from the stupidity-in-Russian-doll-form dept
Ellen Seidler -- anti-piracy activist and tilter at windmills -- continues down the road to irrelevance with her latest post at Vox Indie. Seidler's film And Then Came Lola debuted in 2010. As of 2015, this remains Seidler's sole foray into motion pictures. Over the past half-decade, she's filled her time with futile anti-piracy efforts and endless documentation of those futile efforts.
Rather than dial back her anti-piracy efforts and put that time and energy towards something more positive, she's decided to explore the limits of her credibility. Her latest post deals with her (presumably futile) effort to take down a takedown notice posted to Chilling Effects.
Earlier this week I sent Chilling Effects a DMCA takedown notice, requesting that the site remove links that lead directly to a pirated stream of our film, And Then Came Lola. How did the pirate link make its way to Chilling Effects? Well, it’s not a new tale. In fact, I’ve repeatedly written about the fact that pirate links reported (and removed) by Google search are routinely reposted on Chilling Effects. Google even goes so far as to provide a direct link to the reposted content so as not to inconvenience its users.As she notes (and documents), it only takes users a matter of seconds to uncover the link Google removed from its search results and head directly to it to avail themselves of free copies of Seidler's film. (It should be noted that the DMCA notice she's trying to remove links back to Wolfe Video -- home of Kathy Wolfe, who spends "half her profits" on anti-piracy efforts while offering no evidence that this produces any return on investment.)
So, her solution is to issue a takedown notice to Chilling Effects to have the DMCA notice itself removed from the clearinghouse database. I've reached out to Chilling Effects to see if it can provide me a copy of this takedown notice as I'd really like to see the rationale deployed to justify the removal of posted takedown notice.
Unsurprisingly, she had trouble locating where she should send this bogus takedown notice.
Prior to sending my DMCA notice to the good people at Chilling Effects, I attempted to search for its DMCA agent and an email to use. I couldn’t find one so resorted to sending my notice to the only email listed on the site firstname.lastname@example.org which I found on the “about” page. Seems to me if you are in the business of sharing links to various sites reported for piracy, in order to comply the actual law, Chilling Effects should list a DMCA agent. It should also publish its removal process policy.It would seem obvious that Chilling Effects wouldn't need a DMCA notice because it does nothing more than archive takedown notices voluntarily forwarded to it by other sites. Takedown notices have already been complied with before they hit Chilling Effects. In essence, her takedown notice would be analogous to someone issuing a takedown notice to have a legal document removed from a third-party host, despite the fact that the document is actually a matter of public record.
While she admits Chilling Effects can also be a useful research tool, she's more concerned about its secondhand "posting" of infringing links to her content. But that's just it. It can't be useful for research by not posting the notices it receives. And it's a very valuable tool for documenting DMCA abuse which, while far from the majority of takedowns issued, is still prevalent enough it needs to be watched. Simply allowing takedown notices to vanish into the ether after they've been complied with (or rejected) would lead to an increase in abuse. People looking to silence critics or whitewash the internet would be far more prone to do so if they knew their takedown notices wouldn't be archived at publicly-accessible sites.
Seidler stresses how easy it is to go from point A (search results) to point B (Chilling Effects) in order to achieve objective C (infringing content) but rather than see this as the way the web is supposed to work, she sees a conspiracy aimed at uniting pirates with pirated goods in an overarching scheme to stick it to copyright holders.