Odd: Mega Removing Any File It Can Find That Is Publicly Indexed — Even Completely Legitimate Uploads
from the strange-move dept
There has been talk about how various anti-piracy operations have been “testing” Kim Dotcom’s Mega in terms of how it responds to takedown notices (so far, it’s apparently doing quite well). However, the folks at TorrentFreak noticed something odd. From their tests, it appears that Mega is actually taking down almost anything that shows up via a search engine that was set up to search publicly released “Mega” links. TorrentFreak uploaded some content that has been shared legally, and which is authorized for further sharing — and all of it went away almost immediately.
To test how quickly a file is removed by Mega we decided to post some previously uploaded legal content to Mega-search.me ourselves. Our uploads included a few Dan Bull songs, a clip from the Pirate Bay documentary TPB-AFK, a video explaining fair use and Kim Dotcom’s single Mr. President.
Quite shockingly, the files were pulled down by Mega in a matter of minutes, claiming they had received copyright infringement notices for each of them.
We are in receipt of a takedown notice affecting the following public link
in your account:
Please be reminded that MEGA respects the copyrights of others and requires that users of the MEGA cloud service comply with the laws of copyright. You are strictly prohibited from using the MEGA cloud service to infringe copyrights. You may not upload, download, store, share, display, stream, distribute, e-mail, link to, transmit or otherwise make available any files, data, or content that infringes any copyright or other proprietary rights of any person or entity.
Furthermore, please be reminded that, pursuant to our Terms of Service, accounts found to be repeat infringers are subject to termination.
It’s possible that someone is sending takedowns on all content it can find, or it’s possible that Mega itself is taking down all such content — and then flat out lying about receiving a takedown notice. Unfortunately, it also does not appear that Mega has any sort of appeals process, or the ability (as per the DMCA) to file a counternotice. While Mega is not a US company, and not subject to the DMCA, it seems only reasonable that it at least have a counternotice process.
Yes, given the legal mess that Kim Dotcom and his partners are in over their previous company, Megaupload, you can certainly understand why they might default to an extreme position of “take down everything that is publicly searched,” but that still seems ridiculous. There is plenty of content out there that is legally shareable, and if Mega does not want to allow public sharing at all, even of legal content, it should make that explicit. Alternatively, if someone is issuing bogus takedowns, Mega should have a process for dealing with that. Finally, it seems that Mega is in desperate need of an appeals process or counternotification system.