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Comcast Threatens TorrentFreak For Posting Public Court Document

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,26 days | from the cease-and-desist dept.

Censorship 215

Despite being part of public court proceedings, Comcast sent a notice of infringement ordering Torrent Freak to stop hosting a letter linking a subscriber to Prenda Law. From the article: "Comcast has sent TorrentFreak a cease and desist letter, claiming copyright over contents of an article which revealed that Prenda Law was involved in operating a pirate honeypot. Failure to comply will result in a lawsuit in which the Internet provider will seek damages, a Comcast representative informs us. In addition, Comcast also alerted our hosting provider, who is now threatening to shut down our server."

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215 comments

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Expropriate Comcast under a workers government! (1, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632149)

The solution is COMMUNISM! Hail Leon Trotsky!

Re:Expropriate Comcast under a workers government! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632505)

Not sure if master troll or sarcastic overlord...

Re:Expropriate Comcast under a workers government! (4, Funny)

dicobalt (1536225) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633035)

Comcastic!

Frankly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632175)

For quite some time now I've been sitting back and enjoying the show (from outside the US of A).

Dear Comcast, fuck off (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632215)

It's a public court document, you don't own it you fucking douche-bag.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632351)

Maybe the judge is in their employ and has one of those "anything you create on or off Comcast time is Comcast property" and they think that trumps government.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632591)

Couldn't even be bothered to read the summary, huh? It's a cease-and-desist letter. No judges involved.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633061)

Did you read the summary? They're claiming copyright on a court document.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633383)

And the judge in that court had nothing to do with this copyright claim.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633581)

If you can't see the connection Culture20 was drawing, that's your failure, not his. The rest of us can can see it quite plainly.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632521)

If we're going to have (I wish we did not... they're bad news) DMCA take-down orders, we also need a law WITH TEETH that criminalizes the abuse of same.

Once you start seeing actual damages for filing false notices, watch them stop.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632873)

If we're going to have (I wish we did not... they're bad news) DMCA take-down orders, we also need a law WITH TEETH that criminalizes the abuse of same.

I agree that DMCA takedowns need teeth, and harsh penalties for abusing it. However, personal experience tells me we need takedowns of infringing material.

Fifteen years ago I started a Quake gaming site that I stuffed with all kinds of good contents, which included a huge trove of single player cheats, console commands and server commands that I meticulously tested and explained. Those pages may have been the most plagairized works on the internet; folks would take my content, remove my name, put theirs in, and repost.

My web host's IP address was used in one of the examples, and googling it brought up dozens of plagiarized pages. I'd email the sites and politely ask for simply credit and a link to my site. Very few complied and some were pretty damned hostile (most were at .edu domains so it was mostly college kids doing it, although a few were commercial).

Without takedowns there would have been nothing I could do about it. The same would apply to plagiarized GPL code someone posted and claimed credit for.

If someone posts my book on a commercial site I'll be issuing more (noncommercial use, including torrents, will be free). But bullshit like Comcast is pulling should result in someone's incarceration.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (-1, Troll)

ClintJCL (264898) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633253)

So now you own the cheat codes created by IDSoftware's developers? Sounds like you're also a douche. Facts aren't copyrightable.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (4, Informative)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633397)

No, but explanations and other added value content is. Sounds like people were not just taking facts, but instead duplicating entire pages and just changing the name from the poster to their own. I can actually recall seeing a lot of this type of plagiarism years ago, someone would write a walkthrough or FAQ and it would quickly show up in a number of places with the author's name changed to someone who wanted a little status or traffic.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (0, Troll)

ClintJCL (264898) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633507)

I could see that, but really, in the end, I don't know that people should really feel ownership over them explaining someone else's stuff.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (4, Informative)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633593)

There's an entire industry now in auto-rippiing help-based discussion forums (particular cars, appliances, anything) and re-wrapping the threads as-is with your own layout wrapper and then using Google promotion tricks to get your page ahead of the real forum. The fake forums have no log in or response capability, but as most older product issues are archive stage anyway, i.e. thread with full solution, no more than a reference page is all that's needed.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (1)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633639)

That industry makes me miss the ability to, as part of any google link, immediately add sites to my blocklist. It used to be built right in to google's search page...

