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Countering a DMCA Takedown In the Magnet Wars

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-attractive dept.

Businesses 475

An anonymous reader writes "Zen Magnets, a maker of neodymium magnet toys, has been under assault by the much larger and better distributed Buckyballs, maker of a nearly identical toy. After Zen Magnets listed a couple of eBay auctions with a set of Buckyballs and a set of their own, asking customers to decide which was of higher quality, Buckyballs replied with a legal threat. Zen Magnets countered with an open video response, in which they presented the voicemail from Buckyballs and demonstrated their claims of quality through repeatable, factual tests, providing quantitative data to back up their assertions. Soon after, Buckyballs CEO Jake Bronstein got the video taken down from YouTube via a DMCA takedown, despite the fact that the only elements not made by Zen Magnets are the voicemail he left and some images of himself, which are low-resolution and publicly available online. Zen Magnets has decided to file a counter-takedown notice — not effective yet apparently, since the video is still marked as taken down." Slashdot's sister company ThinkGeek sells Buckyballs. No, we don't get kickbacks, but we totally should.
Update: 09/23 13:23 GMT by KD : Reader Coopjust (872796) points out one place where the disputed video has been mirrored.

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475 comments

bullcrap (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674110)

I think this is an abuse of the DMCA (some would argue that any use of it is abuse, but that's a different topic.) If they can back up their assertions with data and repeatable demonstrations, quit yer bitchin' and make a better product.

Parent Is +5, Super Obvious! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674120)

I think this is an abuse of the DMCA (some would argue that any use of it is abuse, but that's a different topic.) If they can back up their assertions with data and repeatable demonstrations, quit yer bitchin' and make a better product.

What a highly original and non-obvious statement, Pojut.

Re:bullcrap (-1, Offtopic)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674154)

I think this is an abuse of the DMCA

You think?

I'm sorry but, with all my respect and staying moderate, did you even consider the thought of this not being an abuse? Maybe I misinterpreted your tone but it sounded like someone witnessing a hit and run and stating "That may have been somehow wrong".

If even we had doubts about such clear actions how could we blame the general public from not screaming against ridiculous laws?

Re:bullcrap (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674172)

I have learned to include "I think" or "in my opinion" on Slashdot, regardless of what the topic is. I'd rather respond to posts like yours instead of "stop acting like your opinion is fact."

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674334)

My opinion: you're a douche. Respect it.

Re:bullcrap (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674598)

In my opinion it's not "abuse" unless youtube refuses to restore the video.

You see under DMCA law, youtube has no choice. If they receive a request they MUST take down the material. Youtube is not supposed to make judgment calls on the validity of the request. Step 2 is to submit the anti-takedown request which youtube must also obey and restore the material (or else fce a lawsuit). Step 3 is for the offended company to either take it to court.

Re:bullcrap (3, Informative)

Thansal (999464) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674700)

It isn't youtube people are calling abuse on, it's the company issuing the DMCA take down...

Re:bullcrap (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674706)

Bravo! I applaud this. Too many individuals on Slashdot post comments with such conviction, yet they know nothing about the topic at hand. Too many uneducated rationalizations.

Re:bullcrap (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674270)

His subject line is also "bullcrap," which would lead me to believe that he does understand that this is an obvious abuse and not just a possibility. Slashdot moderation sometimes forces you to use "weasel words" to avoid punishment for being opinionated.

Re:bullcrap (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674176)

Clearly you're not American and haven't been to America in a really long time. This is the way that corporations work. They could make a better product, but it's usually cheaper to abuse the court system or buy out the competition.

Re:bullcrap (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674384)

The worst problem is in areas like Appliances where the company making cheap crap ("Whirlxxxx") buys out their higher quality competition ("Mayxxx"), and then starts producing cheap crap under the "Mayxxx" name.

It has reached a point where it is impossible (as far as I can tell) to buy
a dishwasher
a hot water heater
a washing machine

That will last 20 years like they used to. The current dishwashers have electronics that are damaged by storms every 2-3 years. Some of the "money" parts are hard plastic so they wear out well before 10 years.

