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Site Copies Content and Uses the DMCA to Take Down the Original Articles

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the everyone's-favorite-law dept.

Science 241

First time accepted submitter ios and web coder writes "From the article: 'A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher's career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.' This is extremely worrying. Even though the original story is careful not to make accusations, I will. This sure smells like a 'Reputation Defense' dirty trick."

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Well, maybe the Indian site will end up on /b/ (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about a year and a half ago | (#42809937)

At least then something funny might come of all of this.

Re:Well, maybe the Indian site will end up on /b/ (1, Flamebait)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810695)

My question is...

Why in the world is a company listening to a foreign company on a DMCA complaint?!?!?

I mean, this is a US law...so, it should be able to be used by a foreign company should it?

I mean, if DMCA, which has often been brought to light on this list and not affecting foreign countres....why is it able to be used by THEM to put forth claims on the US and US companies?

Re:Well, maybe the Indian site will end up on /b/ (3, Insightful)

egamma (572162) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810761)

My question is...

Why in the world is a company listening to a foreign company on a DMCA complaint?!?!?

I mean, this is a US law...so, it should be able to be used by a foreign company should it?

I mean, if DMCA, which has often been brought to light on this list and not affecting foreign countres....why is it able to be used by THEM to put forth claims on the US and US companies?

So if I murder a foreigner while they are visiting the US, the US murder laws shouldn't apply?

The real problem we should be focusing on is the "takedown first, ask questions later" approach.

Re:Well, maybe the Indian site will end up on /b/ (5, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810907)

The real problem we should be focusing on is the "takedown first, ask questions later" approach.

But that is handled already. The site takes down the material and asks questions later, because that is exactly what they need to do to be involved in any copyright lawsuit. On the other hand, the lawmakers realised that this opens the door to mischief, and therefore sending a DMCA takedown notice when you are not the copyright owner or their agent is a criminal offence that can put you into jail. If India has similar laws to the USA, then there is a good chance that a request for extradition would be successful. If not, then these guys from India better never travel to the USA.

Re:Well, maybe the Indian site will end up on /b/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810933)

Analogies are like assholes, every situation.. Wait, I thought I got this, but actually no. Just like you.

Problem with many Imaginary Property laws is that tying it down to a single legislature is often impossible: uploader might be in one country, downloader in another, hoster's in USA, complainant in India and for some reason USA's law trumps every other (for take down). And the funniest thing is that DMCA has a provision for penalty for perjury if complaint falsely claims the ownership of work, but good luck bringing it versus some dummy company in India.

Re: Well, maybe the Indian site will end up on /b/ (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810939)

Foreing sites and contents are being taken down by DMCA complaints, after all. Maybe this kind of exploit is pretty common, but as being done in the opposite direction noone in US complained.

If this can happen ... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42809977)

If this can happen it points to the fact that the entire DMCA process is utterly broken and open to abuse.

No proof is required on the side of the claimant, but the accused can immediately lose their stuff.

This is a side effect of a process which was designed by content owners to get stuff taken down with minimal effort and red tape. It has the effect of random idiots being able to take down stuff without any oversight.

What needs to happen is the content owners need to have some higher burden of proof that they are the copyright holders, and that there's real infringement going on.

Re:If this can happen ... (5, Funny)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810139)

Sorry, clearly the most important thing is that content producers which actually generate revenue can continue doing so the moment a DMCA request is actioned. Money does not want or have time for your petty notions such as 'proof' or 'oversight'.

Every moment of delay collecting such lawful claptrap is money out of my (ahem, I mean) content producer's pocket and lost taxes out of your government coffer, Dear congressman/Senator.

Re:If this can happen ... (4, Insightful)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810231)

That was exactly my reaction, too. Let's quit worrying about assholes from trollville.com or HBO DMCA-ing itself.
What we need, aside from a major overhaul of copyright law, is some laws that make it absolutely illegal to demand file takedowns until after a judgement has been made in a court of law verifying the material is infringing.
The intersection of US politicians (and judges) who are (a) not completely corrupt and (b) have a clue what software, networks, and copyright are about, is probably zero, so I'm not holdiing my breath here.