Heh, though one rather clever one that I keep hitting, if you try to interact with it, claims your IP address has been blocked by the admin and supplies an address you can message for further information. I have a feeling it just dumps you into a spam list for sale or something.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633425)

He's not claiming copyright on the facts, he's claiming copyright on a particular written description of those facts, and not merely the listing of the codes. This is no different from people being unable to claim copyright on the laws of physics, but they are able to assert copyright over a physics textbook they wrote.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633463)

Ownership of content created from a set of facts != ownership of the facts themselves.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (2)

Skapare (16644) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633267)

I agree that DMCA takedowns need teeth, and harsh penalties for abusing it. However, personal experience tells me we need takedowns of infringing material.

Yes, we need both. But we also need DMCA takedowns that make sense (this one did not since it lacked detail), and we also need DMCA takedowns that are not abused. Add to that, we need DMCA takedowns that can be verified (there must be a real person that can be immediately contacted about it).

If someone posts my book on a commercial site I'll be issuing more (noncommercial use, including torrents, will be free). But bullshit like Comcast is pulling should result in someone's incarceration.

So do we have your support in making a law that counter balances the highly abusable DMCA?

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (-1, Troll)

Digital Vomit (891734) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633367)

Fifteen years ago I started a Quake gaming site that I stuffed with all kinds of good contents, which included a huge trove of single player cheats, console commands and server commands that I meticulously tested and explained. Those pages may have been the most plagairized works on the internet;

It sounds like you don't understand how the internet works. You can't put something out in public then complain when people share that information. Yeah, it sucks that some people do douchey things like try to take credit for other people's work, but you need to put this sense of entitlement you seem to have in check.

Information is like fire: anyone can just shove a stick in your fire and get their own fire once you've made your fire public, regardless of how hard it may have been to make that fire in the first place. Claiming ownership on fire it just silly.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632613)

I disagree.

Dear, Dear Comcast:

Please spam everyone and everything with these cease and desist letters. For EVERYTHING. Especially politicians and voters who don't generally care about IP laws.

The sooner everyone realizes how thoroughly stupid it is to give you this as a weapon, the sooner someone will take it away from you and all the other sociopathic organizations out there.

Hopefully anyway. At the very least, it will be entertaining to watch you claim copyright over "#yolo" on twitter.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632897)

Someone should issue some takedown notices of Comcast pages. Actually, a lot of someones should. Let's slashdot them with DMCA takedowns!

No, it's not a court document (1)

Sloppy (14984) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632931)

Little do you realize the entire Prenda case is fiction, all written for entertainment purposes (c'mon, didn't you suspect?) and none of these things are really court documents. It's "Internet Porn" not in the sense of porn found on the Internet, but figurative porn, where the Internet is the subject (a la "food porn").

John Steele is just the name of the antagonist character (and in a recursive twist, he happens to be played by a brilliant comedic actor whose real name is "sharkmp4" and I, for one, find the writers stacked reuse of that name, to be hilarious).

And Comcast's letter was all just part of the creative work. The writers had a lot of meetings and shot-down ideas, before thought thought of having the Comcast character send that letter. And now by pirating a whole chapter, Torrentfreak is negatively impacting the resale market of the "The Prenda Case" serial, which had been licensed by Ars Technica, Slashdot, etc in order to provide ad impression fodder.

Re:Dear Comcast, fuck off (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633287)

"Update 7pm CET: Comcast’s Senior Director Corporate Communications, Jenni Moyer, responded and said we can disregard the cease and desist as it “was sent in error.” The company further apologized for any confusion it may have caused."

https://torrentfreak.com/comcast-threatens-to-sue-torrentfreak-for-copyright-infringement-130821/

fair use (4, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632227)

Of all things, court proceedings are one of the few exceptions to copyright law.