It's better in some cases to buy used and spend big bucks getting the item repaired. Then at least you have a solid appliance.

Please feel free to post if you've found a source for reliable (as in 20 year life span) major appliances.

Re:bullcrap (2, Interesting)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674430)

Mayxxx was making crap well before Whirlxxxx bought them out. This is based on first hand experience. People want cheap cheap cheap, so the design choices you mentioned were made to reach a price point.

Re:big bucks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674466)

Big Bucks No Whammies!!

Re:bullcrap (4, Informative)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674518)

"The Wal-Mart Effect" is the name for what you describe. See here [slashdot.org] and here [fastcompany.com] for a wonderfully informative story on how it works.

Re:bullcrap (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674578)

I concur about Whirl*** ... one of their subsidiaries made our oven (came with the house) -- nearly burned the house down. Seems that there are 10's of similar models that the company was forced to recall for similar problems. Since our explicit model wasn't recalled, they told us to pound sand.

From having nearly everything Whirl**** or May*** or subsidiary, we have replaced our washer/drier with LG, our refrigerator/freezer with LG, and our stove with a small independent brand.

It's too early for your 10 year test. I do know I would never buy a front load clothes washer again (they don't air out and get moldy).

Re:bullcrap (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674650)

It's much worse than that!

Private equity funds purchase once great brands and marginalize them for profit. Take a look at some of the mattress companies.

Re:bullcrap (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674702)

>>>It's better in some cases to buy used

Or just buy the cheap $250 appliance (sale price) which may not have all the gee-whiz features but is simple in design, and that simplicity makes it last longer. When I worked in Sears I never understood those persons that dropped $1000 or more on a machine that goes in the basement

Re:bullcrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674736)

I just buy used washers/driers on craigslist for $50-$100, WHEN one breaks I buy a new one. I am on my 3rd set in 3 years, but I gave one set away to a friend in need. It is a small sample, but i seem to get about 2 years of use out of them.

When a new washer-dryer costs $3k-$6k, it works out much cheaper in lifetime costs.

Re:bullcrap (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674606)

This is not an American only attribute. Just look at the EU.

Anyway I agree that American companies have a higher profile, but that's because we have an over abundance of lawyers here. Maybe we should start exporting them.

Re:bullcrap (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674664)

>>>it's usually cheaper to abuse the court system or buy out the competition.

Are European corporations any different? As I recall it was a European corporation (Opera) that sued Microsoft in order to gain competitive advantage. IIRC there was also an attempt by an European corporation to stop the Sun-Oracle merger.

Re:bullcrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674742)

>>>it's usually cheaper to abuse the court system or buy out the competition.

Are European corporations any different? As I recall it was a European corporation (Opera) that sued Microsoft in order to gain competitive advantage. IIRC there was also an attempt by an European corporation to stop the Sun-Oracle merger.

Opera did not come bundled with Windows, IE did.
The Sun-Oracle merge has been proven to be bad.

Re:bullcrap (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674242)

Does the DMCA offer any immunity to civil lawsuits for damages resulting from a [false/abusive] DMCA takedown notice? If not, then the answer here would seem to be simple. I think the plaintiff can prove through a preponderance of evidence that the issuer of the notice knew it had no claim of copyright over any of the material in the video. This would prove the DMCA takedown notice was wilfully abused for the purpose of censorship damaging the plaintiff's business.

They should definitely sue.

Re:bullcrap (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674274)

I never even thought about doing that...turning the DMCA on itself would certainly be interesting.

And law nuts out there able to weigh in on this?

Re:bullcrap (4, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674470)

It is an interesting concept. The trick here would be to prove damages, although it is possible to file a libel tort if the assertion of copyright infringement was knowingly false. Because there was technically copyrighted material involved that was owned by Buckyballs, I don't think this assertion would work in court. Yes, the content is being reproduced under clear fair-use standards, which is precisely why the counter notice was issued. That process is spelled out very clearly in the DMCA and to me is one of the few good things in that legislation (surrounded by a whole bunch of evil text).

