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UK's RIAA Goes After Google Using the US DMCA

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the if-you-don't-have-your-own-use-theirs dept.

Google 184

An anonymous reader passes along a DMCA takedown notice directed at Google and authored by the British Phonographic Industry, Britain's equivalent of the RIAA. P2pnet identifies the BPI as the outfit that "contributed to the British government's Digital Economy bill, complete with its ACTA Three Strikes and you're Off The Net element, with hardly a murmur from the UK lamescream media." Are there any precedents for a UK trade organization attempting to use an American law to force an American company to take down links to UK-copyrighted material?

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What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (4, Insightful)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630206)

I don't get it.

Google does not host material it indexes.

Material it indexes is offered publicly.

People who follow the search results ALSO get authorized copies. It's only if they copy them that they might run afoul.

Google has no more contributed to copyright violation than a shop selling copyright materials advertising its wares.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630228)

Ever heard of Youtube?

For starters

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630248)

Google OWNS Youtube. This does not mean they direct its day to day operation.

If I am a BP investor, does that mean I am responsible for the Gulf Oil Spill (arguably yes, but legally, no).

At worst, Youtube stock would take a beating if some of its directors got jailed.

But, as far as I can see, Youtube currently responds well to DMCA takedown notices.

Try again.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630334)

Google owns You Tube it is and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google.

That's different from owning stock in a company. You Tube doesn't issue stock, but Google does.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (5, Informative)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630438)

If BP is fined $10bn (as is the current estimate), it doesn't come out of the CEO's paycheck. BP is a public company (owned by shareholders), and when BP pays a fine, it's money that the shareholders lose (because the value of the company is lowered, and therefore its stock price).

You're talking about criminal responsibility when you speak of "jail time". Shareholders are protected from personal liability (beyond their investment in the company). The lowest grade of a corporation is LLC "limited-liability corporation", and S-Corps are just more expensive/stringent versions of the same. This means that if BP declares bankruptcy, creditors cannot chase after its shareholders beyond their stake in the company. That is, the stock price goes to $0, wiping out all the investment value shareholders have in the company, but creditors cannot go after shareholders beyond that.

Corporations cannot be jailed, so criminal charges against them are a lot like civil charges, meaning only a monetary punishment. The plaintiff would have to file separate grievances addressing individual employees by name for individuals to be jailed. A judgment against a company does not translate into a judgment against any individuals; separate judgments on the individuals are needed.

Regarding bankruptcy, wholly-owned subsidiaries of a larger corporation cannot always insulate the larger corporation from debt obligations. That is, if someone sues subsidiary XYZ of Google for $10 billion, and wins, then Google cannot merely make XYZ declare bankruptcy and continue on with itself protected from creditors. Google is not plural, so I don't know what you mean by "This does not mean THEY direct its day to day operation". If you mean the Sergey Brin and staff, sure, _they_ don't, but then again, _they_ are not liable anyways. Google is singular in the eyes of the law; the law couldn't care less who the CEO is or what he does with is time. If XYZ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google, and XYZ is liable for $10 bn, and cannot meet its obligation to pay, creditors are entitled to chase after Google. Can creditors chase after Sergey Brin? No. Creditors chase after Google and property owned by Google. This is ultimately paid for by shareholders (of which Sergey Brin is one).

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630556)

That was really informative. Now, what if Youtube were 99% owned by Google and 1% by some other company, say ABC investment firm. Can youtube simply declare bankruptcy?

Posting anonymous, so that I dont lose the mod points I have already spent on this article.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630586)

unless you log out, even posting ac will wipe the the points

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631042)

(because the value of the company is lowered, and therefore its stock price)

The stock price of a company is determined by demand for stocks, and there's no a priori reason for demand to be related to "value". When a corporation pays dividends, as BP does, the profits of a company may affect the demand for stocks. But in the case of, say, Apple, it's nothing more than enough investors saying "it looks like Apple's doing well, let's buy some Apple", and the only reason Apple appearing to do well improves stock price is that more people say the same thing.

The assumption that stock price is a formula derived from variables somehow representing company value is what leads to false confidence in the stock market.

Shareholders are protected from personal liability (beyond their investment in the company)

Awful, isn't it? Big business is not about risk/reward but about government protection/reward.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630260)

Actually, this has nothing to do with Youtube. The pages mentionned in the notice are all from these sites:

http://hotfile.com/
http://usershare.net/
http://2shared.com/
http://4shared.com/
http://mediafire.com/
http://megaupload.com/
http://sendspace.com/
http://teradepot.com/
http://zippyshare.com/

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (3, Informative)

Discopete (316823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630272)

Read the DMCA notice.

None of the listed 'infringing site locations' are at YouTube.com.