And if the lawyer who sent this notice doesn't know that, then someone at the bar association screwed up big time giving this guy a license to practice.

Re:fair use (2)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632249)

Unfortunately, the host seems as smart as the lawyer, considering they're threatening to shut down the server according to the synopsis.

Re:fair use (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632309)

Unfortunately, the host seems as smart as the lawyer, considering they're threatening to shut down the server according to the synopsis.

Because it's easier for the hosting company to just say "fuck it, not my problem".

This is what happens when the DMCA tells you that if you comply with a takedown, you are off the hook.

The law is written in such a way that the hosting company has no incentive to care.

That nobody seems to be doling out punishments for false takedowns is the big problem -- because apparently you can claim almost anything belongs to you with neither facts nor evidence on your side.

Re:fair use (4, Insightful)

snadrus (930168) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632419)

False takedowns are a felony that maybe a Comcast lawyer should experience, you know, to be made an example of.

Re:fair use (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632479)

False takedowns are a felony that maybe a Comcast lawyer should experience, you know, to be made an example of.

And yet, I don't believe a single person has been charged for it that I've hear of, even when it seems pretty blatant to the rest of us.

Apparently all you have to do is claim you did it in good faith or there was a clerical error ... presto, you're off the hook.

It's a system written by, and for the benefit of, copyright holders -- and they seem to be presumed innocent unless you can absolutely prove otherwise. Not just that they're stupid or incompetent.

Re:fair use (2)

DigitAl56K (805623) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632629)

Apparently all you have to do is claim you did it in good faith or there was a clerical error ... presto, you're off the hook.

Maybe that's easier to believe when you have automation software scrubbing YouTube for possibly infringing material and you have tens of thousands of copyright works to protect. When you're a lawyer dealing with one very specific public court document, it seems to me like it might be harder to play off.

Re:fair use (2)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632755)

When you're a lawyer dealing with one very specific public court document, it seems to me like it might be harder to play off.

Oh, I'm not disagreeing with you - I'm just saying based on what we've seen of these in the past, nobody even makes an attempt to enforce it.

I suspect that nobody is interested in prosecuting these things because they're too beholden to the content owners.

Re:fair use (0)

jpublic (3023069) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632857)

Maybe that's easier to believe when you have automation software scrubbing YouTube for possibly infringing material and you have tens of thousands of copyright works to protect.

There's not really anything to protect them from to begin with.

Re:fair use (2)

portwojc (201398) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632923)

When has a false take down notice ever hurt, really hurt, the person/group/whatever making the claim?

Re:fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633193)

Include the corporate executives in this (the CxO types), as they ultimately are the ones that implicitly delegate this authority (but not responsibility) to the lawyers.

Re:fair use (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633291)

It's only a felony for normal people not corporations. If by some unimaginable luck someone actually tried to bring a felony charge, who would they charge? The corporation, the lawyer representing them, the CEO, etc... There is no one to put the felony charge on. If they got a monetary fine it would most likely be less than their hourly income. For corporations to even care about not making false DMCA take down requests you'd have to make sure it was written in the law that corporations would face a penalty at minimum their total last quarter gross income. You know that will never happen given how the corporations bought and paid for all members of the congress and senate.

Re:fair use (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633411)

No, false takedowns are in general not a felony. The DMCA is craftily worded such that the only thing that is perjury is if you misrepresent who hired you to file the takedown request.

I file a takedown claiming to represent Sony asking to take down Sony's material == perjury.

Sony files a takedown (as Sony) asking to take down my work which they don't own: not perjury.

That is how the law is written.

BTW, if you file a counterclaim, then 100% of it is covered under a perjury clause. So much for equality under the law.

Re:fair use (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632499)

You're quite right of course. I wish I could argue otherwise.

Re:fair use (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632627)

And because the recipient of the notice is also subject to the discretion of the host anyway.

