Of course one could try ignoring them until they actually complained - and then respond immediately - just enough delay to cause them an overhead but not enough to give them justification for a big lawsuit.
Anyone sufficiently motivated to ring up both the bookshop and the cops because of something they read in the newspaper is the sort of person who won't let the issue go until it's been resolved to their satisfaction.
It is also the sort of person that supports such kind of censorship and the law by itself without critical thinking. It's the sort of person that makes the lives of parents and kids alike hell just because they think they saw the kids out unsupervised. That the poor are poor because they are lazy. That providing affordable health for everyone is Communism or something. Etc etc etc.
Mr. Kevin Smith did raise a few good points about how the common man could deliver himself from the world's expectations and be happy.
I do agree with Chris ODonnell that the interview could afford to be much shorter. However great an orator/writer one is, one could only repeat himself up to the nth times without lulling an audience into a trance.
If memory serves, some providers did try to do this and make them submit DMCA notices manually, but the cartels whined that doing that would be too much work and/or cost too much. Naturally, none of their valiant defenders see a problem with everyone else being forced to cover the time and costs for them for free.
"While it's obviously easier to let machines do the work.."
Well, the reason it's easier is because these bots are badly programmed and merrily skip through basic logical checks without resistance. A human being would generally not be so stupid as to let addresses like 127.0.0.1, their employer's own websites or things like imdb and Wikipedia reference pages get added to the list. They certainly would be capable of doing some due diligence on the URLs they're reporting, and at least have a glance at them to ensure they're really infringing and not a completely unrelated product.
I can understand the initial discovery of URLs being automated, but the sad fact is that it's only "easier" because people let them get away with it. If there were real penalties for false DMCA notices or real danger of them losing contracts over the regular mistakes made, they'd be employing people to manually vet each list before submission very quickly. Sadly there isn't, so they pass the costs on to everyone else while the usual parade of morons cheers them on.
I wonder what would happen if they forwarded the results of the failed requests to the copyright holder directly. Imagine the conversation where they ask why the hell are we paying you to demand the same pages be delisted, after you managed to get them delisted?
On the upside, this is more sunlight on the issue of bogus takedowns and it is nice to see a company doing something obvious to highlight the BS in the system. Explanations so simple even a Congresscritter can understand them. Getting them to fix it is a huge uphill battle but if you pile up enough evidence of a broken system perhaps that can trump the "contributions" and promises of future employment.
All this does is put more obstacles in the way of intellectual property owners trying to prevent theft of their intellectual property. Why should intellectual property be a special case, with all these extra hoops to jump through, compared to any other property? It should be treated the same!
It is too much to expect intellectual property owners to bear all the burden of looking after their property. The Internet has a moral obligation to help us. After all, they are the technical experts, what is so hard for us should be childishly easy for them, they just don't want to do the work. Unlike normal property, intellectual property needs to be treated very specially and carefully, with lots of extra legal restrictions, because it so easily gets thefted otherwise.