Copyright

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
copyright, dmca, takedowns

Companies:
chaturbate



Someone Impersonating An Adult Chat Site Sends DMCA Takedown Service Targets Tons Of Legit Sites, Including Chaturbate Itself [UPDATE]

from the bumptious-interloping dept

UPDATE: Not until after the post went live did I finally hear back from Chaturbate about its bogus DMCA notices. Chaturbate's support claims these notices were performed by an imposter. I'm not ready to take the company at its word, as there are hundreds of DMCA notices to be dug through before anything can be determined further. It does appear some DMCA notices were more finely-targeted (claims sites "stilled content" [?!]) but all of these were issued in a five-day span, suggested a concerted effort by Chaturbate that appears to have misfired, at least initially.

UPDATE #2: After several emails back and forth, it appears someone is using Chaturbate's name to send DMCA takedowns, but it is *not* Chaturbate itself. (Here's what a legit takedown notice performed by Chaturbate's in-house service looks like.) Here's the latest, direct from Chaturbate:

From what we can tell, these notices are likely from one of two possible sources. The first source is some third-party DMCA notice service that has contracted directly with our users. We are in the process of emailing each user on whose behalf one of these bogus notices has been sent, asking them to put us in touch with the takedown service they are using. The other possible source is some user who has taken it upon themselves to make a dent in the community of sites that republishes content that's been recorded from Chaturbate and decided that sending out DMCA notices without authorization was a good way to accomplish that goal. If we get a response from any users that helps us get to the bottom of this, we will let you know.

When more details are available, a follow-up post will be written, hopefully exposing the third party DMCA service impersonating Chaturbate and doing a flatout lousy job protecting someone else's intellectual property.

Portmanteau words are great. It's a highly-efficient way to forcibly join two (possibly unrelated) actions and create a brand new activity. Add to this a decently-fast internet connection and you have Chaturbate, a service that puts people together to do things to themselves separately.

Granted, much of this could be done with other services, including the portmaneau'ed ChatRoulette, but targeted markets are more profitable than floating from chat to chat hoping to escape the "turbate" part of this internet concoction. Chatting is fun. So is masturbation. But not many people enjoy being masturbated at, especially when they're looking to just chat a little. Chaturbate, however, gives people what they want, in as many varieties as they want it.

Good for Chaturbate and its users. Like any other webcam service, Chaturbate wants to keep people from finding the same stuff for free. So it performs its own free, in-house DMCA takedown service. Good news for its clientele, especially those providing the entertainment.

Unfortunately for Chaturbate and its users, an unknown third party has stepped in to do this as badly as inhumanly possible. Over the course of two days in July, Chaturbate someone using Chaturbate's name carpet-bombed Google with DMCA notices -- many of them likely duplicates. Almost nothing has been removed. It may be there are a few illicit streams/recordings somewhere in the stack of webpages, but it's going to take some time to sort them out because of all the garbage added by these takedown efforts.

In addition to targeting its own site Chaturbate itself in its takedown requests...

The third party has also targeted:

And that's just a few selections from a single DMCA notice. There are dozens more, filled with the same errors. Multiple university websites are targeted, along with several product pages from Amazon and eBay. The only thing that seems to tie these URLs together might be the names mentioned on the pages. "Colin" seems to be one trigger, netting multiple bogus targets in Chaturbate's these takedown notices, including most of the URLs listed above.

If Chaturbate someone is performing searches using performers' names, it's auto-generating a ton of garbage hits that no one at the company is sorting through before passing the takedown notices on to Google. A lack of attention to detail is never a good sign when it comes to the business world. It's even worse when it has the potential to delist legitimate content. And this would be happening en masse if Google were as careless as those issuing takedown notices.


Reader Comments

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Aug 2017 @ 5:08am

    One should be plenty

    Google should assume that of all the links listed the company at least has the right to it's own site and treat that DMCA claim as accurate and valid and act accordingly.

    After all, if anyone is going to know whether or not a particular site/page is infringing clearly it's the person who runs it, so if they want to claim that their site is infringing who is Google to say otherwise? And with multiple infringing pages it's pretty obvious that the site is dedicated to infringement and a haven for copyright infringers on a large scale, so it seems only appropriate to de-list the entire site just to be safe.

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

    • identicon
      Machin Shin, 1 Aug 2017 @ 6:46am

      Re: One should be plenty

      That is exactly what I was thinking they should do. Just de-list the entire site and when they complain you just point them to their own DMCA. That should drive home the point and would be quickest way to fix this issue.

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

  • icon
    hij (profile), 1 Aug 2017 @ 6:48am

    Naughty particle physics

    So does that mean "Hunting the Higgs" is the latest euphemism that the kids are using?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 6:49am

      Re: Naughty particle physics

      My girlfriend and I did some quantum tunneling last night.

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

    • identicon
      bob, 1 Aug 2017 @ 10:50am

      It all makes sense now when you see the patterns

      Chaturbate was just trying to physically locate, information that a high school coach, isn't falsely raising money,to get people to look at his large hadron, because Miley discussed it on Steam, while driving her Mercede-Benz.
      Unfortunately the New York Supreme Court wasn't able to keep several graduates at Rochester from performing an Alzheimer's study on the people at chaturbate so they forgot to stop the release of this effort which is why we have so many false DMCA hits to deal with today.

      .

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

    • identicon
      Bruce C., 1 Aug 2017 @ 3:29pm

      Re: Naughty particle physics

      Nah, it's just that Large Hadron couldn't be anything but a typo, now could it?