Re:fair use (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633543)

I wish I knew where the article was I'm sure I read it on /. but I remember a lady security researcher had zipped up some files from a trojan she was studying, uploaded them to her mega upload account and got a DMCA take down notice. At the time I remember thinking play along... Oh, it's yours? You wrote this? Ok, I'll take it down and give your response and info to the authorities.

Re:fair use (5, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632471)

If you read the actual message they sent TorrentFreak, the ISP isn't as bad as the summary makes them out to be. The ISP said that TF needs to take appropriate action and need to respond back with the action taken. No where did it specifically state that the action had to be removal of the scanned letter.

The ISP isn't in and doesn't want to be in a position where they are the legal department for all their customers trying to determine if each and every notice is legitimate especially in very specific incidents like this. They just want to know that you a. received the notice and b. have taken some action regarding it. That's all they are really concerned about and all they are required to do under the DMCA.

It would be appropriate and satisfy all parties if TF responded to the ISP stating that they contacted Comcast/Cyveillance, asserted their right to use the content under fair use/public domain/whatever, and that it would not be coming down. Appropriate action would be then taken.

Re:fair use (2)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632719)

I did read it, I was simply pointing out that such a letter had been issued. A case need not have merit to be a giant hassle for those involved.

"appropriate action" (1)

freeze128 (544774) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633249)

It seems to me that the takedown notice recipient could respond to the notice by:

- Contacting Comcast telling them that they have received the notice.
- Indicate to Comcast that the document is public, and that they would NOT be removing it.
- Notify a third party web service that publicly keeps track of bogus takedown notices.

This last thing would be awesome to help prevent these in the future. If this public site publishes this information, and it gets back to the CEO, or Comcast's advertisers, it would be some Negative PR which would provide some leverage to prevent these stupid things from happening in the first place.

Re:fair use (2)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632601)

The host is an independent third party that already reserves the right to terminate access at its sole discretion regardless of the merits of the case.

Most businesses have a standard "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" and they can invoke that right for any reason whatsoever that is not prohibited by law.

Cutting someone off because someone else threatened you for hosting them is a dick move, but it's not illegal.

Re:fair use (3, Informative)

Skapare (16644) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633335)

If they do that, then they must not charge the customer any more money. Many ISPs, however, have reacted to customers abandoning them due to invalid takedowns by charging them with the remainder of the contract, and sending that out to debt collectors. These are ISPs that need to be boycotted when they do things like this as a result of invalid takedowns.

Re:fair use (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632275)

Of course they know, they don't work for Comcast because they're incompetent.

They want to bully TF into removing the documents by threatening with a costly legal battle. Even if TF does win they're still out a considerable amount of cash and time.

This is corporate bullying 101...

Re:fair use (1, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632353)

" Even if TF does win they're still out a considerable amount of cash and time."

If TF wins, then they're entitled to attorney fees and lost money.

That's lawsuit 101. Loser pays.

Re:fair use (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632519)

Sadly it depends on jurisdiction.

In the US, it is not loser pays unless the judge says so, and it's typically reserved for egregious or malicious prosecution.

Also, even if they get their legal fees back, they're still in the hole until then.

It's a lot like being on a deflated raft and trying not to sink. if you steal some air out of the raft to breathe, and you wind up sinking, it's too late to reinflate the raft.

Re:fair use (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633227)

> Sadly it depends on jurisdiction.

Thanks. You beat me to it. :)

If anything good is coming out of all this NSA-spying, DMCA-takedown, RIAA-"Yo Momma" madness, it's that ordinary geeks in the United States are finally realizing just how desperately -- DESPERATELY -- this country needs loser-pay legislation. (Or maybe even a Constitutional Amendment, just to keep the courts from watering it down.)

The entire legal landscape in this country would be completely and totally different. Totally. Completely. Many of the most (in)famous court cases that have been covered here on Slashdot probably wouldn't have ever happened, if the plaintiffs knew they could get stuck with the legal fees if they lost.

Re:fair use (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632605)

If TF wins, then they're entitled to attorney fees and lost money.
That's lawsuit 101. Loser pays.