This is nothing but a fishing trip by the industry.

I'm thinking Googles response should be 'piss off'.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630372)

google's response should be a steaming pile of search results for members of parliament

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630546)

Its a scary new idea I guess, if Google does not index a link/site, it does not exist online to most people?
If Google is the only realistic way of finding the material, they see Google as part of the chain between user and uploader.
A very very chilling fishing trip.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630748)

Google is not the only realistic way of finding the material, but it is currently the best. If they remove links to a specific sites then those who wants to find those sites will have to rely on other search engines.
If a search engine starts to filter out popular links the users will migrate to other search engings since those engines provide a better search result. If they just filter out a few links and nobody cares then all is fine.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (0, Flamebait)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631206)

Read the DMCA notice.

None of the listed 'infringing site locations' are at YouTube.com.

This is nothing but a fishing trip by the industry.

I'm thinking Googles response should be 'piss off'.

Google should tell Great Britain to clean up the Gulf oil spill and then we'll clean up the internet. In other words it ain't gonna happen.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630328)

Ever heard of Youtube?

For starters

Ever RTFA?

4. Infringing webpage(s):

http://hotfile.com/ [hotfile.com]
http://usershare.net/ [usershare.net]
http://2shared.com/ [2shared.com]
http://4shared.com/ [4shared.com]
http://mediafire.com/ [mediafire.com]
http://megaupload.com/ [megaupload.com]
http://sendspace.com/ [sendspace.com]
http://teradepot.com/ [teradepot.com]
http://zippyshare.com/ [zippyshare.com]

None of these are Google-owned sites. Doesn't hurt to try throwing the DMCA at Google though.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630242)

Google is providing links to the material through search results, and that's what the letter is demanding be removed.

Google could refuse to remove it, at risk of being targetted for some sort of contributory infringement charges

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630270)

And.... Google knows it is illicitly hosted?

Look, if I ask "Where can I buy a copy of Sweeny Todd?" and someone, in good faith, sends me to a shop selling pirate copies, they are not guilty of any crime. they have to KNOW the copy is illegal.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630344)

Well, based on the information they have, it's reasonable to assume that it is illicitly hosted.

This is the mistake that TPB made. You have to make it clear that the purpose of your site is not to provide links to illicit material. Google provide a legitimate service and so they're acting that way.

Now it may well be that the law can be interpreted that they don't have to do this. So they can simply respond and tell the BPI that they aren't providing this under the DMCA. Then the BPI can choose to or not to sue them and Google can spend vast amounts of money on court defending someone else's right to post copyright infringing information online.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (2, Funny)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630370)

I've reason to believe Fox News is hosting something illegal, I should be able to submit a DMCA request to Google then in the same manner I would specifically request to a hosting provider regarding a specific video or web page, and Google would then remove all links to foxnews.com?

This is fantastic news.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630466)

If you genuinely believe that they are then go ahead. They'll remove links to the specific pages you specify and not all of foxnews.com. If you're just trying to get Google to block Fox news, then Fox can legitimately sue you, and possibly (IANAL) have you charged with perjury.

Look, what we're using is the reasonable man test. Do you think the sites are hosting infringing content? If not what's the BPI's motive for complaint.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630508)

I've reason to believe Fox News is hosting something illegal, I should be able to submit a DMCA request to Google

It's not enough to "have reason to believe" - TFA lists several strict requirements for a takedown notification, and they all must be "substantially met." So if you wrote a book, and Fox put it on their server, then you can start writing the letter. Even then only the infringing material will be removed.

Google would then remove all links to foxnews.com?

Silencing an opponent's speech now? That's what Hugo Chavez is doing. You are in an interesting company :-)

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (4, Interesting)

PatPending (953482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630266)

Read TITLE 17 > CHAPTER 5 > 512(d) Information Location Tools.

chillingeffects.org addresses this:

Why does a search engine get DMCA takedown notices for materials in its search listings?

Answer: Many copyright claimants are making complaints under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 512(d), a safe-harbor for providers of "information location tools." These safe harbors give providers immunity from liability for users' possible copyright infringement -- if they "expeditiously" remove material when they get complaints. Whether or not the provider would have been liable for infringement by users' materials it links to, the provider can avoid the possibility of a lawsuit for money damages by following the DMCA's takedown procedure when it gets a complaint.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631218)

Google doesn't host materials if it is providing only an index / link to them. In that respect they should be even less liable for copyright infringement than, say, a typical library that has a card catalog or the digital equivalent that points to copyrighted books sitting on the shelves, and which could be illegally copied by library patrons.

Google is not hosting the material listed in the complaint.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630338)

Google cache...

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (2, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630398)

Google does not host material it indexes.

Material it indexes is offered publicly.