Basically an ISP must respond to a take-down notice, but if a protest if filed then the content must be restored and the matter goes to a court for resolution. Of course companies like YouTube may not be entirely friendly about the process and may lean a little more toward taking stuff down rather than restoring it. It may even take a lawsuit against the ISP to "educate" them about what the DMCA actually says. This can get tricky though, as restoring the content which is later proven to be infringing in court can bring penalties that may be increased due to the content being restored. It definitely is time to hire an attorney if this kind of chest thumping starts to happen and you care about whatever it is that is getting yanked around on the net.

Obvious way to prove damages (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674524)

Obvious way to prove damages: every dollar the Buckyballs company made should have gone to ZenMagnets. That is the damages. After all,

a) this is what the *AA use to work out losses

b) in a free market, the rational choice would be the superior product, therefore any sales must be from unfair manipulation and the DMCA takedown enabled it.

Re:Obvious way to prove damages (2, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674574)

I think actually the *AA takes your a) and multiplies that number by about 600 then uses the result to determine damages.

Re:bullcrap (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674348)

I haven't seen the video, but the summary said it included photos taken from some web page, presumably without permission of the copyright holder. It also played a private message left by the Buckyball owner, again presumably without his permission.

Copyright in both photos and private messages remains with the creator by default, so there is a basis for a claim. It sounds from the summary that it was fair use, but apparently the copyright holder didn't think so, so it's not necessarily an abuse.

Of course, a much more sane protocol is "notice and notice", but we're not talking about a sane law here.

Re:bullcrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674544)

Voicemail is a KNOWN recording by BOTH parties (VM system/Receiver and person talking)

Re:bullcrap (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674730)

Just because it's being recorded does not mean the person speaking is giving permission for the recording to be broadcast.

Re:bullcrap (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674584)

Phone messages left on *my* answering machine (or more likely voice mail) are *my* property. You're automatically consenting to recording, because that's what voice mail *does*. That's not even effective weaseling. The photo's maybe. Depends who took them and whether Buckeyballs has standing to request their take down (fair use or not). If the photos are AP news pics or something, then Buckeyballs doesn't own them and can't demand their take down. Just because a picture is *of* you doesn't mean you own it. If Zen Magnets took the photos from the Buckeyballs website, it's reasonable that the company has at least some standing to ask for their removal. It's probably fair use, and likely would fail, but at the least it couldn't be considered abusive.

Service provider is immune; complainer is not (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674398)

Does the DMCA offer any immunity to civil lawsuits for damages resulting from a [false/abusive] DMCA takedown notice?

Per Title 17, United States Code, section 512 [copyright.gov] , the service provider (e.g. YouTube) is immune to liability for the required two-week downtime after receipt of the counter-notification (512(g)(1)). But the complaining copyright owner is not immune (Lenz v. Universal).

Re:bullcrap (3, Informative)

RattFink (93631) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674456)

The penalty is right in the notice. All proper DCMA take down request require this:

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

A false or abusive notice can land the petitioner on the hook for perjury. The problem is getting it prosecuted and making the charges stick.

Re:bullcrap (2, Funny)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674356)

Pretty much anything sold by Thinkgeek these days is poor quality. Buckyballs are apparently no different.

Note: The above statement is presented as fact, not opinion.

Let's see how long it takes for my comment to be removed.

Re:bullcrap (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674414)


Pretty much anything sold by Thinkgeek these days is poor quality.

Anything except BaconSalt [thinkgeek.com] or Baconaisse [thinkgeek.com]

MMmmm... bacon....

Re:bullcrap (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674586)

The bacon salt is freakin' AMAZING. It goes super well with green beans (though it isn't as good as green beans with Old Bay seasoning...tough to beat Old Bay!)

Re:bullcrap (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674474)

Abuse? Sure, but that's what judicial process has been reduced in the U.S. - a tool by which well-funded litigants can bully and abuse those who lack the resources to fully defend themselves. Sounds all "18th Century Europe", doesn't it?

