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Film Studios Send Takedown Notices About Takedown Notices 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-issue-a-takedown-for-the-streisand-effect? dept.
another random user sends this excerpt from the BBC: "Two film studios have asked Google to take down links to messages sent by them requesting the removal of links connected to film piracy. Google receives 20 million 'takedown' requests, officially known as DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notices, every month. They are all published online. Recent submissions by Fox and Universal Studios include requests for the removal of previous takedown notices. ... By making the notices available, Google is unintentionally highlighting the location of allegedly pirated material, say some experts. 'It would only take one skilled coder to index the URLs from the DMCA notices in order to create one of the largest pirate search engines available,' wrote Torrent Freak editor Ernesto Van Der Sar on the site."
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Film Studios Send Takedown Notices About Takedown Notices

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  • by dmgxmichael (1219692) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:17AM (#43368085) Homepage
    Again. A pity the first amendment doesn't apply to corporations.
    • by srussia (884021) on Friday April 05, 2013 @11:05AM (#43368531)
      First there was the Streisand (unintentionally calling attention to what you don't want publicized),

      then the reverse Streisand (intentionally calling attention by demanding suppression of ostensibly unwanted but actually desired publicity),

      and now comes the meta-Streisand (unintentionally calling attention to intentional demands that caused unintentional publicity of what you didn't want publicized.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by nugatory78 (971318)
        if you can pull off all three at the same time, that grants you the power up of mega-Streisand
      • by c (8461)

        First there was the Streisand (unintentionally calling attention to what you don't want publicized),

        then the reverse Streisand (intentionally calling attention by demanding suppression of ostensibly unwanted but actually desired publicity),

        and now comes the meta-Streisand (unintentionally calling attention to intentional demands that caused unintentional publicity of what you didn't want publicized.)

        Now we just need the Streisand-effect version of Godwin's law (i.e. "As an online discussion about censorship

    • by OakDragon (885217)

      Again. A pity the first amendment doesn't apply to corporations.

      Are you being sarcastic? (My sarcasm meter sometimes lets me down.) Corporations do have first amendment rights.

      • He meant that corporations can suppress the free speech rights of others, because they themselves are not bound by the first amendment, and also because they can strong-arm the government into giving the corporations pseudo-governmental powers that also sidestep the first amendment.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
      I don't think you understand what the first amendment is. It prevents the govt from controlling speech of its citizens. your comment says that govt can silence corpoarations because the first amenment doesn't apply, and that this is a pity. Is this what you meant to say?
  • by afidel (530433) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:17AM (#43368087)

    I'm sorry but even the government is getting their hand slapped over secret proceedings (see the recent rulings regarding national security letters), there's no way we're going to allow companies to hide their actions in a civil matter.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:23AM (#43368153)

      we? "what's this we shit, white man?"

      'we' have stopped having control over our laws decades ago.

      'they' have control and everyone knows it. you been asleep or something?

      • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:40AM (#43368313)

        'they' have control and everyone knows it. you been asleep or something?

        It is, as one commentator has recently put it, the bitter legacy of Mickey Mouse [theamerica...vative.com].

      • by Xeranar (2029624)

        We have complete control over our government. Giving away copies of movies, music, and other media is a crime as it atands in the US. It's a crime more or less everywhere where IP is respected. I'm agreeing it shouldn't be a crime but the system is doing what it has to do. As it stands the industry picks their fights carefully so as not to create groundswell in society against them. It's nothing new for them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:19AM (#43368109)

    By making the notices available, Google is unintentionally highlighting the location of allegedly pirated material, say some experts.

    See, Alanis, *this* is ironic.

    • "It's like a million Dancing With The Stars, when all you want is Doctor Who..."

    • By making the notices available, Google is unintentionally highlighting the location of allegedly pirated material, say some experts.

      Ha.."unintentionally"

    • by isorox (205688)

      By making the notices available, Google is unintentionally highlighting the location of allegedly pirated material, say some experts.

      See, Alanis, *this* is ironic.