"Loser pays" is the rule in the UK and a number of other places. It is by no means the rule in the US, unless the court rejects the charges "with prejudice", thus allowing the cleared defendant to launch a separate legal action to recover their legal costs (success is not guaranteed).

Re:fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632611)

" Even if TF does win they're still out a considerable amount of cash and time."

If TF wins, then they're entitled to attorney fees and lost money.

That's lawsuit 101. Loser pays.

Nope - not in America. Winning at trial, especially if you're the defendant, is often quite costly due to the lawyers' fees and court costs.

Re:fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633139)

no that's a misconception.

it's not always the case and even if the circumstances allow it, you'd still need to put up a large chunk of cash upfront to get the legal defense going.

Idk what TF's finances are like, but it's not certain they can afford that.

Re:fair use (1)

Phase Shifter (70817) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632637)

Of course they know, they don't work for Comcast because they're incompetent.

There's incompetent, and then there's just plain lazy.

Why do research or analysis when you can just Google "Comcast torrent"?

Why waste time filtering the results when most hosting providers will cave in to your demands without checking their validity?

Re:fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632299)

Obviously the attorney is Patrick J. Adams.

Re:fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632319)

You haven't been paying attention to the legal system.

The nature of the law doesn't matter. The nature of the precedent doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the perception of the law and precedent. Lawyers are not trained to limit their activities to what the law and precedent allow, they are trained to intimidate opposition until another lawyer wields law and precedent to form a counter-argument.

Re:fair use (2)

DeathToBill (601486) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632381)

Filings with the court are not subject to copyright. What about exhibits? I think they can be still subject to copyright. Think about it. Suppose exhibits to court cases were not subject to copyright. Suppose I copy your book. You decide to sue me for copyright. The book I copied will necessarily be an exhibit in the case. Exhibits in cases are not subject to copyright, so now by suing for copyright infringement you've put your book in the public domain.

While some people would like copyright law to work this way, I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

Of course I haven't read TFA, so have no idea whether the "letter" that TorrentFreak was hosting is a letter to the court (not subject to copyright) or a letter to someone else which was later submitted to the court (possibly subject to copyright).

Re:fair use (4, Informative)

DeathToBill (601486) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632447)

Okay, now I've read TFA; the document in question is a court filing and definitely not subject to copyright.

Re:fair use (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632569)

And if the lawyer who sent this notice doesn't know that, then someone at the bar association screwed up big time giving this guy a license to practice.

It's the climate change. With the sea levels rising, the bar gets progressively lowered. (At least until it moves to elevated offices.)

Re:fair use (1)

Talderas (1212466) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632679)

I've seen way too many James Camerson, bar, South Park reference today. What's going on?

Re:fair use (1)

WestCoastBogeyMan (927316) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632577)

And if the lawyer who sent this notice doesn't know that, then someone at the bar association screwed up big time giving this guy a license to practice.

He's practicing. Obviously he needs a lot more practice before he's considered to be any good,

Perjury. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632245)

Counter-sue, and make sure to claim extra damage for the upstream baseless threats to your provider(s) and definitely for treble damages if this results in so much as a second of downtime.

Please, please do this. It's hard to get standing, but we desperately need these cases to be brought.

SLAPP laws (2)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632269)

This is where SLAPP laws come into play.

Re:SLAPP laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632369)

No, this is where companies decide to leave for less sue happy countries. Like anywhere outside USA.

Re:SLAPP laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632509)

Really? You can name a civilized nation that doesn't have a memetic reputation for simply being an extension of the USA's legal parody? Er, system? And doesn't have its own serious rights issues regardless?

Re:SLAPP laws (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632667)

In this case it's actually both.

Re:SLAPP laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632373)

Like SLAPP on the wrist? They already are.

Fall in line (2)

Unknown1337 (2697703) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632271)

This just joins the long list of who cares copyright infringement notices that all major companies seem to think is necessary. I sure hope some CEOs and/or legal departments grow up soon, because I've had enough of everyone suing everyone over such insignificant crap. Especially when the reasoning is nill.