People who follow the search results ALSO get authorized copies.

Well, I don't know if all that really applies in this case (Google does own YouTube, for example), but what you describe there sounds an awful lot like torrents.

The Pirate Bay does not host matieral it tracks.

Material it tracks is offered publicly.

People who download the torrents ALSO get authorized copies.

Yep, pretty much the same. We've seen how well that defense has worked for torrent trackers -- how long until the **AA's starts taking search engines to court for helping people find copyrighted material? If anyone has the finances to pull Google/Yahoo/Microsoft into court it's the RIAA and MPAA. Talk about the death of meaningful search engines.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630424)

Geez, some serious failure there on my part. I misread two words and my entire post is crap. Teach me to post at 2am with 4 hours of sleep...

That said, there is still some congruency. Google indexes information that people make available copyrighted or not, but torrent trackers do the same thing. Going after trackers instead of the people uploading the copyrighted material is the same as going after Google for indexing something copyrighted. In both cases they are attacking the wrong party.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630660)

Guy in suit hails cab, cab pulls over.

"Where you going to , buddy?"

"Someplace warm, I hope. Do you know any good cathouses around here?"

"Well, I hear talk about the East End, but I try to stay away from that area."

"Where at on the East End?"

"I guess I've heard more about Bill's Dive, than anyplace else."

"Take me there, I'll give you fifty bucks!"

"Nope, I'm not going down that alley. I'll take you to the shopping center on the main street over there, and point the direction to the alley, but I'm not going there."

"YOU ARE SO BUSTED!! YOU"RE UNDER ARREST!"

"For what?"

"SOCICITING FOR PROSTITUTION!! You're willing to show me where the whores are, you're guilty of procuring! BUSTED!!"

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631016)

This is a civil matter. What you suggested was a criminal investigation possibly including entrapment. The two are very different in terms of level of proof required and requirements on the investigator.

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631060)

Perhaps you are unaware of ACTA and other efforts on the part of RIAA and the other alphabet soup people. Given time, and no interference, piracy of any sort will become criminal activities. Right now, in most countries, copyright infringement is a civil matter. But, "civil" doesn't necessarily mean the same all over the world.

http://tinyurl.com/2wlzw83 [tinyurl.com]

Re:What is Google HOSTING, exactly? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631096)

ACTA is just a proposal though. So at the moment this is a civil matter.

I mean I'm not saying this is a good thing. I'll join you in denouncing ACTA, and also I'm pretty certain the DMCA is a pretty crappy piece of legislation weighted way too far in the favour of the media cartels. I'm just saying that this particular instance isn't quite as terrible as everyone is making it out to be.

linux is for faggots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630208)

disagree? you must be another one of those fags.

Gotta love chillingeffects.org (3, Interesting)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630218)

Look at all the information is listed on Chilling Effects. We know the owner of the copyright (Sony Music, Universal, and Warner seem to be popular on their takedown list), the song titles, and even what links they want removed. I'm changing my homepage from thepiratebay to chillingeffects.

Re:Gotta love chillingeffects.org (1, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630290)

Unless they're really stupid, they have already sent DMCA letters to all the operators of the sites Google had linked to.

They may also send (possibly) demands, subpoenas, or other requests for download/transfer logs from sites hosting the files.

And slashdotters really might not want to be pulling URLS that appeared in a DMCA letter and downloading the file.

If you got the links from there, it can be assumed you read the letter, and if it ever goes to court, willful infringement is oh so much worse.

And the **AA escapades and suing of individual downloaders never really stopped, by all indications, if anything they outsourced and may be upscaling it

Re:Gotta love chillingeffects.org (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630450)

> And slashdotters really might not want to be pulling URLS that appeared in a DMCA letter and downloading the file.

Don't assume the rest of the world is as fearful as you are. I'm sure that quite a few live in jurisdictions where the relatively small likelihood (as far as I can determine) that you would be bothered by the **AAs is actually even smaller than in the US / UK / etc.

And if there is so much fear in some countries, that just will lead to the development of a market for proxies in other countries.

This "war" is more or less over, and just gets more so as time marches on. I pray for the day the **AAs realize this and adapt to the reality of the times. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening anytime soon, nor in a peaceful manner which won't affect things like personal liberties (because yes, technological change is going to cost the **AAs a lot of money).

Re:Gotta love chillingeffects.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630656)

Has anybody ever actaully been sued by the RIAA/MPAA/ETC for just *downloading* a song/movie/etc? I honestly don't think it's happened. Yes, we tend to think about it in those terms, but technically Bittorrent involves uploading as well as downloading, and all the RIAA lawsuits I recall were against people *sharing* files ("making available") not against people downloading them.

