How Much Does HBO Pay MarkMonitor To Send DMCA Notices Removing Its Official Content From Google?

from the and-why-does-this-keep-happening dept

We've seen plenty of ridiculous stories about bogus DMCA takedowns, but none get so ridiculous as the ones in which the content being demanded taken down is the officially released content. This often happens because of shoddy / clueless middlemen, as is the case with the latest example being passed around. HBO hired DtecNet / MarkMonitor to keep infringing copies of its works offline, and as TorrentFreak notes, the company sought to achieve this by sending a DMCA takedown notice to Google that demanded the removal of links to HBO's own website (as well as links to legitimate sites that included reviews of the show in question, Eastbound and Down).
Again, this kind of thing seems to happen all the time, once again confirming the key point that despite all the talk by maximalists that Google should just "know" when a work is infringing, copyright holders' own representatives have absolutely no clue at all, and that should weigh against the idea that Google or any other third party might magically know.

My real question, though, is just how much is HBO paying DtecNet / MarkMonitor for this "service"? Not only is it making a complete mockery of HBO itself, but potentially killing search engine optimization value that HBO might have towards its legit and authorized content.

Also, isn't it comforting that DtecNet / MarkMonitor are going to be the ones responsible for going after people under the new six strikes program? Stories like this really add confidence to the idea that they're going to make a complete mess of the whole thing.

Filed Under: dmca, hbo, takedown
Companies: dtecnet, google, markmonitor

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The First Word

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2013 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re:

    "The fact that you are inconvenienced is of no concern to any ISP. Their only concern is can they make a profit by providing you a service. This is not a hospital, water company, or electrical power company that as a condition of their being a monopoly they must provide life supporting services service."

    Except, you are wrong, many jurisdictions now claim that internet access is indeed a right. Even child molesters can't be denied access to the internet, or even to social media.

    In MANY parts of the country there are VERY limited options for internet. Where I live I have two options. Cable and Satellite (due to trees this isn't really an option for me). The former is outrageously priced, is indeed a monopoly in my area and the latter is priced even higher, and has a ton of issues that make it incompatible for me to use.

    Further, there is NO WAY for them to KNOW that what I download (or uploaded) is infringing content, no way to prove that it was even me, or an authorized user on my system. What if one of the systems in my house has a viruses and is being used as a torrent host without my knowledge. (Yes, that is far more common than you think). I could easily accumulate '6 strikes' without even doing anything wrong (unless you count unknowing having a virus as wrong).

    Currently a lot of malware is targeted at gathering usernames and passwords and sending out spam. There is already existing software that sets up torrents to seed music and movies. Under this plan that will blossom, and probably become a goal for many illicit organizations.

    Now throw in the fact that more than 50% of the time they get it wrong and there are going to be a whole lot of people that are getting strikes that should not be. I hope you amass a few of them, then come back and sing the same tune.

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