Re:If this can happen ... (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810299)

We've had some judges slapping down patent trolls and copyright trolls in recent months, so hope is not lost for the system. The DMCA needs to go, but something with judicial oversight might actually work.

Re:If this can happen ... (5, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810871)

The only purpose of the DMCA though is to bypass the courts and due process. Rather than pass another law to make the DMCA process require courts and due process, you'd be better off just getting rid of it.

Re:If this can happen ... (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810245)

It has the effect of software automation being able to take down stuff without any oversight.

FTFY

Re:If this can happen ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810387)

Automated software, random idiots ... same thing really.

Re:If this can happen ... (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810787)

Yeah well, at least it's not idiots with automatics, that could get serious...

Re:If this can happen ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810379)

People in countries outside the jurisdiction of the United States should immediately start issuing as many DMCA notices for *AA works and sites as possible. Flood the system. Let them lost access to their own work using the legal framework they've created. The tail may be long, but the bite still hurts.

Re:If this can happen ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810489)

That right there.

"Dirty trick" or not, this exercise highlights a huge and very dangerous flaw in our copyright protection laws, and how those laws are enforced.

Re:If this can happen ... (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810541)

No proof is required on the side of the claimant, but the accused can immediately lose their stuff.

A few survivors of home invasions have reported that the killers break in and shout, "Police! This is a raid! Get on the floor with your hands behind your back!" or something similar before executing their victims.

Now there's an example of a hopelessly broken authentication system - that the same government sets up something similar for duplication of text is hardly surprising.

Re:If this can happen ... (4, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810833)

Detroit had a rash of fake cop cars pulling people over and robbing them. At one point they just said if a cop wants to pull you over, drive to a police station.

So is the penalty for fraudulently making a DMCA claim essentially zero? Atheists on YouTube get harrassed when religious people lie that they own the atheist's videos, then any response requires paperwork saying the atheist's real name and address, which is what some of these angey, murderous people are looking for. No legal penalties for such lies?

Re:If this can happen ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810859)

Maybe we should pass a law that makes it ILLEGAL to impersonate a police officer...oh wait. nm.

Re:If this can happen ... (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810577)

What needs to happen is for people to get their own server. A false DMCA claim is about the easiest (bad) thing to deal with when your stuff is hosted on someone else's server. All you have to do is challenge the claim, and your stuff can go back up.

Compare that to what happens if there is a server outage and you don't have backups, or if Wordpress just decides they don't like you. In those cases, there is NOTHING you can do. If you want to be safe, have your own server or at a minimum make backups.

Re:If this can happen ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810733)

IANAL, but I thought that if a host received a DMCA request, they had to take down the site and then notify the owner of the site. The owner could then dispute the claim, and the host would have to put the site back up. The idea being that the website owner - and not the host - takes on any liability for copyright infringement, and not the host.

I don't have any problem with this if a) restoring a site is as quick-n-painless for the website owner as taking it down is for a DMCA claimant, and b) there is adequate punishment for people who make false claims. Unfortunately, these two areas are where the law seems to fall short. Rather than scrap the law altogether perhaps clarification in these areas needs to be improved?

Re:If this can happen ... (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810757)

Look at it from the positive side. I is a great example what happens if you do not have a due process. Or even the reason that there is a due process is to prevent this.

Re:If this can happen ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810809)

I suggest a 6 strike policy. 6 misused DMCAs, and you get banned from further requests.

Re:If this can happen ... (1)

Zorpheus (857617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810889)

What needs to happen is the content owners need to have some higher burden of proof that they are the copyright holders, and that there's real infringement going on.

Or a fine for false claims, and a strong punishment for proven false claims.

Re:If this can happen ... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810983)

How strong? Suspension of business license? Imprisonment?

Re:If this can happen ... (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42811007)

Or a fine for false claims, and a strong punishment for proven false claims.

I'll post this again: Sending a DMCA takedown notice, when you are not the copyright holder or their agent, is a criminal offence. See this site:

http://targetlaw.com/consequences-of-filing-a-false-dmca-takedown-request [targetlaw.com]

Guilty until proven innocent (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810021)

We really have to start requiring the DMCA takedown notice sources to bring the burden of proof, or this will just become business as usual. Particularly as you don't even have to be resident in the country to abuse the system.

