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  • Jan 28th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Why identity should not be disclosed

    I know this topic is several months old but there is a glaring issue missing from the "discussion".

    RISK OF HARM and CYBER-STALKING

    Let's say some psycho on blogger is stealing / using my intellectual property on Google's blogger service and I want it taken down, according to this "policy" the only way to do it is to allow Google and ChillingEffects.org to publish my name publicly in relation to the takedown.

    If I go through with it and the infringing party really is a total psycho cyber-stalker, they will now have more information and might just decide to track me down and do harm to myself, my property, or even someone associated with me.

    That is beyond unfair and also goes against the legal provisions of data centers around the world. If some web site started using my protected content I could simply submit an abuse report to the data center that hosts the web site, and the ONLY party that will need to know and confirm my identity is the data center.

    In fact, anyone who runs a web site knows this - if a complaint is sent to your upstream provider and they have been supplied with sufficient proof of ownership and infringement, then your data center / host will demand that you remove the content from your web site within a certain amount of hours or else they'll shut down your site. They will NOT disclose the identity of the complainent to you (and for good reason!). As long as there is sufficient proof of ownership and infringement, the host / data center must comply with the LAW and resolve the situation.

    If you were to ask your data center / host "who is complaining about me" they, BY LAW, can NOT disclose that information to you. (And again, for good reason).

    This is not some flimsy / light argument. The reason I'm even posting here because I have a friend who is dealing with a real case of what I'm describing. She has a web site (on which she does not disclose her identity, and has privacy on her domain registration) and on that site she publishes copyright protected intellectual property. Recently a blogger.com user started linking to a bunch of things on her site and eventually taking her copyright protected graphics and images and using them in his blogger posts. This offender is a total psycho and that is easily confirmed by reading the things he posts on not only his blogger account but also on various discussion forums. The individual sounds dangerous and unstable in the things he types.

    So in order to put a stop to the abuse and infringement being perpetrated via the psycho's blogger account, my friend must submit the DMCA and then agree to have her identity be published so that this psycho can potentially track her down and potentially become a threat to her safety. Seriously??

    How will Google and Blogger and ChillingEffects.org defend themselves when someone ends up in the hospital or dead over a psycho who didn't like being DMCA'd?? (With lawyers and fine print of course).

    But seriously, I'm not kidding - I have a friend who is being abused and infringed upon by a blogger user, but she is scared to death to submit the DMCA because it will disclose her identity to the infringer who just happens to appear to be a dangerous psychopathic cyber-stalker!

    How is that fair at all?

    I can see that the popular opinion in these replies is that anyone who submits a DMCA takedown but does not want to be publicly identified must be a coward, but I'd like to hear from some grown-ups on here who can see the potential danger involved in a woman trying to protect her intellectual property while at the same time being cyber-stalked by the offender who is using her content on his blogger page.

    I'll join the minority here and speak up - THE PRIVACY OF THE RIGHTS HOLDER SHOULD REMAIN IN-TACT, SO LONG AS THEY CAN PROVE TO THE ISP/OSP ABUSE DEPARTMENT THAT THE CLAIM IS ACCURATE. IT IS NOT FAIR (nor safe! nor legal!) TO DISCLOSE THE CLAIMANTS IDENTITY IN ANY CASE OF CYBER CRIME.

    Blogger's / Google's policies should not be allowed supercede Federal law nor FCC regulations, expecially in case where the victim's safety and well-being could be at stake. Blogger / Google / ChillingEffect are putting those who wish to protect their intellectual property at risk of much worse potential crimes.

    It sickens me that nothing has been done to put Google / Blogger / ChillingEffects in their place when it comes to this. If the burden of proof can be satisfied to the abuse department of the service provider, then that should be the end of it without any disclosure of the identity of the complaint.

    Just like all of you here have a right to report a spammer and that spammer can be stopped (once the complaint is verified as legitimate) does not have the right to know you did so, you all should be able to protect your web estate and have it removed from infringing sites without having your identities disclosed publicly (nor to the offender) in conjuction with the DMCA submission.

    All REAL providers / data centers abide by the law. Why should Blogger and Google and ChillingEffects be exempt? The only "policy" that was "agreed" to was by the offender, not the victim.

    Google / Blogger / ChillingEffects is basically saying "hey, if you don't want your property back, we're going to have to expose you to the theif".

    There's a reason for the two-way mirror in a criminal lineup. It's called protecting the victim of the crime.