Geniuses Representing Universal Pictures Ask Google To Delist 127.0.0.1 For Piracy

from the furiously-dumb dept

We recently wrote about a German film distributor that went on a DMCA takedown blitz and managed to send notices for sites that had nothing to do with infringing files (such as IMDB and, er, Techdirt). In a somewhat related story, we learn that representatives of Universal Pictures have likewise gone DMCA happy over infringing versions of movies like Furious 7 and Jurassic World -- even to the point of issuing takedowns not only for the film's IMDB page (for Furious 7), but for "127.0.0.1" for Jurassic World.
And while we’re on the topic of self censorship, it’s worth noting that Universal Pictures also asked Google, in a separate notice, to remove http://127.0.0.1 from the search results. The mistakes were made by the French branch of the movie studio, which only recently began sending takedown notices to Google. The company has reported less than 200 URLs thus far including the mistakes above.
You can see the notice here.
127.0.0.1 is, of course, the IP address a machine uses to refer to itself. It's also known as "localhost." In other words, it basically means "home."

...Should we delist this house from the address books?
This is obviously a case of these companies setting up some kind of automated system, working off of an obviously flawed algorithm, that is causing these errors, rather than having real people going through to see if the targets for these takedown notices are actually infringing. Why do we allow this kind of collateral damage in the DMCA system?

Even more ridiculous? The organization representing Universal who sent this notice is TMG, or Trident Media Guard, which is the company that is officially working with the French government on its Hadopi copyright enforcement program. You'd think that a company so closely involved in such issues, working with a major movie studio, might try to be a little more careful about these things. But, of course, when have copyright defenders ever cared about collateral damage like this?

And here's the really crazy part: it's not like this is even particularly rare. Chilling Effects has long lists of DMCA complaints that point to 127.0.0.1. We're talking about a whole lot of armed militias running around utilizing a targeting system that wouldn't be trusted in a snowball fight, never mind in the realm of something as important as speech and communication via the internet. Here are just some of the most recent (many filed by NBC Universal):
If we have to live with the DMCA, filers ought at least be forced to take responsibility for their own notices. Pointing back to their own flawed algorithms shouldn't be an excuse -- especially when the requests are so obviously wrong.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 11:52am

    Let us not forget 192.168.1.1
    That a hole has been port scanning my computer for years!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 11:53am

    ...Should we delist this house from the address books?
    Sure, why not? In fact, I think I'll patent delisting 127.0.0.1 as the Internet equivalent of going ex-directory. ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:00pm

    DMCA Takedown of 127.0.0.1 equivalent to

    shooting ones self in the head.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Nop (profile), 24 Jul 2015 @ 1:31am

      Re: DMCA Takedown of 127.0.0.1 equivalent to

      It's like getting drunk & going out blowing letterboxes - starting with your own.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 24 Jul 2015 @ 6:42am

      Re: DMCA Takedown of 127.0.0.1 equivalent to

      I think Universal should continue to use their Shoot First, ask questions Never approach in diligently pursuing the owner of the computer at 127.0.0.1.

      Find that box. Find its owner. Find all copyrighted files on that box. Ask no questions. Have the court impose statutory judgement against the owner of the 127.0.0.1 box for $150,000 per copyrighted file found on 127.0.0.1. Donate the judgement to fund the development of open source projects. Or other worthy projects such as Whistleblowers Without Borders.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:02pm

    When can we get these companies to pay hefty fines for mistaken targets. At least then they would have an incentive to properly verify what they are targeting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:07pm

    This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

    so that honest people don't get there accidentally. Should be special-cased, but what would Techdirt do without anomalies to be used against copyright?

    Next anomaly, if you have one, dull day so far.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 28 Jul 2015 @ 9:15am

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      Should be special-cased, but what would Techdirt do without anomalies to be used against copyright?

      Huh, good example of Poe's law. I think this guy is actually serious.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:07pm

    That's not at mistake. They've simply decided that the best way to end copyright infringement is to convince Google to remove it's own servers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:07pm

    This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

    so that honest people don't get there accidentally. Should be special-cased, but what would Techdirt do without anomalies to be used against copyright?

    Next anomaly, if you have one, dull day so far.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:16pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      This is the fourth such time that Home Address has been DMCA'd without any of that HOSTS text file stuff.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 1:17pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      So what is the magic number/percentage of anomalies before you recognize that they are not anomalies but design flaws?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 2:00pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      What you call "anomalies" I call all to frequent acts of total stupidity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 3:34pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      Did you even look at the chilling effects picture?
      Its obvious these are actual urls, not a localhost redirect.

      It looks more like where ever they are doing the scanning from, is on the same server as these urls hosts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        How could that be?, 23 Jul 2015 @ 4:41pm

        Re: Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

        Are you suggesting a pirate hunter company engages in piracy? Oh! How could that be??? /s

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      RD, 23 Jul 2015 @ 4:40pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      "so that honest people don't get there accidentally. Should be special-cased, but what would Techdirt do without anomalies to be used against copyright?"