Alternatively, HUGE fines for incorrect takedowns and use of the perjury provisions for submitting an incorrect takedown notice need to be assessed / used. Actually, in a just world, this would be in addition to requiring burden of proof from the takedown notice source.

Nothing less than our entire culture is at stake.

Re:Guilty until proven innocent (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810683)

at what point is someone going to create a random site, copy and paste the contents of the RIAA or MPAA homepages onto it and then file DMCA takedowns on the original sites?

Indians in a nutshell (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810035)

copy content and say its yours,
now what you have to hope is those indian doctors/engineers didnt do the same on their exams

Re:Indians in a nutshell (5, Interesting)

johnncyber (1478117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810201)

now what you have to hope is those indian doctors/engineers didnt do the same on their exams

Sadly as somebody who is a CS graduate student at a university whose CS graduate program is dominated by Indian students, I can tell you that this is absolutely the case. They see no problem with cheating, even after the professor has told them that he knows they are cheating and explains the consequences. Doesn't matter if it was homework, projects or tests they always cheat.

Re:Indians in a nutshell (2)

Kierthos (225954) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810339)

If he knows that they are cheating, he needs to flunk them out of his class. Otherwise, they're never going to stop.

Re:Indians in a nutshell (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810667)

Yes fail all the Indian students then get slapped with a lawsuit concerning racism

Re:Indians in a nutshell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810741)

Yes fail all the Indian students then have them take their tuition to other schools

FTFY.

Re:Indians in a nutshell (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810881)

Nearly impossible in academia. I had an engineering class where a group (all non-Indians) handed in a paper they had lifted from a previous year's group. The TA recognized it, because it was his paper.

They failed the paper, but didn't fail the class. Too much red tape. It's nearly impossible to be flunked out for fraud in academia.

Which is why the Harvard Cheating Scandal [reuters.com] is so remarkable. They actually took it seriously. Of course, it was only a freshman class.

Re:Indians in a nutshell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42811267)

If International students were allowed to pay the same rate as in-state or the national rate then you would not have this issue. In many schools and universities International students pay almost double other students This makes it harder to expell or flunk them. I know that the justification for the higher tuition is that International students and their parents didnt pay taxes that are used to subsidize some of the schools. That should be changed.

Re:Indians in a nutshell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810357)

Of course its not like the university will actually do anything about it. They'd rather collect money from the students and any research they do than toss them out. They only real incentive university administrators have to boot someone is if the person is dumber than a stump and has a degree from that school, making the school look bad (athletes excepted).

Re:Indians in a nutshell (4, Funny)

TheAngryMob (49125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810455)

It's not cheating....it's "crowdsourcing."

That explains it! (5, Funny)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810967)

I always wondered how the Indian's got to North America first, now I know they cheated.
Back in school they told me it was because they had reservations.

Re:Indians in a nutshell (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810225)

Yes, it is well known that Indians are different from everyone else in that they are the only country with citizens willing to cheat on their exams. Elsewhere, cheating is so unusual we have to read Indian textbooks to understand what it means.

Re:Indians in a nutshell (2)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810927)

Elsewhere, cheating is so unusual we have to read Indian textbooks to understand what it means.

No...that wouldn't work, either. After all, all the Indian textbooks are copied from good, upstanding, published-in-the-good-old-USofA books, so they won't have anything about cheating in them, either...
</sarcasm>

Re:Indians in a nutshell (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810253)

Yes, because no one [agni-animation.com] outside of India ever steals intellectual property.
You did everything but propose calling it, "Indian Taking" and start your post with, "I'm not a racist, but..."

Re:Indians in a nutshell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42811071)

Yeah, for instance they made a translation of explorer Richard Burton's "The Kama Sutra"... seriously, I am not Indian but I can certainly acknowledge how much of modern civilization that started over there.

Why would the originals be missing? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810045)

"You DO have a backup, right?"

Re:Why would the originals be missing? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810215)

um, missing from their website, where else?

Re:Why would the originals be missing? (5, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810599)

um, missing from their website, where else?

