Censorious, Abusive Spanish Anti-Piracy Firm Targets Chevron (Yes, Chevron) With Bogus Copyright Takedowns

from the who-do-you-root-for? dept

Here are two separate stories we've covered in the past that we never expected to link up. First up, there's the massive set of legal disputes that Chevron has been involved in down in Ecuador. The legal battles have been going on for 20 years and still continue. I won't get into all of the details there, but you can click that link to read the basics. We've actually written about this fight in a few more specific contexts over the years: (1) a few years ago, Chevron sought to force a documentary filmmaker to turn over some of the cut footage from his documentary, which Chevron won. The company claimed that the footage would help it get the lawsuits dismissed, whereas the filmmaker argued it was like forcing a reporter to give up his sources. (2) Just a few months ago, we wrote about how a judge in NY gave an incredible ruling, giving Chevron access to nine years' worth of Americans' email metadata, as they went in search of details about those who have fought the company concerning the case. (3) Even more recently, we wrote about how the whole "corporate sovereignty" concept -- better known as the boring-sounding (but extremely important) "investor state dispute settlement" -- was being used to try to kill off the $18 billion judgment against Chevron by the Ecuadorian courts.

Second, there's the strange case of Spanish "anti-piracy" firm Ares Rights, which didn't actually seem that interested in "anti-piracy" but in out-and-out censorship via copyright fraud on behalf of various Latin American countries. Ares Rights (correctly) realized that copyright notice-and-takedown provisions were a de facto censorship tool, and has used that to the maximum advantage possible, regularly issuing highly questionable copyright takedown claims to take down all sorts of content that might embarrass the governments of Ecuador or Argentina, even if they have no legitimate copyright interest in the material.

Now, however, Adam Steinbaugh alerts us to the news that Chevron itself has posted a blog post on a blog the company has dedicated entirely to the Ecuador lawsuit (yes, they have an entire blog on the topic) in which the company explains how Ares Rights has begun issuing a similar series of completely bogus takedowns on Chevron's own videos.
You may have noticed that our videos on The Amazon Post are currently down. In late November, Ares Rights, a firm based in Spain that claims to be “devoted entirely to the defense of rights on the Internet,” filed copyright infringement claims against videos legitimately posted to YouTube by Chevron.
Chevron also chides Ecuador for its recent attempts to "rebrand" itself as the "home of internet freedom" at a time when it's doing plenty of things that suggest it is not a fan of internet freedom at all.

Chevron claims that it's working to get those videos back up, and details past abuses of copyright law for the sake of censorship by Ares Rights. No matter what you might think of Chevron, it's difficult not to think that, if the company decided to pursue Ares Rights with a DMCA 512(f) claim of misrepresenting the copyrights and seeking sanctions, the case could suddenly get very interesting. It would certainly be the most money ever behind establishing a 512(f) violation, and it would be nice to get a good ruling on that front in a case where the actions are especially blatant, obvious and censorious.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    "No matter what you might think of Chevron," Mike makes it out to be the good guy, huh?

    Hmm. I'll just forego other comment and drop a reasonably apt tagline (Mike's re-write actually includes this scope):

    Mike frequently runs items on copyright abuse and mis-use intended to STIFLE expression knowing full well that his fanboys use those bad acts to justify their own STEALING of copyrighted content. As Mike never runs items condemning STEALING, it's difficult to see how he "supports copyright". -- Mike therefore sets up a false alternative: in fact, BOTH STIFLING AND STEALING ARE BAD.

    07:15:39[i-226-3]

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 11:18am

      Re: "No matter what you might think of Chevron," Mike makes it out to be the good guy, huh?

      And your comments which are easily disproved ootb fall well short of actually proving what you state so you cannot comment without being a hypocrit.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

      Re: "No matter what you might think of Chevron," Mike makes it out to be the good guy, huh?

      I like how you package all the "fanboys" as stealers of copyrighted content. I am, for a majority of the articles, a, "Fanboy by your terms", of Mikes works. His, "repackage of stolen, pirated, infringed, copyrighted, or how every you imagine it", work is how I keep up with a lot of issues I see as a problem when working in the IT industry. I, "as your view of fanboy", don't justifies anything because I don't steal, infringe, pirate, whatever you think is I do just because I support Mike's views. I agree with his views on copyright because I have seen first hand that it works far better then whatever outlier views you seem to have.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    If you've gotten an $18 BILLION dollar judgement against you for law breaking, and you're guilty, then you deserve to go bankrupt. What the heck did they even do to get that kind of a huge fine?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 11:56am

      Re:

      Intentionally failed to meet basic safety standards under Ecuadorean law, IIRC.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Environmental laws, not "safety standards". Safety standards make it sound like they use machines that could have seriously hurt someone or that their buildings are dangerous.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 3:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Failing to comply with environmental laws can seriously hurt people not even connected with them. That is why those laws exist in the first place.

           

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      rummeltje, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 4:19pm

      Re:

      http://chevrontoxico.com/about/

      While drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1990, Texaco which merged with Chevron in 2001 deliberately dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled roughly 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor. To save money, Texaco chose to use environmental practices that were obsolete, did not meet industry standards, and were illegal in Ecuador and the United States.

      The result was, and continues to be, one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 7:27am

      Re:

      18 billion is not going to come anywhere close to bankrupting Cheron; their annual profit for 2012 was almost $27 billion.

       

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    Techanon, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    They'll settle. It always ends with a settlement, and there's no reason to think this will end differently.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    what made the judge concerned give Chevron the right to go through the meta data of emails for a 9year period? what made that same judge think it would be seen as anything except bias? what the fuck is wrong with the legal system and those who are supposed to be 'upholders' of that system? sure, Chevron is an extremely big, powerful and wealthy company but if it has done wrong, especially using the 3 traits mentioned above, it should not only be found guilty and face the consequences, those consequences should be all the wore severe

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    Chevron will never pay up and never push a DMCA 512(f) claim ..it's hype they think the web will stand behind them for this reason .. if Chevron was so worried about internet freedoms privacy would play a huge part but instead they grabbed the meta data which makes them environmentally unsafe for both the and nature

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    oh dear, might that be one of those "my enemies enemy is my friend" cases?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

      Re:

      When the enemy's enemy is also your enemy it is best to sit back, grab some popcorn and watch them fight. No matter who loses you win.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Idea to promote enchancements for DMCA

    I think we can crowd-send DMCA notices to pages belonging to all member of congress. When they pages will go down each time for two weeks even for bogus DMCA claims... The law will be fixed pretty quickly.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    Pot and kettle?

    Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Honestly, all of this is just so WRONG! People mostly have brains and can make up their own minds about the validity of corporate/national claims... At least I hope so! :-)

     

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