      An anomaly, by its very definition, is an outlier, a singular instance. *THOUSANDS* of instances are not "anomalies", they are abuse.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 5:47pm

      Re:

      Oh, so we're down to the "but but but the computer did it!" excuse, are we?

      The computer downloaded those files, not the end user.

      Up yours, asshole.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 7:28pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      what would Techdirt do without anomalies to be used against copyright?

      Yet if a UGC site has as many infringing files as there are these DMCA "anomalies," rights holders would successfully sue them out of existence.

      Funny how you consider "oh, it's a mistake that got through our system" to be a valid defence when censoring protected speech, but when the censors use that excuse, you defend them to your dying breath.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2015 @ 8:04am

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      So lemme get this straight...the software that these asshats use to detect all these copyrighted files is so, so, so sophisticated, where the possibility of any false positives would be minimized to the point of insignificance - yet doesn't exclude the 127.0.0.0/8 network?

      Are you seriously trying to sell that horse shit here?

      It's shitty programming. And the fact is hasn't been fixed shows that not only is it shitty programming, but a lack of sense to even fix the fucking problem.

      Anomaly my ass. Your software just sucks. Keep making excuses - I'm sure you work in an industry where less-than-mediocre is perfectly acceptable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2015 @ 8:07pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      You brave, brave soul. I keep mentioning that Masnick never focuses on the actual details or the fact that no enforcement action has been taken, but he absolutely refuses to believe me and insists on rallying his defamatory minions to call me demeaning names such as "moron".

      Please, I beg of you. Permit me to have your offspring.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2015 @ 5:05pm

      Re: This anomaly probably due to automated skimming, such as of publicly available "hosts" files that blacklist: "127.0.0.1 piratesite.com",

      I beg of you, please let me have your offspring.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Since they insisted....

    Google might as well comply with the request by calling the ISP that supply internet for these companies and have them disconnected since that is the only way to comply with this DMCA request, I hope.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 1:01pm

      Re: Since they insisted....

      Or simply remove them from Google's index.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 3:48pm

      Re: Since they insisted....

      I see where that joke was trying to go, but it doesn't work.

      127.0.0.1 is a non-routable address that every machine with an IP stack has whether or not they're connected to the internet. Which means that an ISP removing service doesn't do anything relevant to the takedown request.

      Also, Google doesn't index anything with that address (for what I hope are obvious reasons), so they're already effectively "delisted".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2015 @ 7:23pm

        Re: Re: Since they insisted....

        Can we get them for a moronic hacking attempt under DMCA's security circumvention provisions instead? Since that really looks like an attempted exploit.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:15pm

    And they wonder

    They wonder why we pay so little attention their shenanigans... I don't listen to idiots. It just wastes my time!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:26pm

    > This is obviously a case of these companies setting up some kind of automated system, working off of an obviously flawed algorithm

    Never attribute to algorithms that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:36pm

    127.0.0.1 - I think it means they found infringing material on their own machine!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:39pm

    Somebody tell them

    not to run their scanning software on the same machine that they are seeding BitTorrent with.

    Note the file GUIDs that they are seeding and don't download those ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Miles Barnett (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:46pm

    Where can I get one of those door mats?

    I want one!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:47pm

    Multicast Addresses

    I want to see some DMCA requests for 233.252.0.0-233.255.255.255

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:49pm

    Notice a common idiot in the list?

    NBCUniversal is in that list several times over several months. It's not a one-time thing, but an ongoing stupidity for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MadAsASnake (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:53pm

    A reasonable interpretation of this detection is that the detecting computer was itself infringing the work in question. In other words, these detection organisations are serial infringers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 12:56pm

    I'm with Orrin Hatch on this one

    I am perfectly alright with letting the entertainment industry free license for some vigilante justice. They should hack that address and incapacitate the server on the other end. Just beware, the enemy may retaliate and try to take down you machine. In which case you'll need to get more machines to attack that address. Don't give up until you are sure it's down!
    (Feel free to invite the FBI's Intellectual Property enforcement squad to participate in the assault).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 1:19pm

      Re: I'm with Orrin Hatch on this one

      Marked as funny.

      Though the real question is if these guys aren't competent enough to know what 127.0.0.1 even means they are probably not competent enough to hack anything including their own machines.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 1:37pm

      Re: I'm with Orrin Hatch on this one

      yeah, they should attack 127.0.0.1

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 1:21pm

    Chilling Effects search

    Note that the particular chilling effects search linked to lists everything that has 127.0.0.1 in the entry.

    This includes things like a "bot spawner" with localhost in the description field of ChillingEffect's record.

    Some of the other description field localhost records include this trippy vietnamese takedown request reminiscent of Dr Bronner. Even better, that one describes the offending work as an image, but the description seems to be talking about a cracked version of Adobe Illustrator...