Actually, the key here, is that it's not missing from their website. It's missing from Wordpress' website. They don't have a website of their own. If they did, then they (not Wordpress) would have been the one who received the DMCA notice, and the decision to pull or keep the "infringing" article would have been in the hands of someone with actual knowledge of the situation, rather than a frightened fold-by-default middleman.

Anti-DMCA activism? (4, Interesting)

Quirkz (1206400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810047)

Could this also be a case of anti-DMCA activism, where someone is fabricating this scenario just to demonstrate how abusable the system is?

Of course if it's not, I'm sure this will give some people that kind of idea.

Re:Anti-DMCA activism? (1)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810449)

Could you even do a fake DMCA take down notice somewhat anonymously? Obviously, those doing this would be commiting perjury.

DMCA take down notices can be done via email...

I think that makes the answer a "yes". Great system we have here.

Re:Anti-DMCA activism? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810823)

If you knowingly send a fake takedown notice you're already committing perjury.

Re:Anti-DMCA activism? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42811327)

If you send a fake takedown notice by email, someone will have a very hard time finding out who committed perjury...

Re:Anti-DMCA activism? (5, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810485)

Could this also be a case of anti-DMCA activism, where someone is fabricating this scenario just to demonstrate how abusable the system is?

No, it's an Indian medical researcher who hired a reputation management company [dukechronicle.com] to downplay the fact that he was thrown out of Duke for lying on his resume and falsifying cancer research results. [bizjournals.com]

Of course if it's not, I'm sure this will give some people that kind of idea.

There is no need for activism in that area. Using a DMCA request for trying to take down content that affects your reputation is a very common tactic. Most of the time, it doesn't do anything because the content is posted by back up after a little while.

In this case however, the reputation management company was smart enough to post duplicated content first. This means that the primary content may be dinged automatically by the google bot as a plagiarizer if it thinks the content was posted in India first, and so the google ranking of that content may be permanently affected as a result. Hopefully, the google bot is smart enough to figure out what truly happened.

Either way, because of the Streisand effect, I wouldn't want to be that Anil Potti [wikipedia.org] right now.

Re:Anti-DMCA activism? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810845)

Could this also be a case of anti-DMCA activism

Probably not -- it's like political satire, it's not like you won't get free examples to work with.

You don't need to try very hard to find examples of the DMCA process being horribly broken.

Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (3, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810061)

This is absurd. It clearly looks like the Reputation Firm hired by this guy works with some nameless organization in India. For WordPress to honor this DMCA take down request blindly makes me more reluctant to ever use them. Sure I see blog posts hosted by them all the time but seriously why would a reputable organization (if you can call WordPress that) would remove the content without first checking with the blog owners or verifying the claims, then they are truly the bad guys here.

Is this something where the wayback machine [archive.org] could help?

Re:Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810133)

Sure I see blog posts hosted by them all the time but seriously why would a reputable organization (if you can call WordPress that) would remove the content without first checking with the blog owners or verifying the claims, then they are truly the bad guys here.

Because that's how they keep from getting sued themselves.

If they take down on request, they keep their safe harbour. If they ask for details or proof, they can become more involved than they'd like.

The system is set up to favor the claimants, with no consideration for any burden of proof other than "because I said so". Because the lobbyists who paid for this law wanted it that way.

But it completely goes outside of most legal things like due process and judicial oversight -- guilty until proven innocent.

Re:Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (2)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810539)

The system is set up to favor the claimants, with no consideration for any burden of proof other than "because I said so". Because the lobbyists who paid for this law wanted it that way.

Well then, we should give them what they asked for and flood the system with such requests. One sure way to change a law is to show it's supporters how easily it can be turned against them.

Re:Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810581)

It's actually "guilty until proven otherwise". Because once you get sued, no matter how good the lawyers, there will always be some doubt, so, not innocent.

The whole DMCA was create for abuse, and no matter how many times, or how publicly it fails, it won't be removed or redesigned. What will happen, is that other governments, or to be specific, the EU, will make some laws to counter, or at least blunt that kind of wrong.

I have a question for the website's original owners, if the stuff there was so important, why wasn't it backed up?

Let Us Screw Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810821)

If we make takedown notices we can flood the system and show it as the circus it is.

