable care or diligence, or would've had no doubt when acting in good faith. We can say that AVG should've performed a cursory check that the link purporting to be for their software wasn't actually a Rickroll, but AVG would counter that 99.999% of the time the links are what they say they are, so they had no doubt, thus aren't liable for the few mistakes here and there.

       

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        RD, May 23rd, 2012 @ 3:14pm

        Re: Re: WHY IS NONE EVER SUED INTO OBLIVION FOR THIS BEHAVIOR??

        "We can say that AVG should've performed a cursory check that the link purporting to be for their software wasn't actually a Rickroll, but AVG would counter that 99.999% of the time the links are what they say they are, so they had no doubt, thus aren't liable for the few mistakes here and there."

        Why should that work? Since when is not "knowing" a defense? If I claim I didn't "know" (or believe) that a song I shared was under copyright, you can be damn sure that won't fly with getting me out of it.

        Ignorance of the law is no excuse and won't get you out of prosecution. Try "I didnt know" the next time a cop stops you and see how far that gets you.

         

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        G Thompson (profile), May 24th, 2012 @ 6:39am

        Re: Re: WHY IS NONE EVER SUED INTO OBLIVION FOR THIS BEHAVIOR??

        Actually due to the fact that a DMCA is written with the caveat of perjury attached to it and that the writer actually signs that they understand that. The notion that they do not carry out the due diligence that all reasonable persons associate with that oath (and yes it is an oath) is not a defence on face.

        Perjury though has never been charged, or if it has it has been dropped and not recorded publicly. The courts need to step up to the plate here since perjury by definition is a contemptuous action toward the court.

        In the real world I do not see this happening until at such time someone with the financial ability and public impact makes the court do this within the USA.

        Though interestingly the same DMCA's are being sent worldwide, which though the DMCA itself is not legally binding, the oath of intent under perjury laws is within each separate jurisdiction. It could be interesting for someone to take this up with their local judiciary, in fact I have a mind to do this exact thing myself. Oh and the actual person signing it is the perjurer, no personal immunities exist just because they were doing it as company representative or as agent or even as legal counsel either.

        Could be interesting

         

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      orbitalinsertion (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 4:09pm

      Re: WHY IS NONE EVER SUED INTO OBLIVION FOR THIS BEHAVIOR??

      Forget sued. There should be automatic criminal charges attached.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    The dreaded G word

    Sooooo.... youtube can't monitor everything because there's like eight trillion cat videos being uploaded every day.

    But, it's ineffective to try to take a spoon to empty that ocean (DMCA takedowns) and trying to automate that leads to wrong things being shoveled out.

    What's the answers.

    Gatekeepers.

    Sorry, folks, you can't have it both ways.

    http://www.gatekeepers.net/

     

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    identicon
    dan, May 23rd, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    Free Advertising for the company

    How many millions of people now know what AVG is because of this takedown. They get their name plastered on a page that people go to on purpose. If a video has had 100,000 views in the last week, thats probably a 100,000 people the following weeks that wont see the video when they go to it, but will see the name of the company who took down the video. Free advertising. Could you imagine someone shutting down american idol in such a way that everyone who tuned in, gets to see that companies name on their tv screen?

     

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