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

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 1 Aug 2017 @ 6:52am

    "The only thing that seems to tie these URLs together might be the names mentioned on the pages. "Colin" seems to be one trigger"

    Hmmm...

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1278322/

    Colin, a zero budget movie about a mindless zombie, a tragic character who is doomed from the very start?

    Seems strangely fitting.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 7:11am

    Tim, you seem to hate copyright just as much as Mike does.

    Or that is what a copyright maximalist or troll with any consistency should drop by like a seagull to say.

    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, 1 Aug 2017 @ 7:53am

    OMG! Some over-ambitious Linux weenie wrote a lousy script! Do away with all DMCA takedowns and all copyright!

    Every day, Hackscribus, the Roman god of re-writers, sends just enough of the special trivialum that Techdirt feeds on through the Cloaca Internetum.


    (Tried to get in at 7:16 Pacific; somewhat improved since...)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 8:42am

      Re: OMG! Some over-ambitious Linux weenie wrote a lousy script! Do away with all DMCA takedowns and all copyright!

      Oh look, scooter learned about the existence of pseudolatin. You see that everyone? He did it all by himself!

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:28am

      Re: OMG! Some over-ambitious Linux weenie wrote a lousy script! Do away with all DMCA takedowns and all copyright!

      "Some over-ambitious Linux weenie wrote a lousy script"

      So, then, you agree with what most of us have been saying for years, that the DMCA is an insufficient tool to deal with copyright infringment? That automated takedowns are a terrible thing because they can be performed en masse with no repercussions, despite the very real danger of damage to innocent 3rd parties? That a process needs to be put into place to protect both parties while ensuring that some random person can't cause havoc by carpet bombing the internet with requests?

      Ah, no, you're still willing to try and attack this site even on issues you would find you actually agree with them on. Never mind, we return you to your daily childish rant in progress...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 8:18am

    I thought filing a false DMCA notice was actually a crime (perjury). Is that true? The article doesn't seem to mention it.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Aug 2017 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      I thought filing a false DMCA notice was actually a crime (perjury). Is that true? The article doesn't seem to mention it.

      Well... the actual language says that the "on penalty of perjury language" really only applies to whether or not the person sending the notice represents the copyright holder. Some have argued it can be read to apply to the entire message, but it's not entirely clear if that is truly the case.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 8:59am

        Re: Re: This isn't false, though! It's for apparently genuine content on (currently) non-existent URLs.

        But glad to see The Masnick at last ADMITTING that this whole area isn't settled and clear. Wish that'd damp the railing here, but won't.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 1 Aug 2017 @ 1:14pm

          Oh most people around here seem to understand that the perjury clause is very limited, that's the problem.

          With it only applying to a very minor section(and never enforced even then), the law has effectively no penalty clause in it for abuse such that people can use and abuse the law to their black heart's content and not receive so much as a slap on the wrist for doing so.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:32am

          Re: Re: Re: This isn't false, though! It's for apparently genuine content on (currently) non-existent URLs.

          Erm, what are you on about?

          "This isn't false, though!"

          It is false. They are claiming copyright infringement on URLs where the content in question does not appear. Well, apart from the ones on their own site where it's actually meant to appear.

          "It's for apparently genuine content on (currently) non-existent URLs."

          No, the URLs exist. They just don't have the content the notices claim is present. The content hosted on those links is also genuine, and nothing to do with Chaturbate.

          You still need to read and understand the article before trying to get creative with subject lines.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 10:56am

        Re: Re:

        Some have argued it can be read to apply to the entire message, but it's not entirely clear if that is truly the case.

        Doesn't matter if it is if courts refuse to enforce it.

        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, 1 Aug 2017 @ 9:00am

    * This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it

    For a site that loves "free speech" and parody, you sure can't take it!

    ---

    OMG! Some over-ambitious Linux weenie wrote a lousy script! Do away with all DMCA takedowns and all copyright!

    Every day, Hackscribus, the Roman god of re-writers, sends just enough of the special trivialum that Techdirt feeds on through the Cloaca Internetum.


    (Tried to get in at 7:16 Pacific; somewhat improved since...)

    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, 1 Aug 2017 @ 9:13am

      Re: * This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it

      It's TD. The snowflakes generate a lot of snow so they can bury those they "disagree with" while advancing the idea of tolerance.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 9:21am

        Re: Re: * This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it

        Oh scooter, replying to yourself to look like more than zero people agree with you, is generally frowned upon in polite society.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 9:36am

        Re: Re: * This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it

        That sounds an awful lot like every other blog on the internet. Just because you disagree with the majority on any given site doesn't give you the right to disparage it on that site with impunity. But go ahead and whine about not being heard in a sea of dissenting voices. It's your time to waste.

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

      • identicon
        ryuugami, 1 Aug 2017 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: * This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 6:36pm

        Re: Re: * This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it

        How's that Paul Hansmeier defense fund coming along, bro?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 9:34am

    Chaturbate's support claims these notices were performed by an imposter.

    Exactly, the company they hired for the job was pretending that they had expertise in identifying infringing content. It's what happens when you go for lowest bidder.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2017 @ 10:11am

    "stilled" is.. past tense of steal?

    Latoya, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Aug 2017 @ 10:30am

    Honestly the system needs reform.

    A fee for submitting incorrect links & a waiver of liability of recipients who get 1000 shit links & demand payment before they will bother processing any more from them.

    Mistakes will happen, and a $20 fee is a small price to pay... unless you are carpet bombing in the stupidest way possible... then stupid should hurt.

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


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