Re:Let Us Screw Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42811025)

I like this idea, lets get some third world country ISP to host some .gov website clones, (preferably .gov sites that are hosted by godaddy, rackspace, amazon and the like) and send DMCA notices about the infringement...

Re:Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810189)

Part of the problem is that a free hosted blog doesn't generate enough money to WordPress.com to be worth them getting a lawyer, or even a guy to look at it. I used to work at a place where people could post things, and we immediately complied with DMCA takedowns. The $1.50 in ad revenue that they are probably generating isn't worth it.

Re:Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810381)

For WordPress to honor this DMCA take down request blindly makes me more reluctant to ever use them.

This is standard operating procedure for every major website right now. Doing due diligence can land you in legal trouble with the DMCA. The industry wrote the law, why would they add a concept of checks and balances? That's something the congress would have to do, but that's not going to happen when the industry is there reminding them about how expensive elections are and now easy it is for a few major news outlets to pump up some other candidate to oust you in the primary. Many won't even need a reminder because that's how they got the seat in the first place.

Re:Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (4, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810681)

I think you missed the point in the topic header "say it isn't so!" I realize that this is the case but again, the DMCA law is written to either remove or disable the content. That's what it says BTW, remove or disable. The latter for those ISPs/website operators who take a bit of time to at least give the content owners a chance to wrangle over the information or indeed take a quick look and say "hey, this takedown notice is BS." It's also worded specifically that if they don't act they may lose their liability protection under the DMCA. So yes, "ohh scary things will happen with lawyers. We may even get *gasp* another letter if we don't act in 5 minutes."

My point is that now this kind of case comes up, where we have a Researcher who is now going back trying to erase embarrassing things about himself via proxy and now you have hoards of folks in the third world ready to send DMCA letters to just let him do that. The DMCA is shameful, written by the entertainment industry. It's a travesty that laws passed (or lack thereof in the 112th congress) nowadays are just rubber stamped by legislators as "their own." There should be a DMCA for plagiarism of laws or at least "do you own work" should be the mantra rather than this endless supply of industry focused legislation that seems to be more and more prevalent in DC and in State Legislatures.

In the original issue here, WordPress which is almost synonymous for blogging took down damaging articles about proven research fraud. This is valuable and embarrassing information to subject and represents a distinct departure vs. printed news. So now if I post some code on a site, that shows an example on how to do something, I can have some nameless guy from India call my ISP and say that it's his and my stuff will disappear? Yeah deep down I knew that was a possibility (especially if I don't pay my ISP bill) but again, WordPress should have merely disabled the content, contact the owner and said "you have 7 days to let us know why we shouldn't delete your content/disable your site." That's allowable under the DMCA and it shows that the host of the content is trying to be reasonable to all parties involved.

Re:Unverified DMCA take downs? say it isn't so! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810611)

For WordPress to honor this DMCA take down request blindly makes me more reluctant to ever use them.

Wordpress the software is fine.

Wordpress the Wordpress hosting service is totally fine, because it's in the CLOUD, dude! The CLOUD! It'll make everything better! Right as rain! Fast as a thunderbolt! Deadly as a month-long storm that causes the river to overflow its banks and drown your entire extended family!

The CLOUD!

But seriously, this is why you should always host your own shit if you're capable of doing so. For far too many large SAAS companies, you're a resource, not a true customer.

Quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810085)

DMCA this article, so no one can see how broken the DMCA is!

Captcha: bawled

American Problems (-1, Troll)

xiando (770382) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810145)

This would and could not have happened if the site in question was hosted anywhere but in the United States of Fascism. The DMCA is a stupid US thing. I used to have servers in the US myself way back when. Many years have passed since I decided to avoid having anything to do with that dictatorship with an illusion of freedom at all cost.

Re:American Problems (2)

Jhon (241832) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810207)

"United States of Fascism" and "that dictatorship with an illusion of freedom"

Really? And you don't feel this is just a wee-bit over the top?

Re: accurate description (1)

xiando (770382) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810265)

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Re: accurate description (1)

Jhon (241832) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810715)

None limit the wealth of possible choices available as those who falsely exaggerate reality based on their paranoia. - Jhon

Re:American Problems (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810327)

"United States of Fascism" and "that dictatorship with an illusion of freedom"

Really?