I'm not even sure if its automatically illegal to download something -- what if I own a cd of the work in question, and just find downloading it to be easier and faster than encoding it myself (it often genuinely is)? I know the guy uploading it to me in that scenario is not supposed to be doing it -- regardless of whatever fair use claims I might have -- but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm breaking the law too. I don't know, IANAL I just know that all the cases I've heard about to date were surrounding claims of "distributing or making available" copyrighted material.

Re:Gotta love chillingeffects.org (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630680)

Phhht. I've actually stumbled across a couple of sites, that ask you to report pirates. I, quite naturally, reported myself, being an honest man. Basically, I told them, "Yes, I'm stealing material from any place I can find it, and THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT ASSHOLES!!" Guess what? No one has ever knocked at my door with a subpoena. Guess what else? They will never get one red cent out of me if they DO serve a summons. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch. I can be penniless at a moment's notice if I choose to be - and none of the alphabet suit guys can touch me financially. That's one of the nice things about owning nothing in your own name. ;^)

Re:Gotta love chillingeffects.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630564)

Yea ... but the songs are from corporations like Sony, Universal & co. Who in their right mind would WANT to download the crap they produce?

this is the pivot point (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630224)

between the internet and the old rules of old media, that they think can be applied to end consumers in the internet era

copyright will still apply to say: jk rowlings and the hollywood studio that makes her movie: finite identifiable individuals on a closed finite issue

but as applied to the end consumer, in the internet world: sorry, no, unenforceable

copyright law is akin to a gentleman's agreement between captains of industry drinking mojitos in an oak paneled room. copyright law does not, and cannot, be applied to end consumers in the internet world. they call it disruptive technology for a reason

let them try to destroy the internet. the world will simply not let the assholes grandfather themselves into our cultural space. do they really think they can hobble the internet for the sake of their continued unneeded existence? we don't NEED old school distributors anymore. they of course won't die quietly and gracefully, but die they will

Re:this is the pivot point (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630386)

How do you propose we route around a monopoly service provider that restricts your access? We might not need old school distributors, but we definitely need a new school ISP that won't act as their agent. I don't see that happening in the near future..

isps aren't monopolies (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630416)

and isps aren't acting as distributor's agents

for legal and business reasons, that doesn't make sense

Re:isps aren't monopolies (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630454)

In many towns monopoly contracts are given to single companies, just like a cable franchise. And soon, if not sooner they will be required to retain data for whatever authority that demands it. The collusion and cross ownership in stock portfolios is extensive enough to consider the whole country under one service. You can't even buy laundry detergent without throwing a few dollars their way. It all goes into the general fund we call Wall Street..

you're paranoid (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630478)

businesses are powerful, but they are often balanced in power on some questions by other businesses. that is the case here. additionally, there are rules about what they can and cannot do. that is also the case here

i dislike the riaa, mpaa, etc. but we have to be smart in how we fight them. if we give into this sort of hysterical paranoia that you are peddling, then we've already lost

you are acting on spastic fear, not a solid understanding of the issues

Re:isps aren't monopolies (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630464)

Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Comcast, Sky, etc are all distributors of content (TV) and ISPs. Some are owned by even larger media producing corporations.

So, what I'm trying to say is, it does make sense.

look, i live in the usa (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630516)

where our legislators whore themselves out to companies, and we look at canada, uk, australia, europe, etc., where companies are held, sanely, in check by the government

and you're telling me the truth is that these other places have it worse than the usa?

they have rules about this. and if the government doesn't notice, a competitor will promptly sue the hell out of the offending party for playing unfairly

basically, no, it doesn't make sense that your cable provider is colluding with your music/ movie distributor. no, sorry, it doesn't work that way, all hysteria to the contrary

Re:this is the pivot point (1)

EvilAlphonso (809413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630638)

A parallel internet, running on a meshed wireless network might work. "Reseau Citoyen" in Brussels has demonstrated the technical feasibility of the concept.

Not hosted by google though ... (4, Informative)

Big Jojo (50231) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630230)

I took a quick scan and didn't see any URLs that are clearly hosted by Google .... so it looks like the notice is directed to the wrong place.

What did look scarey is including a bunch of queries that would evidently produce some/all of the content they object too. It's as if they want to claim that Google's ability to find such stuff makes them liable ... so that they should then work with the UK's RIAA to block searches for those bits of material ... ugh!!...

Re:Not hosted by google though ... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630550)

It's as if they want to claim that Google's ability to find such stuff makes them liable ...

Well, why not? Here's a car analogy:

Let's say some guy steals a car, and wants to sell it. You don't know the guy, but you know someone else who happens to know the thief and who arranges for you two to meet...

The DMCA is only an American law which applies in the American part of the network. It's quite conceivable to have different laws apply in other parts of the network, which would get triggered in some cases.