      It's like 10,000 spoons when all you need are a set of ear plugs

    • by Java Pimp (98454)
      I think her justification for the title of the song was that none of the examples in it were actually ironic... which in itself is ironic.
      • by Xeranar (2029624)

        That doesn't make it ironic. It makes it obtuse perhaps. Irony is going further into the deep southern US in the antebellum period to escape slavery. I measure irony based on the Huckfinn test. The actual takedown of takedowns seems ironic but it is really based on different reasons so it isn't.

    • by JTsyo (1338447)
      Does Google, take action before releasing the requests? I guessing this is not for Youtube but search links to 3rd party websites.
    • by Rob Kaper (5960)

      See, Alanis, *this* is ironic.

      So is calling a song that does not include irony "Ironic".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:19AM (#43368111)

    Was that a comment or a request for a development project?

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:21AM (#43368127) Homepage
    Takedown notices have become so widely applied to every aspect of internet content that they have evolved to become self aware.

    the DMCA is becoming t2@(35## NO CARRIER
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:24AM (#43368163)

    When you send a demand letter it is property of the recipient. They are free to publish it if they wish. A person receiving a DCMA take doewn notice is under no obligation, and in fact would be stupid to, agree to any confidentiality at all. The recipient is under no obligation to do so.

    A more pressing area of legal disclosure is charges against otherwise innocent until proven guilty persons. Prosecutors do perp walks, and public news conferences, all the time despite the legal, and ethical, and moral, land mines.

    JJ

    • by isorox (205688)

      When you send a demand letter it is property of the recipient. They are free to publish it if they wish. A person receiving a DCMA take doewn notice is under no obligation, and in fact would be stupid to, agree to any confidentiality at all. The recipient is under no obligation to do so.

      A more pressing area of legal disclosure is charges against otherwise innocent until proven guilty persons. Prosecutors do perp walks, and public news conferences, all the time despite the legal, and ethical, and moral, land mines.

      JJ

      And the public laps it up. They don't ask why is an innocent man being bared in front of the camera like he's broken the law.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      National Security Letters would like have a word with you about your assertion about a right to publish.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Those just got ruled unconstitutional, as is right and proper.

        • by cdrudge (68377)

          And that ruling was stayed pending the eventual government appeal. Until that stay is lifted it's business as usual regarding NSL.

    • It could also be argued that a takedown notice does not constitute a creative work deserving of copyright protection and as such the DMCA would not apply.

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:25AM (#43368183)
    Stop sending takedown notices. You're helping the so-called pirates and by the logic you've used in the past that makes you culpable for their piracy.
  • by ctrl-alt-canc (977108) on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:30AM (#43368227)
    Now they will send to Slashdot a takedown notice to take down the message about the takedown request they sent to google to take down the list of their takedown requests....
    • by tgd (2822)

      Now they will send to Slashdot a takedown notice to take down the message about the takedown request they sent to google to take down the list of their takedown requests....

      Wait a minute ... you may be onto something here. Maybe this is the magic we've been looking for the last ten years to get Slashdot editors to do their jobs!

  • It's true, Recursion IS taking over the world, now even idiocy has been made to work in a recursion loop

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of pirated material that has been mostly taken down. Right. Because that makes a shitton of sense, and it isn't already easy enough to pirate stuff if you want to anyway. They just don't want to look bad.

  • Indexing the URLs (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2013 @10:53AM (#43368413)

    Why would you need a skilled coder when the databases are in plain CSV format ?

    http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/data/ [google.com]

    • Re:Indexing the URLs (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Friday April 05, 2013 @11:08AM (#43368555) Homepage

      Because to most of these sites and executives a CSV file is a magical thing that requires highly talented programmers.

      • Sadly, I can attest that this is true. For some state licensing requirments the complaince forms were only allowed to be uploaded in CVS... I was hired to convert Excel spreadsheet data into a format compatible with the state's CVS format.

        If it wasn't for these "executive" morons, "talented programmers" like me wouldn't have paid days off, like this one.

  • stupid robots (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Friday April 05, 2013 @11:02AM (#43368499) Homepage Journal

    Some day I'm going to write a page about a "boardwalk game where you manage an empire from your throne" just to see how fast it gets blocked from google search results. Oops, I probably blocked Slashdot just by typing that. The robots who send the notices are amazingly stupid and use leaps of logic that make your average creationist look like an evidence-user.