The Question (4, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674150)

News about an unfair DMCA takedown (don't worry, there are thousands of those) or free advertising for Zen Magnets? You decide.

news. (5, Insightful)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674246)

This is news. However, Buckyballs is certainly giving Zen Magnets lots of free advertising by making it newsworthy. I can only assume after watching the video that the people making their PR decisions are just that dense.

Re:news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674676)

Indeed. If you watch the video evidence, Zen's are clearly superior to the Buckyballs. The size tolerance and coating are particularly telling.

Fair Use (4, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674156)

One of the specifically noted exception to American Trademark Fair Use is that you can use a competitor's name in an advertisement as a way of comparing your product with theirs. Since the whole point of trademarks is to inform customers about the source and quality of a product, the whole trademark infrastructure is geared toward benefiting the customer. So we want want companies to say "My brand X is better than brand Y!". Buckyballs, if Zen Magnets don't back down and this goes to court, have no case.

Re:Fair Use (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674522)

It should also be pointed out that fair use exemptions also apply to short excerpts used for criticism. Generally this applies to something like a couple of screen shots of a computer game or a few seconds from a movie for a "review", but it can also apply to something like what is being done here with the voicemail message. Yes, the voicemail copyright is owned by Buckyballs, but is use and reproduction is protected under copyright law by way of the fair use clause. Making commentary about a recording is perfectly legal. If this isn't commentary about a recording, I don't know what else would be called commentary.

Re:Fair Use (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674632)

One of the specifically noted exception to American Trademark Fair Use is that you can use a competitor's name in an advertisement as a way of comparing your product with theirs. Since the whole point of trademarks is to inform customers about the source and quality of a product, the whole trademark infrastructure is geared toward benefiting the customer. So we want want companies to say "My brand X is better than brand Y!". Buckyballs, if Zen Magnets don't back down and this goes to court, have no case.

Having not seen the complaint, I can't verify, but DMCA takedown notices are for copyright violations, not trademark violations. You're correct in that nominative fair use is an exception to trademark infringement in Lanham sec. 43, but if they filed a DMCA takedown, then they're not claiming trademark infringement. Nominative fair use is not an exception to copyright infringement.

My guess is that Buckyball's CEO is claiming copyright in the voicemail. Who retains copyright on it - the sender or the receiver - would be a matter of state law and may vary by jurisdiction.

whats-in a word/search? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674160)

talk about false advertising (while .controlling all the major 'billboards' in the wwworld)? which (added) word makes it all too real? new word today; statesponsoredspiracy, n false advertising.

google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=bush+cheney+wolfowitz+rumsfeld+wmd+oil+blair+obama+weather+authors

mynut won? most ontopical comment ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674718)

google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=bush%2Bcheney%2Bwolfowitz%2Brumsfeld%2Bwmd%2Boil%2Bblair%2Bobama%2Bweather%2Bauthors

Counter-takedown notice? (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674174)

YouTube is probably laughing right now... if anybody human actually saw it so soon.

Not the way it should be, of course... a counter-takedown notice is basically legal notice that you, the uploader, take full legal responsibility for the content, and they must IMMEDIATELY restore it – and they face full legal responsibility of any losses you incur if they do not!

(Personally I’d love to see the outcome of a lawsuit to try to recoup damages from YouTube after a counter-takedown notice was ignored. Granted they have other stuff in their TOS that pretty much makes them not liable for anything, but if they explicitly took something down because of the DMCA, shouldn’t they be liable under its terms?)

Re:Counter-takedown notice? (2, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674276)

The reddit link seems to indicate that they're in the process of making sure they're completely clear:

Decision is we're going to do a counter-notification, but we're gonna have a lawyer back us up. (Especially since there have been good points about potential $$$ damages for perjuring a false copyright take-down.)

The video has been reuploaded to Youtube by a few others though.

Fucking Magnets, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674190)

How do they work?

Re:Fucking Magnets, (3, Interesting)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674232)

the most interesting thing is that they don't actually work, because the force they exert on something is always perpendicular to the direction of motion of that something.