Free speech zones. 'Border' checks within 100 miles of the border. Assassination of citizens. Extraordinary rendition. Guantanamo. Suspension of habeus corpus when they see fit. Warrantless wiretaps. Domestic spying against citizens. Drone surveillance of citizens. Blimps over Washington. 'Homeland Security' enforcing copyright.

Do you really think that it's hyperbole anymore??

When any other country does this, Americans scream fascism and freedom -- and completely miss the fact their own government does it. Sorry, but this is Soviet era stuff, and most of it is supposed to be unconstitutional.

But, as long as American Idol keeps playing, Facebook and Twitter are online, and you can buy a jumbo sized meal at McDonald's nobody cares.

Re:American Problems (0)

Jhon (241832) | about a year and a half ago | (#42811123)

"Do you really think that it's hyperbole anymore??"

Yes. And beyond that, unreasonable paranoia.

Here's a few examples:

"Free speech zones."

I'm sure you aren't suggesting that public safety is less important than the ability to say whatever you want where ever you want to say it and with any number of people. Or are you?

"Suspension of habeus corpus when they see fit"

Really? When they see fit? Isn't that a bit vague? There are valid constitutional grounds (as have been argued) based on Article 1. Also:

1. It's RARELY been suspended (hardly what I'd call "fascist")
2. The few times it has been has generated legal challenges (ex parte milligan re: civil war as a prime example to define civil rights in times of war)

"When any other country does this, Americans scream fascism and freedom"

Yes. Lets compare "occupy wall street" camps riddled with disease and crime being torn down in LA to Tiananmen square. How DARE we! We're worse than Stalin! We're worse than Mao! We're worse than Hitler!

Adjust your tinfoil hat and enjoy your fabricated reality. I'll live in the real world and deal with any extra-constitutional issues that arise as they come up through the system designed by our framers. It's not perfect, but it's HARDLY worth calling "Fascist". Unless you really don't understand the words being used, that is.

Fascism?...dictatorship? (4, Funny)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810297)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:American Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810709)

It's people like you that make it hard for people like me to be taken seriously. There are problems with the US government, but any time a crackpot such as yourself starts spewing nonsense like this it makes everyone who disagrees with the government's actions look just as crazy. So cut it out, dickbag.

Reputation defense? (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810149)

What reputation? This guy is living in more denial than the GOP if he thinks his reputation is positive. This is like throwing a bucket of water after the house has already burned down, the embers have cooled and been cleared away and there's a McDonalds built where it used to be.

DMCA distraction (1)

MyNameIsJohn (2637265) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810185)

Saying the DMCA takedown process is broken is certainly true. This was known by those against the system from the start, but was inevitably only going to rear its head when those that are not major content providers (aka. those with money) started to game the system... This is all a distraction though as the argument that preceeds this whole DMCA thing is the business models that depend on artificial scarcity of digital goods, the idea that people need to pay for every little idea (sound clip, article, presentation, graphic, video) that moves around the internet. This is an outdated thought and I am not sure what will evolve out of our new age of digitizing everything, but I certainly hope we do not hinder progress (well much beyond what we have done already) due to our inability to conceive of new business models and ways of reshaping our society to embrace the advantages of digital content.

This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810209)

you BACK UP YOUR CONTENT

US Presence (5, Insightful)

Luthair (847766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810217)

To me this indicates that DMCA claims need to have some sort of US presence; the only disincentive for abuse of the DMCA is the potential for lawsuits for invalid claims, if the claimant doesn't have a US presence then they're entirely free from reprisal. Leo Laporte has frequently mentioned that foreign companies spuriously claim copyright on his Youtube videos in order to run ads on his content.

Perhaps DMCA ought to even require registering for copyright as a minimum for filing take down notices.

A question of balance (2)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810241)

I understand the need for something like the DMCA takedown process On the other hand there needs to be some level of balance such that filing a false DMCA takedown request has an appropriate consequence to whoever files such a fraudulent action. I'm thinking along the line of capital punishment for both whoever makes the faslse claim as well as their legal team and anyone else substantially involved. It would make people think twice about filing a false takedown.