Except that is called a "fixer" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630668)

Except that is called a "fixer" and is predicated off the fixer KNOWING that the car is stolen.

In this case, however, the copyrights ARE NOT STOLEN.

They CANNOT BE stolen.

Therefore your car analogy falls down.

Re:Not hosted by google though ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630596)

Google should start taking DMCA notices seriously. What? Don't want us to display some link to a site which has a downloadable Metallica cd? We can't possibly filter those easily, so we will filter all web sites with the word Metallica. Poof, Metallica now loses Millions because they are effectively disappeared from the internet.

Re:Not hosted by google though ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630646)

I find the increasing font style abuse on /. very annoying. Some people seem to feel they should have more voice than others beyond the moderation system.

I'm sure there is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630238)

Any copyright holder can issue a DMCA takedown for material hosted on a US server. With properties like Youtube, etc., it wouldn't surprise me if this has happened a hundred times. Why is this news?

retract (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630246)

I'm the above AC, because I was too lazy to log in, and I DRTFA before posting. None of those URLs are Googles, I'm sure they will laugh, and ignore.

Re:retract (4, Informative)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630262)

Hmmm, my last double-retraction for the evening. This page on Google's policy for removing links to allegedly infringing material is relevant: http://www.google.com/dmca.html [google.com]

Time for bed, I'm obviously babbling. Sorry, folks.

Re:retract (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630384)

Next time just fart. You'll still stink up the place, but it won't linger forever.

I don't understand! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630244)

Obama's the president now, not Bush! Didn't the Brits get the memo?

Re:I don't understand! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630268)

How naive... You're probably one of those fucktards who doesn't acknowledge that it was Clinton who signed the DMCA.

Both "sides" support this kind of legislation just like the PATRIOT act. Both "sides" profit from it. Both "sides" have fooled you yet again.

Keep eating their shit. You get what you deserve.

Digital Ecomy bill (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630284)

Aptly named (saves 2 bytes).

Happened to me as well. (4, Interesting)

kaner (658550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630300)

I run a site that archives the BBC's Essential Mix radio show. We (my users and I) have been collecting these shows for the past 6 years. We've built a community around it that didn't exist anywhere else. These shows aren't available for purchase or download so we had no choice but to offer them in somewhat of a grey legal area.

June 1st, 2010 I received a Cease and Desist EMAIL from a company called Somthin' Else. They are the producers of the "Essential Mix" show, which then gets licensed to the BBC.

They said they wanted to discuss possible deals in their email but never responded to any of my 5 attempts (from different addresses) to contact them. I'm not sure if there was some other legal path I should have taken but I would think if they can contact me in an email then we should be able to convers further over email, but that is besides the point.

The main point is that this content is not available anywhere else so we had no option but to collect it ourselves. Not to mention all the free publicity it directed towards the DJs and the musicians.

I posted the letter on my site, mixriot.com, and my users barraged this guy with emails. Eventually he responded over TWITTER saying that they weren't the biggest hurdle. I'm assuming that means the BBC is starting to swing its hammer. I don't understand why the BBC would need to be aggressive, they are government funded, not advertising driven.

Below follows the entire email:

stuart.smith@somethinelse.com
Dear Sir / Madam,

It has come to our attention that mixriot.com is serving streamed and download content which includes BBC Radio programmes “The Essential Mix” and “In New DJ’s we trust”.

As the producer and copyright holder of both shows we have not granted rights to any third party at this time. We view any attempt to stream or to offer this content as a download in breach of copyright and therefore instruct mixriot to cease and desist any use of this content immediately.

As mixriot is the recipient of advertiser and subscriber income based on content delivered to date can you please deliver to Somethin’ Else within 30 days a statement of earnings to date and how much of this is due to SE for the above content.

Somethin Else welcomes new business opportunities throughout the world and would be interested in discussing applications and uses of our content with genuine business partners. If you would like to discuss these opportunities then please contact me.

If you do not respond within 7 days then we will pursue other courses of action.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Smith
Finance Director

Somethin' Else
20-26 Brunswick Place
London
N1 6DZ
UK

Switchboard: +44 (0) 20 7250 5500
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7250 0937

Re:Happened to me as well. (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630304)

So, you have proof that you responded within 7 days? That should cover your arses if it goes to trial. Of course, IANAL, and you should have consulted one.

Re:Happened to me as well. (1)

kaner (658550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630322)

not only did we respond, we fully complied and took down everything they asked for within 6 days, except for the financial statement, they can eat a dick on that one

I don't think they'll be contacting me again.