    So yeah, a trivial search of Chilling Effects leads to lots of 127.0.0.1 address DMCA takedown requests, but not as many as simply looking at the page count would have you believe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 1:55pm

    The greatest example

    I think this is the best example of how utterly broken the takedown mechanism is. You can sortof understand how actual sites could get mistakenly caught up in the net, but the inclusion of 127.0.0.1 is so utterly and completely braindead (and trivially avoided) that their inclusion is a straight-up admission that the filers aren't doing even the most basic checking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2015 @ 1:32am

      Re: The greatest example

      I agree.

      Shouldn't the correct and safe response to these stupid errors be a complete ignoring of the entire DMCA takedown request message instead of just that one URL?
      I mean, if they make this kind of obvious errors, how can anyone trust the takedown sender on the other URL's?
      Maybe that will at least improve the quality of the takedown requests...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 2:14pm

    Instant round-file

    IMO, any DMCA request including a reserved LAN address should be subjected to instant round-file.

    Anyone that stupid should simply be ignored until they get their shit together.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nick (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 2:29pm

    TMG intern somehow accesses 127.0.0.1, finds copy of video the studio provided for identification purposes, and adds 127.0.0.1 to ban list to send to google.

    ???

    Profit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 2:53pm

    are they dumbasses, or geniuses?

    i have to start to wonder if this isn't a form of... black flag operation.

    "Lets host pirated versions of our movies on the internet, then we can claim people are pirating our movie, then we can get our legislation passed!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 3:46pm

    Hey Universal pictures!

    The uploads are coming from inside the house.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 4:45pm

    The companies in question are attesting that the website they call Home is infringing. Google should honour DMCA requesters who ask for 127.0.0.1 to be delisted... by delisting the requester's main site, preferably with a message saying it was by that company's request.

    - It honours the company's request.
    - Bulk requesters might care more what goes into their DMCA requests.
    - The public will note major sites going offline.
    - News agencies might take note and be inclined to cover DMCA abuse.

    Google should also implement this algorithmically.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 5:43pm

    IMDB should comply

    What would happen if IMDB complied with the studio's fraudulent takedown notice and actually replaced the movie's page with a big notice saying "This page was taken down due to a notice from the studio"?
    Would all the people who worked on the movie complain... you know, the people whose jobs are at stake when movies are pirated, but who now don't credit for working on a movie because the site has been taken down by the movie's owner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 6:38pm

    CFAA?

    Can we sic the CFAA on them? Since I'm pretty sure that telling them to takedown themselves could be counted as an exploit attempt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 7:23pm

    127.0.0.1:randomport looks like their own machine is infected with malware that routes all web connections trough itself by changing the browser's proxy settings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DaveK (profile), 24 Jul 2015 @ 6:38am

      Probably not malware

      If you look at other complaints from NBC / Universal in that list, you'll see lots of URLs similar to (e.g.) "http://127.0.0.1:4001/?f=155981622851235502f234201111b20d".

      These are the format of file-download URLs used by the Cacaoweb collaboration / file-sharing software, which runs a local webserver to provide access to content hosted on its overlay network. So I think somebody's been searching for pirated content on that while being completely clueless about how it works.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 8:04pm

    A better question is: What is the company doing with infringing material on its own computers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 9:00pm

    Calling in a DMCA takedown notice on 127.0.0.1

    is like calling in an air strike on your own GPS coordinates;
    you become an instant Darwin Award winner!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2015 @ 12:23am

    So which TMG is it?

    So which TMG is it: the German Tele M√ľnchen Gruppe or the French Trident Media Guard?

    Or is it that all media companies spouting DMCA-nonsense are abbreviated to TMG?

    At least we know where we stand with this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraaf_Media_Groep

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 24 Jul 2015 @ 2:09am

      Re: So which TMG is it?

      Tim stated that the TMG on this case is Trident Media Guard. Perhaps it would lessen your confusion if you were to read the articles on this site as well as the comments.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2015 @ 5:47am

    Blast from the past...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James K, 24 Jul 2015 @ 5:47am

    Yes please help them....

    Yes please instruct them in how to block the whole 127.x.x.x range from accessing the Internet

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 24 Jul 2015 @ 6:38am

    Universal -- Demand Justice from the court !!!

    Dear Universal, please ask the court to do the following:
    * Find the actual computer that Universal identified as 127.0.0.1
    * Find the owner of that computer
    * Seize all of that criminal's assets
    * Order the criminal to cease any use of the internet forever
    * Investigate the principals directing the criminal operations of the criminal enterprise that owns that server to potentially uncover other criminal activities they are almost certainly involved in
    * Donate all seized assets to a foundation that distributes the funds to develop and improve open source projects
    * And whatever other penalties the court may find just and fair

    I think that would help.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dfed (profile), 24 Jul 2015 @ 8:45am

    There's no place like home...There's no place like home...There's no place like home...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:29am

    I think they have been telling us where they store things on their own machines.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 27 Jul 2015 @ 1:29am

    I think they have been telling us where they store things on their own machines.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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