Cheers,
Dave

Re:A question of balance (2)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810405)

You don't need capital punishment, just make the punishment in line with what the RIAA demands per CD worth of shared music. A few ten million dollar fines will probably slow down the false claims in a hurry.

Re:A question of balance (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810521)

On the other hand there needs to be some level of balance such that filing a false DMCA takedown request has an appropriate consequence to whoever files such a fraudulent action

There is. You can sue them for damages + legal costs (IANAL And have not actually READ the DMCA so YMMV).

Re:A question of balance (1)

dcollins (135727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810567)

The fact that DMCA requests must be honored from India, which is obviously outside the jurisdiction of any possible penalty, means that even the "everyone you know dies" sanction would fail to make a difference here.

Two words (0)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810989)

Drone strike.

(Just kidding)

Cheers,
Dave

This is more ammo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810255)

for a DMCA reform.

Typical of a Reputation Managemnet company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810281)

This is a well-known tactic frequently used by those shady "reputation management" companies, whose business it is to make bad people look not so bad.

Anil Potti? (2)

polyp2000 (444682) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810301)

Come on ... surely thats not a real name .

Patent violation (0)

paulschreiber (113681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810321)

Maybe I should patent this... :)

May we burn her? (5, Insightful)

TheAngryMob (49125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810401)

"She's a witch...I mean copyright violator!"

Different century, same methodology.

Using the First Amendment as a weapon against DMCA (3, Interesting)

Glass Goldfish (1492293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810483)

While this is certainly outrageous behavior, could this lead to the demise of the DMCA? If this practice becomes common, you can certainly see court challenges against the DMCA in the future. If the DMCA can be portrayed as taking away original speech, that would be a direct violation of the freedom of speech in the United States. All it would take is a court to determine that it does not sufficiently safeguard the First Amendment and it could be struck down. It could be re-written, but it wouldn't be as easy to mass issue takedown notices. While I do acknowledge that there is a corporate mindset in the American judiciary, the First Amendment is a very explicit right and this would be an infringement on the property rights of the original creators.

Abolish the DMCA (4, Informative)

slacka (713188) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810499)

This is another good example of abusive DMCA take down requests circumventing due process. RIAA and MPAA abuse the law to suppress our creativity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk862BbjWx4 [youtube.com]
  and are destroying our cultural heritage.
http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2001/11/48625?currentPage=all [wired.com]
To top it off, their outdated business model unfairly reimburses the artists for their hard work.
http://www.salon.com/2000/06/14/love_7/ [salon.com]
Copyright needs to be reformed. Some changes that I'd like to see are:

  * Abolish the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
  * Intellectual property should be taxed like real property. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-weaver20feb20,0,1675278.story [latimes.com] It is an asset with a value, right? If you no longer make enough to pay your taxes on it, it goes to the state.
  * Copyrights are supposed to be an incentive to create. One that lasts unto your grandchildren are a dis-incentive, because not only are you not creating any more once you are dead, neither are your descendants. Copyright should last half a working lifetime (20 years), so that you have to get off your ass and make new stuff.
  * Someone who makes copies without permission should pay a fine, but it should be at the regular royalty rate for the item x copies made. So upload a song, it's iTunes price x number of downloads, with perhaps a factor of 3 penalty to discourage doing it, not $150,000 per copy.

If you feel the same way, you can make a difference by donating to the EFF
https://supporters.eff.org/donate [eff.org]
or at least signing this petition urging reform.
http://www.fightforthefuture.org/fixcopyright [fightforthefuture.org]

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
-Abraham Lincoln

Re:Abolish the DMCA (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810783)

I would agree with all of this, with one minor tweak :

If you no longer make enough to pay your taxes on it, it goes to the state.

No, it should return to the actual owners, the people - i.e., it should enter the public domain.

Blow Back (3, Insightful)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810561)

The Streisand Effect is starting to kick in.

Frankly, "reputation management" firms seem to be slime of the lowest form.

Hiding negative information on Wikipedia (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810701)

"Reputation defense" on Wikipedia has become an issue. Here's a wash cycle [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia, carried out on behalf of Michael Milken, one of the notorious financial crooks of the 1980s. [nytimes.com] ("Biggest fraud case in the history of the securities industry." back in 1990.) He has a self-admitted paid editor on Wikipedia editing his article to make him look good.