Can Zen Magnets sue? (1)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674198)

Is it possible to sue someone for this kind of abuse? I know that if Zen Magnets were infringing and filed a counter notice that Zen Magnets could be sued. What about this situation? Is there any legal remedy for abusing DCMA? Is the DCMA silent on this kind of thing?

Re:Can Zen Magnets sue? (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674268)

Yeah, there are penalties. Out of 512. Limitations on liability relating to material online [cornell.edu]

(f) Misrepresentations.— Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section—
(1) that material or activity is infringing, or
(2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification,

shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner’s authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

Re:Can Zen Magnets sue? (1)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674326)

Which is to say that even if you're fighting with high-caliber corporate lawyers, the law still favors the abuser as long as they show any moderation whatsoever.

Knowingly? (3, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674566)

I always love when they through in language like "knowingly", because, I'm no lawyer, but isn't it pretty hard to prove that someone 'knowingly' misrepresented. If they just say, "We didn't know", how do you counter that? The only way I can think of is if you happen to get lucky and find an email or other record of a private conversation between company employees where they essentially admit it.

Also, to what extent can lawyers "shield" their clients? I.e. if a Client goes to their lawyer, and the lawyer tells them "yeah, that's infringing", even though it isn't, does the law hold the lawyer liable? I mean, if you acted on advice of your attorney, can you claim you didn't know you were making a misrepresentation (after all, your lawyer told you so, it's just your lawyer was wrong)? Is there anything to stop corrupt little deals where lawyers tell their clients what they want to hear, so that the client can act on advice of their attorney, and because the attorney doesn't face any penalties, it's all sort of 'legal'?

Was just about to buy some bucky balls (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674206)

I was planning this week to buy some bucky balls for a friend, guess I won't now.

Re:Was just about to buy some bucky balls (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674250)

Don't, they are rubbish. A friend bought me some good ones last year, then I bought some Buckyballs off ThinkGeek and they're shit.

Re:Was just about to buy some bucky balls (1)

irving47 (73147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674336)

I'd wait on it. I DO LIKE my buckyballs, but it's funny about the timing. Over the last few days I have noticed many flecks coming off of them. They're starting to chip.

Other users have now mirrored it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674218)

Here's a mirror of the video. [youtube.com]

Zen's delay is most likely due to the fact that they're consulting a lawyer to make sure things are done by the book and they're legally in the clear (and don't damage any possibility of suing Buckyballs for committing perjury on the DMCA notice).

This is what they've last said on the matter on reddit:

Edit: Decision is we're going to do a counter-notification, but we're gonna have a lawyer back us up. (Especially since there have been good points about potential $$$ damages for perjuring a false copyright take-down.)

thinkgeek (4, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674240)

I have been a customer of ThinkGeek for a long while... and I hope that they really show where their values are and DROP BuckyBalls as product. I've always believed that they took more notice of this type of stuff and tried to stock items that didn't participate in this type of corporate asshattery. I hope I don't get proved wrong...

Re:thinkgeek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674360)

Thinkgeek may or may not find out about the story here, but if you feel strongly about it, you should probably email your thoughts to them.

I used to be skeptical about feedback/contact forms on store/company sites, but you'd be surprised by how often a real human will reply and actually do something.

I've had a couple of really bad purchases (where stuff did not work as advertised). Recently I emailed one of the stores I had bought from and expressed my disappointment in the brand. The store owner apologized, gave me a full refund, and stopped carrying products by that company.

Re:thinkgeek (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674748)

Thinkgeek may or may not find out about the story here, but if you feel strongly about it, you should probably email your thoughts to them.

I used to be skeptical about feedback/contact forms on store/company sites, but you'd be surprised by how often a real human will reply and actually do something.

I just did this. Let's see how they respond.

Re:thinkgeek (3, Funny)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674500)

Their values? Seriously?

I purchased two golf-type shirts from them. Both are a bit oversized as I like loose-fitting shirts

The first one ripped on its own under both arms due to the stitching not being properly done.

The other? It unbuttons itself. While that may be a useful feature, if my name is Kandi and I'm dancing at "The Gold Club", it's not so useful if I am in a meeting at work.