Call the Attorney General (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632297)

I am certain that the AG's office will be interested to know that a private company is laying claim to public court documents. Have your service provider (better yet, its lawyers) do the same. It will be great fun.

so take it down and send it to wikileaks (1)

apcullen (2504324) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632305)

Stay in business AND get the word out. This seems like a really dumb move by comcast.

Re:so take it down and send it to wikileaks (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632979)

This is a public court filing. The word is already out, there is nothing to leak, and they have every right as a journalist reporting on a court case to show and describe the public filings made in that case. Fair use is pretty clear about that. This notice should have never been sent in the first place, and the lawyers at Comcast or their contractor need to be called out and made an example of for sending a false DMCA notice. People who are not even attorneys (like myself) can see that this is fair use without even needing to look up the relevant laws. They are a journalist covering a public court case, of course they are allowed to include whatever "content" is filed in that court case for the purpose of public commentary.

And that glosses over the fact that I don't even think this subpoena response can even be copyrighted by Comcast. So, let's use a more explicit example. Say a brand like Coke is suing another company because they think the logo looks too similar to the Coke logo. In that court case, the actual logos will be submitted as evidence. A journalist covering that case is well within their rights to publish both of those copyrighted logos for the purpose of commentary on the case. Coke cannot sue that journalist and claim that they are committing copyright infringement by showing the Coke logo in their coverage of the court case, the journalist has the right to use it for that story.

Streisand effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632307)

You'd think an internet service provider would have heard of it.

Re:Streisand effect (1)

TrollheartBlue (2944865) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632361)

Is that were an artist is so bad that every used record shop has dozens upon dozens of her albums?

Comcast made a mistake.... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632325)

And they are apparently trying to ignore it until it goes away.

Um, Comcast, you messed up here and I suggest you "do the right thing" and admit it But I don't expect them to own up to the mistake anytime soon.

That leaves the question, what should the offended party do? Go to the public? (Done) Get it posted on SlashDot? (yep) File suit for the good of the next little fish who gets caught in Comcast's copyright protection folks? (Maybe)

Re:Comcast made a mistake.... (2)

snadrus (930168) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632485)

Countersue the legal representation and win by default since DMCA use doesn't apply to content you don't own copyright on?

SurfTheChannels & NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632367)

I wonder, remember UK TV Links site, SurfTheChannel that was shut down by FACT and the owner, Anton Vickerman, prosecuted?

http://pastebin.com/KTddgaQN

One of the 'oddities' of that trial was the secret witnesses introduced, which the defense weren't allowed to see or challenge. They thought it would 'drip poison' into the ear of the judge, which could be fake evidence or lies that go unchallenged because of the secret nature. That seemed to be the case with the judge doing some down-right odd decision making after that secret evidence.

Now we have the NSA and GCHQ mass spying revealed. And we know they passed surveillance info about drugs on cars (which they either planted or were real), which the DEA officers would then stop and fabricate a pretext to avoid revealing they were told by the spooks to stop the car.

So, connecting the dots, did GCHQ or more likely NSA provide that secret witness part to Vickerman's trial? Was this passed off as NSA or GCHQ surveillance data?

"On 18 August 2010, a few weeks before the hearing in front of HHJ Evans to hear our dismissal application we were put on notice by FACT Ltd that they intended to request a “Public Interest Immunity” hearing in front of HHJ Evans. A PII hearing is usually used in cases where the CPS need to protect the identity of a covert source such as a super grass or protect covert secret methods that have been used in the obtaining of evidence in a case. I and my legal team did not think it was anything like this, we believed it was simply an attempt to drip poison into HHJ Evans ear about myself without any balance from my side. Because that is the thing about PII hearings, it is the prosecutor and the judge in the room only."

Where is Leonard J. Crabs when you need him? (-1, Troll)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632405)

This shit isn't worthy of the label "news" or "current events" or even "docu-romcom-tainment-dramedy". The stupidity isn't even worthy of a mention on Something Awful [somethingawful.com] let alone anyone getting involved.enough to respond with a "Bite me" picture of a hot dog.