A DDOS attack (4, Funny)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810765)

DMCA Denial of Service, that is.

Lesson learned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810785)

Never trust research from a guy named "anal potty".

Re:Lesson learned (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810915)

Never trust research from a guy named "anal potty".

I quote:

"We've seen a lot of retraction..."
"...one partial retraction..."
"...tend to be pretty complete."
"...when we saw one in CHEST... we were experiencing something similar"

Man it's loaded. Ha. Load.

dtime (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810869)

Let's see if any judge and group of peers can look at date/time references in logs and/or pages and make any sense of that simple concept at all. :)

LMAO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810929)

Douglas Adams would be proud.

Timing (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42810959)

If Aaron Swartz would have been a bit quicker, things could have turned out differently for JSTOR.

I'm waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42810985)

For the zombie bot swarm that submits DMCA take down notices on every single page of every single media site.

It's beautiful, is it not? (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year and a half ago | (#42811023)

You have a no cost, remote way to claim ownership of something for some amount of time and profit from it and the only "undo" available to your victims involves a lengthy process which itself is only initiated after they've noticed that one of the things they created at some point in their careers which was somewhere on the net has had a DCMA takedown notice applied to it.

It's a scammer's paradise, the moreso since this is India which, with a billion people, we can say with utter confidence that even if you represent the top 0.00001% of depraved, shameless and sociopathic scammers, there's still a million other people just like you.

Retribution from the aggrieved authors can only occur at the end of a time consuming and prohibitively costly trial which itself can only commence once the international disputants are located and brought to court, which in this case turns out to be a country whose system of jurisprudence takes place mostly in fantastically over-crowded, dimly lit, smoky "courtrooms" which most closely resemble a wild west saloon, where sweaty irritable and underpaid judges, prosecutors, defendants and plaintiffs have to literally scream at the top of their lungs just to be heard, or even identify each other, and where you may not even be able to hear the disposition of your case amongst all the chaos, which disposition itself often takes all of 90 seconds, despite which fact this same courtroom has a docket that extends years and possibly even decades into the past.

What can possible go wrong with a system like that?

All hail copyright police's system of "just us".

Wasn't this...? (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42811075)

This covered in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

One of the major selling point of that wholly remarkable travel book, the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, apart from its relative cheapness and the fact that it has the words Don't Panic written in large friendly letters on its cover, is its compendious and occasionally accurate glossary. The statistics relating to the geo-social nature of the Universe, for instance, are deftly set out between pages nine hundred and thirty-eight thousand and twenty-four and nine hundred and thirty-eight thousand and twenty-six; and the simplistic style in which they are written is partly explained by the fact that the editors, having to meet a publishing deadline, copied the information off the back of a packet of breakfast cereal, hastily embroidering it with a few footnoted in order to avoid prosecution under the incomprehensibly tortuous Galactic Copyright laws.

It is interesting to note that a later and wilier editor sent the book backwards in time through a temporal warp, and then successfully sued the breakfast cereal company for infringement of the same laws.

Backup, Backup, Backup (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year and a half ago | (#42811177)

I nearly learned the hard way years back that whenever you host a site anywhere, you need to make sure you have local backups. In my case, it was a web host who was "struck by a worm" that took their servers down for a week. The fix to the worm was: 1) reboot server, 2) apply patch, 3) reboot again. So a week+ to fix their servers seemed fishy to me. I was lucky and managed to access the SQL servers and get a local backup. Others weren't so lucky when the company just vanished a couple of weeks later.

I now have a few self-hosted WordPress sites. Of course, even these aren't immune to this kind of attack. If the reputation management company stole my content and tried to knock my post offline, my host could go in and delete my site. Of course, if they did, I'd just restore my backup and my post would be back online. (I'd then leave that host, of course.)

Why isn't this section EVER enforced? (1)

dnaumov (453672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42811291)

6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Serious question. I thought that this part of the DMCA takedown notice exists precisely to prevent abuse. Why haven't I *EVER* heard of it being enforced?

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