Re:Happened to me as well. (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630626)

Somethin Else welcomes new business opportunities throughout the world and would be interested in discussing applications and uses of our content with genuine business partners

The use of the word genuine in this context probably means "Not you, you don't have enough money to pay us". The hidden subtext is most assuredly "Pay us" and as a small site I"m sure you can't afford to do that, which is why you were given the blow off when you tried to contact them. It was clear you were not going to be a "genuine" business partner.

Re:Happened to me as well. (5, Informative)

topham (32406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630318)

Grey area? There is no grey area, you are violating someone elses copyright.
They are under no obligation to let you do anything with their materials.

Re:Happened to me as well. (1)

kaner (658550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630358)

you're absolutely correct, which is why we took down the content.

the grey area is why do they think they can claim this content? the DJs definitely don't have the rights to play any song, sample or white label track they want, but they do. It would be impossible to actually figure out what human beings should get royalties for these "promotional tools," as we see them.

Re:Happened to me as well. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630636)

The BBC always have track listings on their website for all those shows - the archive goes back to 2002:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/essentialmix/tracklistings.shtml [bbc.co.uk]

This makes me thing that somewhere they are contacting licence holders and playing the required fee for broadcast.

I think publicly archiving the shows is definitely breaking copyright, but it's a real shame since this stuff can't be found at any legitimate source.

BBC is publicly funded and copyright a civil case (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630690)

BBC is publicly funded and copyright a civil case. Therefore, as the original paymasters of this content created, there is a grey area. As a civil case, then the owners of the copyright are owed only the losses. Since they aren't selling to anyone, these losses are nil.

Note: this is why the UK has no fair use clause, since private copying (until the change in Jan 2001 under US pressure) was strictly civil and based off actual proven damages (nil), the law allowed you to be taken to court for the damages done (nil) which would be easy to pay and cause the court to sue the plaintiff for wasting the courts' time. Therefore fair use wasn't needed. But they changed the law in 2001 to remove this damages-only section but didn't put in fair use clauses, getting the best of both worlds to the international cartels.

Re:Happened to me as well. (3, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630692)

Not sure why this is a -1, because parent has a point. While it may not be clear who is paying whom royalties, etc., It is clear that the OP is not the copyright holder to any of the materials. If you don't own the copyrights and don't have a license or permission to host/post/etc., then it is infringement. I know it's not popular amongst the /. crowd, but that is the way it is.

Re:Happened to me as well. (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631212)

The BBC pays loads to various bodies for legal permission to use other people's music. If a musician wants to get paid for their work they need to register for the PRS and take their share of the cash. The musicians, in turn, need to get permission to use the music they sample, and the DJs also need to. It's all about playing other people's music. The creator owns and controls it. Nobody cares how hard or impractical it is - that's not their problem, that's your problem if that's how you've decided to make your money (or spend you time, in the case of hobbiest stuff). In the case of DJs playing mixes of white labels etc then yes, if the DJs have been given those white labels by the musicians or labels then there might well be some assumption that they can play them on air, but it's something you'd probably want to get in writing unless you're running a pirate station.

Re:Happened to me as well. (0, Flamebait)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630910)

Grey area? There is no grey area, you are violating someone elses copyright.
They are under no obligation to let you do anything with their materials.

Yup. Which is why copyright law needs a drastic overhaul, as the Pirate Party movement says. This has long-since stopped being the best deal for all of society.

Re:Happened to me as well. (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630700)

Well, you got to follow the law! If a work is 'out of print' and no longer available from the original publisher, then you can request the minister of trade and industry for permission to copy the work. Go and read the copyright act. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and there is a defined mechanism for your case!

Re:Happened to me as well. (1)

kaner (658550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630736)

The problem is that each mix is made up of 30 or so tracks, some of which start and stop only for brief moments.

... Hi, I'm International Law. Nice to meet you. (3, Insightful)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630330)

I'm confused. Why do you think there is some strange new thing going on here which needs precedent?

The Berne Convention(and newer treaties, including the WIPO) requires that signatories recognize the copyright of those in other nationalities as they recognize the copyright of their own citizens. The treaties (as amended through the years) basically mean that we grant copyright-holders in other countries the same rights and privileges as our own; we treat foreign copyright-holders the same as our own.

This is a good thing.

Yes, there are some problems with copyright law. There are some nutty points, especially related to some fair use concerns. The DCMA has some issues. But its based on copyright, and copyright is a good thing-- Copyright is what gives the GPL its power.

But all that aside, why all this shock and thinking this is weird or new? We're a Berne Convention signatory, we have agreed to a sort of normalization internationally in relation to our treatment of copyright. This isn't some strange or new thing. The US finally agreed to the treaty in 198[8|9]. Its been awhile since then.

Too much of a good thing (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630608)

> copyright is a good thing

I agree, but even more agree that in this case it's easy to have too much of a good thing. In fact, we're already there.