Re:thinkgeek (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674546)

Oops. Meant to add that, when I contacted them concerning these two shirts, they said there was nothing they could do. No refund. No replacement.

Re:thinkgeek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674580)

I'm sorry, but thinkgeek is just like any other company. Values get in the way of the bottom line.

Re:thinkgeek (2, Funny)

Chysn (898420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674740)

I have been a customer of ThinkGeek for a long while... and I hope that they really show where their values are and DROP BuckyBalls as product

You are just so cute, I could eat your right up!

ThinkGeek (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674322)

Slashdot's sister company ThinkGeek sells Buckyballs. No, we don't get kickbacks, but we totally should.

Perhaps your sister company should stop selling the products of a known DMCA abuser?

Hello Poison Control Hotline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674324)

Can cause serious problems if swallowed. Do not give to kids under the age of 12, and keep them away from pets. Call poison control if more than 1 magnet is swallowed.

We have a situation here.

Re:Hello Poison Control Hotline? (5, Informative)

irving47 (73147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674352)

All rare earth magnets are that way. They are especially concerned about them being swallowed separately or coming apart.... The problem being if they are in different stages of your intestines, they will attract each other and either stay right where they are, blocking flow of blood or other stuff, or maybe even wear right through the walls and make holes. Pretty nasty situation either way.

It has gotten even uglier . . . (3, Funny)

pariahdecss (534450) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674362)

Apparently now the makers of Ben Wa Balls ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Wa_balls/ [wikipedia.org] ) have gotten wind of this fracas and have filed their own injunction

Re:It has gotten even uglier . . . (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674504)

You do realize that scrunching "en.wikipedia.org/" in front of some random term doesn't make a useful page of that name magically appear on Wikipedia?

Re:Reddit had it yesterday. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674450)

Well good for them, not everyone here reads Reddit.

Re:Reddit had it yesterday. (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674464)

The summary here links to reddit. And not every Slashdot user visits reddit regularly.

I had some on my kids' Christmas lists... no more (2, Insightful)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674378)

I will buy the Zen magnets instead. Screw the Buckyballs people for being such dicks.

Re:I had some on my kids' Christmas lists... no mo (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674478)

Yeah, now I'm sorta sad that I bought a bunch of Buckyballs, but I'll happily switch brands for my next batch.

"the Internet routes around..." well, does it? (2)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674382)

So, where are the mirrors? Who has copies of the video?

Haven't we always thought that the Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it? Well, where is the backup route?

Hm, maybe all this centralized infrastructure in a few big providers does have some drawbacks after all...

This why I hate the iPad (0, Offtopic)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674724)

Because it "trains" us to be passive consumers of media on the internet.

As a result, we'll see more and more, that the internet is going to be controlled by a few big companies, and it will be become TV all over again, where THEY decide what we get to watch, what we get to read, and everything else will be censored, unaccessible, and when "pirates" even try to post their own material (remember when "pirate" radio was about broadcasting? Amazing how big media uses that word for *everything*...), they will be taken down, usually with cops bursting through their door to confiscate their illegal servers.

You think I'm crazy, but trust me, in 20 years, this won't seem so far fetched.

DMCA Counter-Claim or not... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674418)

...isn't there a period wherein Youtube's allowed to decided whether to put the content back up or not?

Re:DMCA Counter-Claim or not... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674538)

There is a period for processing and processing can take a significant amount of time. As long as you have an internally documented procedure and follow it you can take a pretty significant amount of time to in doing so. From the link it looks like they still have not sent in the counter claim to get that process started.

the whole thing smells (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674512)

does Zen or Bucky have their _own_ smelting and chrome plating facilities ? just for magnets ? are they mining the ore ?
lol a pair of middlemen resellers squabbling about who has the best dealer

Toys (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33674550)

While some people argue over toys, there is a real life macro economic crisis brewing over some of the metals used in these toys..and in advanced tech useful products, the important stuff we all use. China is blocking the transfer of rare earth metals to Japan in a dispute over ocean territory and fishing rights, etc. More of a big dick contest with japan, and therefore the rest of the world, and I tell you, China will win that contest. At this minute, they are denying it is happening, but that seems to be spin. They made their point that even the threat of blocking these materials would cause severe economic harm to their competitors.