    I'm not saying piracy isn't happening out there, but from what I've seen I bet over 90% of DMCA notices are bogus. If anyone is crawling chilling-effects looking for juicy links to yummy forbidden files, boy are they going to be disappointed. They'll learn that someone's CS101 web crawling assignment has been emailing google about every damn page it finds.

    Anyway, since in this case, the content's provenance is systematically known, they can confidently ignore the DMCA notices, as though they virtually received a counter-notice from within their own organization. No need to take anything down. Non-story, other than highlighting how amazingly bad the robots are, and that the special legal obligation created by them, probably ought to be removed or else notice-senders should be held accountable. Congress, do something about that. Can't someone just anonymously slip it into the budget bill?

    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      You assume there would BE a budget bill...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by roman_mir (125474)

      BTW, I looked at the notices, they include a large number of links that start with vk.com [slashdot.org], which is a Russian version of FB, the way FB should have been designed.

      It has a much better, more intuitive user interface from stories I read on comparing FB vs VK (vk means "v kontakte", which may be translated as "in touch" for "staying in touch") and on that site anybody can host any image, song, video and text they like and it's very easy to search through them and find whatever you want.

      It is actually a good adv

  • Shouldn't those film studios be sending DMCA takedown notices to whatever ISP/etc is actually hosting that content, and not Google, who is not hosting that content?

    • Shouldn't those film studios be sending DMCA takedown notices to whatever ISP/etc is actually hosting that content

      Not all countries have a counterpart to the notice and takedown procedure used by the United States.

  • Critically important (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OhHellWithIt (756826) on Friday April 05, 2013 @11:04AM (#43368515) Journal

    By making the notices available, Google is unintentionally highlighting the location of allegedly pirated material, say some experts. 'It would only take one skilled coder to index the URLs from the DMCA notices in order to create one of the largest pirate search engines available,' wrote Torrent Freak editor Ernesto Van Der Sar on the site."

    I stumbled on one of these notices filed by the RIAA yesterday, and it seems not only reasonable but important for the notice to be posted, including the relevant URL; otherwise, how will I know that the site hosting the illegal material is doing so illegally? I looked at the site in question, and they most certainly didn't include any notice that downloading that particular song was a violation of copyright. But because of the notice that Google linked to, I knew that I shouldn't do it.

    It seems to me that MPAA and RIAA want to have their cake and eat it, too.

    • Google could do a simple API letting you search the URLs. Or they could publish a hashed version of the URLs along with code for the hash.

      There are a number of was that would give you what you want without actually publishing the URL.

  • by Stormin (86907) * on Friday April 05, 2013 @11:04AM (#43368519)

    By making the notices available, Google is unintentionally highlighting the location of allegedly pirated material, say some experts.

    I thought that was kind of the whole point of the things being posted?

  • It's not a creative work. It's something they wish to censor. That should be another law or something.

    But that's what they believe the DMCA is for. After all, that's how they USE it right? Censoring other peoples' content and the like?

  • More Likely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) on Friday April 05, 2013 @11:52AM (#43368949)

    The Movie industry does not want it known how active they are at sending take down notices. After all the price we all pay for movies goes up as there effort to do this sort of activity goes up. The 'take down tax'.

    There is also the big brother bad guy protecting their profit against the little guy public relations problem. They certainly would like all that take down to happen behind the scenes where no one notices.

    They are trying to do some damage control.

    • They (or rather, the dodgy "enforcement" companies they contract the work out to) don't want us to know how bad they are at sending out these notices. Takedown notices (particularly Google's) are now a running joke in some places, due to the percentage of mistakes (targeting reviews of films, IMDB/Wikipedia pages, pages that are unrelated but happen to have a few keywords, sites not indexed by Google, pages that no longer exist, etc.) and yet someone is paying a lot of money to issue all these notices.

      I'm i

  • by Skapare (16644)

    People still need to know if THEIR URL is subject to a search engine entry takedown. The only case where the search engine would not need to provide it is if the party doing the takedown ALSO sends the info to the owner of the URL.

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