They can do this... (4, Insightful)

GiMP (10923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630376)

IANAL, but afaik...

International copyright is bound by WTO treaties and other international law. The USA acknowledges international copyrights. The DMCA may have controversial portions, but much of it is good, providing means and method of having infringing data removed from the internet and requires certain compliance by intermediary parties (i.e. hosting companies) of infringing content. Note that by invoking the DMCA, they are clearly using US law, not UK law which would clearly not apply to data or services hosted by a US company on US soil, even if the content was created in the UK.

As for examples, I know of many happening in the other direction, as the US is a bit more "lawsuit happy" than the rest of the world... Allofmp3.com was an interesting example as while Russia was party to WTO treaties, the site was still legal according to Russian law. Ultimately, when pressured, Russia changed their law to be more friendly to their WTO allies and the site was shut down. Had the Russians already had such laws on the books, the RIAA, a US-based organization, would've been able to immediately bring suit against allofmp3.com according to international law.

So essentially... international law means that copyrights are unified within WTO-participating countries, but domestic law applies where-ever the law is broken, the law of the country under which the copyright is registered is NOT applied, afaik.

It is possible that I got some or all of this wrong, because, again, IANAL!

Interesting, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630406)

Linux is still for cock smoking queers.

Re:Interesting, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630722)

Son, I've told you a thousand times - you don't have to be queer to enjoy gobbling a big juicy cock. I'll go down on anyone who lets me (except for you, and I do get tired of telling you "no") because I LOVE COCK!!

Now, be a sweetie, and bring a box of chocolates when you come home.

Mom

Re:They can do this... (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630606)

International copyright is bound by WTO treaties and other international law. The USA acknowledges international copyrights. The DMCA may have controversial portions, but much of it is good, providing means and method of having infringing data removed from the internet and requires certain compliance by intermediary parties (i.e. hosting companies) of infringing content.

Yeah, like printers. http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Send-Your-Enemys-Printer-A-DMCA-Warning-95089 [dslreports.com]

Re:They can do this... (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630612)

There is nothing good about the WTO, the DMCA and the copyright in the current form. The only people who gain a profit from it are the big cooperation and the losers are everybody else.

PS: Why there is no edit feature on Slashdot?

Thought Question (1)

gonz (13914) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630404)

Just out of curiosity -- what would happen if Google preemptively denied the UK access to its services? Maybe just for a month or two? If nobody in the UK could search using google.com? What would happen?

Re:Thought Question (1)

Saroful (1364377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630474)

Why would Google hurt it's own revenues like that? I think it would be more effective, not to mention hilariously ironic, if Google removed EVERY index for each song/movie/etc they demanded be taken down. If no one is able to find the copyrighted material (whether legal or not), there's no way they can sue Google for linking to it.

Re:Thought Question (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630476)

Bing.com

Re:Thought Question (1)

dncsky1530 (711564) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630486)

This suggestion has come up a few times now for different countries: China, Australia, Pakistan and probably many others. There looks to be a trend around the world of governments and media companies taking aim at Google for a wide range of things. What it really comes down to is that Google provides the ability for almost anyone around the world to find just about anything. This makes information easily accessible and threatens the artificial barriers to knowledge and 'fair use'. Google is the largest search engine and has the most at stake so it is the obvious target. I would compare this lawsuit to suing the yellow page because they list a shop that has a collection of real and pirated DVDs - I wonder if they've tried that yet?

Re:Thought Question (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630786)

Almost anything?

Apparently not literal quotes of text anymore. Searching for precise phrases with quotes (such as what a person might find in a system event log or transcription) turn up lots of stuff completely unrelated, ignoring the quotes outright.

Re:Thought Question (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630826)

There are other search engines. Bing has improved over the last year or so so it's competitive at least. And nobody would switch back if Google pulled a hissy fit if it disapproved of laws.

Re:Thought Question (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630870)

Not much, for me. I've already switched to www.altavista.net [altavista.net] for the bulk of my web searches. Google is too spammy. If you search for information on electronic components - say, the datasheet for an IC - pretty much all the results are sites in the Far East offering to sell "ALL PART BEST PRICE CALL FOR DETAIL!!!!"

BP Expense Recovery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630436)

After all, what are all the starving pensioners in the UK, who depend on the 50% of the British stock market's dividends represented soley by BP and Shell going to live off? Their cats?

Re:BP Expense Recovery (1, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630470)

They took a risk when they invested in BP. Here in the US investment companies always tack this on to claims - "Past Performance Is Not Indicative of Future Results".

All the fund and pension managers could have brought up BP's glaring safety record at share holder meetings or moved money to other companies. But they didn't because they thought past performance was indicative of future results. And now they are screwed.