Magnets and Renewable Energy! (-1, Flamebait)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674556)

According to the Zen Magnets site, "This server is powered by renewable energy (100% Wind)" and "Best viewed with Firefox or Chrome". Regardless of the quality of their product, they sound like self-righteous pricks who can't write HTML properly.

Speaking from a Recent BuckyBalls Customer (4, Interesting)

kipin (981566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674592)

I recently purchased 4 sets of BuckyBalls when they were recently on woot. I'm pretty pissed that I did now and want to show my support to Zen Magnets and buy a set of theirs. They seem to have much better quality from everything I have read and seen, and can attest to BuckyBalls "flakes" now coming off in my hand after using the magnets for about 2 weeks.

From what I have heard, this company BuckyBalls made about $500,000 in sales from the woot sale (woot actually bought more from BuckyBalls on the day of the sale because demand was so strong), and $250,000 in sales on the day Google changed its logo to honor the Buckyball. Seems they may have grown too big for their britches and feel a sense of entitlement now.

Re:Speaking from a Recent BuckyBalls Customer (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674622)

The origin of the name Buckyballs is not the toy [wikipedia.org] .

Google was honoring Fullerene, not the toy, although Buckyballs put out a press release saying it massively boosted their sales as a side effect.

Re:Speaking from a Recent BuckyBalls Customer (1)

kipin (981566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674732)

I know that, google recently changed their logo which included a rotating buckyball. When you clicked on the logo, it performed a google search for "buckyball" which happened to place the BuckyBalls website very close to the top giving them a lot of exposure and sales.

Voicemail is immaterial (1)

Controlio (78666) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674618)

You can always repost a voicemail. US law only mandates that both parties are aware that the content of the phone call is being recorded. Leaving a voicemail implies knowledge that your voice is being recorded, thus there is no issue there. The picture can be more complicated as far as copyright, as just because it's available online doesn't make it fair game.

The more important issue is the fact that the DMCA is unbelievably flawed, and this points out a perfect case. If I use the DMCA to demand a video be removed and you don't do so in a timely manner, I sue you. If I use the DMCA to demand the video be re-posted and you don't do so in a timely manner, I sue you. However there is no severe penalty for misuse of the DMCA. Thus the reason for all the automated DMCA takedown notices - there's no consequences if you get a few wrong. The only ones getting unconditionally screwed in this case are the hosting sites, which is absurd.

For the love of your particular deity, will someone hold the companies who abuse our laws responsible for something?

Re:Voicemail is immaterial (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674642)

A DMCA notice has to include a statement that, under penalty of law, the person filing it knows they have a copyright being infringed and their statements are accurate.

As you might imagine, the difficulty is proving that in court.

Unfair use of DMCA that becomes free advertising (1)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674620)

They are using DMCA because they know they cant patent spherical magnets.

I didnt even know about Zen Magnets until buckyballs filed their DMCA notice.

Maybe it should be called a Definitely Massive Competitor Ad

After watching the response... (4, Insightful)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674656)

LOL, After watching the response Zen Magnets vs Buckyballs Comparison Video [youtube.com] , Zen Magnets seems far superior to BuckyBalls.

Not because of product quality, though that seems significantly superior, but because they seem to be way more in tune with the nerd culture. Buckyballs should be ashamed of themselves for issuing a DMCA takedown notice. No geek/nerd would stoop so low.

In comparison, Zen Magnets seems to be kicking it nerdcore, which is how I roll.

ThinkGeek, you need to drop Buckyballs and pick up Zen Magnets. You gotta protect your nerd points, and getting behind a DMCA abuser, and a company which doesn't seem to understand the geek culture, is not cool. Drop Buckyballs, pick up Zen Magnets!

Publicly Available (1, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33674696)

...and some images of himself, which are low-resolution and publicly available online.

Just because it's low resolution and just because it's available online does not necessarily mean you have the legal right to use an image.

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