The GNAA demands that you drop your pants (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630536)

Take it like a man, honky.

Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630542)

What? That doesn't seem like something the British Pornographic Industry would support.

Recording industry 101 (3, Interesting)

durrr (1316311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630572)

The new 4 step business plan of the recording industry:
1:Record legal template
2:Create a signed, limited run of said legal template
3:Distribute it to as many people as possible
4:Expect to get paid

So? (0, Redundant)

reverendbeer (1496637) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630632)

None of the information presented in this is relevent. The company/organization involved did exactly what they should have: used the law from the country of the company in question to force an action. What the f(*& should they have done? File suit in Nigeria? Demand restitution from the Knights Templar? Ask for summary judgment from good King Wenislas?

I've never heard of... (1)

TYH.DataAngel (1683052) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630702)

Perhaps not as pertinent to discussion of the actual content itself, but I'm fairly sure I've never heard of a Digital Ecomy Bill. Does TFS, perhaps, refer to the recently passed Digital Economy Bill?

PIssing in the wind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630750)

The letter lists 38 urls. 38. For, by my count, 18 different tracks. Compared against the number of locations from which those 18 tracks will be available and the number of other tracks owned by the same copyright holders that will be available from various locations, these 18 tracks spread over 38 locations seem such small numbers as to be not worth the administrative effort involved. So why did the BPI bother to spend time and money on obtaining this information and writing to Google?

Nothing saying that they can't. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32630810)

I am not a lawyer, and this is a discussion, not legal advice. See a competent solicitor/attorney qualified in your jurisdiction if you need one.

Firstly, yes, they can be allowed to take down links or search results under 17 USC 512(d). (c) is for hosting the content, (d) is for linking to it or referring to an online location for it in an index or directory. (If you recall, this is one reason the DMCA was thought of as so draconian; they can not only take down the content, they can take down secondary links.)

Secondly, since Google is subject to US law, the proper jurisdiction is the US state in which Google is located. (There is, however, a school of thought that says that since people in any jurisdiction can access the internet, you can shop around for any jurisdiction that is convenient, say, the one that you are in, to raise an action within: i.e. "people on the internet in New Jersey can access your site" -> "you do business in New Jersey" -> "you are under the jurisdiction of New Jersey". Clearly people have tried that, but with mixed success; it seems to work with states, and friendly jurisdictions where there are equivalent laws, but people in the US trying to raise action against, say, a certain famous site formerly located in Sweden were repeatedly and proudly told to push off. Nevertheless, there has been some success in this area, which is disappointing because the reverse reasoning would seem to allow someone in Thailand or China or Burma issuing takedowns under censorship laws...)

Thirdly, we have the same provisions here in the UK under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, amended via Statutory Instrument as a result of the enactment of the European Union Copyright Directive. The takedown provisions are virtually identical to the US ones; a valid DMCA takedown is valid here, and a valid takedown constructed according to our law contains all the elements of a valid DMCA takedown. (There are, of course, some differences. Under the DMCA a service provider has to keep it down for a certain period of time even after a counter-notification is issued, for example, although in practice they rarely do, as that seems to be regarded as a mistake in the law.)

There's really nothing stopping cross-jurisdictional takedowns from being issued. It's valid where it's been served, and as a bonus it's even valid where it's been sent from.

So yes, Google would have to comply (and do, as a matter of course, in a slightly subversive way that thankfully allows for some oversight - something sorely missing from the takedown regime - by taking the results down, indicating that results have been removed due to a request, uploading the specific request to Chilling Effects, and linking to it).

Business as usual, really.

newzbin got shut down for just providing links (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32630974)

We know that a website can be shut down for providing links to copyrighted material. So if that can be done to newzbin.com what principle of law makes google.com immune?

Re:newzbin got shut down for just providing links (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631050)

Be fair - newzbin was actively creating, sorting and arranging links to copyrighted material - there was manual intervention throughout the entire process.
Google, on the other hand, could use the defense that their system is totally hands off.

RIAA loves Childporn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631054)

Seems to be a big copyright push going on. Consider the earlier slashdot story about removing anonymity from the Internet using child porn as the excuse. The EU Parliament seems to have fallen for the copyright lobbyists latest trick from only a few months back:

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/28/music-industry-spoke.html

"Child pornography is great," the speaker at the podium declared enthusiastically. "It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites".

British what? (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631196)

Why would the British Pornographic Industry go after Google? I don't get it.

Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631250)

> lamescream media

Stop that. It makes you sound like a god-damned idiot.

Its the right venue and applicable law (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631274)

Google is in the US (as a company) and the applicable law is the US law. British company is using its legitimate rights to protect its copyrights under US law.

Apart from the fact that the US has silly copyright laws, duration etc, surely there is nothing to see here?

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