Re:Where is Leonard J. Crabs when you need him? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633037)

This shit isn't worthy of the label "news" or "current events" or even "docu-romcom-tainment-dramedy".

Hi, Daniel Lawrence Whitney, [wikipedia.org] is Comcast a nice place to work? This story IS worthy and if you didn't want it posted you should have voted against it in the firehose rather than bitching about its posting. If you did vote against it, YOU LOSE.

ScamCast (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632421)

ScamCast is a better name for them.

Problem solved.. (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632467)

Sounds like Torrentfreak needs to drop everything and move their goods to a server in the back of a pickup truck or out at sea somewhere? *innocent look*

[-)

As if, but still (1)

aitikin (909209) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632477)

in case you want to read the original article:

http://torrentfreak.com/copyright-troll-ran-pirate-bay-honeypot-comcast-confirms-130815/

Public domain (1)

onyxruby (118189) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632497)

If you have control over a given piece of intellectual property and deliberately place it into the public domain than you have for all intents and purposes turned that property over to the public domain. Remember this wasn't a honeypot run by law enforcement for purposes of trapping lawbreakers, this was done by the company for the purposes of creating lawbreakers in order to find people that they could sue.

This notion is not entirely without precedent, failing to protect intellectual property from use by the public domain is how aspirin, zipper and heroin all entered the public domain through a process called "genericisation". It's the same reason companies are so zealous about defending their IP for confusion.

Re:Public domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632645)

That is only for trademarks numnuts. You cannot lose a copyright that way. Idiot

Re:Public domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632759)

There is no uniform "intellectual property". There are different rights and regulations subsumed under that term, which all have very different rules. Especially genericisation is a concept of trademark law while the torrent case is about copyright. Two very different things.

But your post shows quite clear why the term "intellectual property" is bad. It just causes confusion.

Re:Public domain (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633087)

I'd agree that they drastically hurt their case by running the honeypot, but I'd take issue with calling putting stuff online "placing it in the public domain." There seems to be a mistaken notion that a lot of people have that things on the Internet are automatically public domain for anyone to use in anyway they like. This is completely false. You can't just use Google Images, find a photo you like, and place it in an ad campaign/blog post/whatever. You can't just take some text that someone wrote and republish all of it in a book. Copyright DOES exist online. It doesn't go away just because the method used for conveying the item is digital versus print.

OK, so not public domain, but it IS licensed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633515)

A copy that is taken with the agreement of the copyright holder or its accredited representative in the matter is your copy. Fully licensed.

This means you can't download a copy from someone else who got that copy from them.

But this DOES mean you who have yourself gotten a copy from them have full rights to that copy, just not the rights to copy.

So now if you find a copy of your stuff on my disk, I can claim I got it from your seed of the torrent. You now have to prove I did not. Good luck with that.

True, it isn't public domain, but it's no different, really, unless you're going to sell copies or derived works on.

Re:Public domain (1)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633633)

As Tom and Ray Magliozzi say: baloney.

Why not off-shore uploads? (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632515)

eg:
upload to mega.co.nz
publish to mega-search.me

Re:Why not off-shore uploads? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632817)

mega conz ... very fitting.

Public Court records (1)

jonfr (888673) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632527)

Someone needs to explain to Comcast the following words, "Public court records". This means that anyone who wants can read those documents and cover them in news. Comcast can not claim copyright over something they do not own copyright of, as is the case here.

There treath is a bullshit and it needs to be explained to Comcast in clear words. They clearly do not understand anything else.

Re:Public Court records (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633655)

Full court case is here:
https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/Georgia_Northern_District_Court/2--12-cv-00262/AF_Holdings_LLC_v._Patel/

Document is here:
https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/Georgia_Northern_District_Court/2--12-cv-00262/AF_Holdings_LLC_v._Patel/61/15/

Their headline is awful. (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632723)

May be OT, but the headline of the TorrentFreak post is awful. Just tried to post it to G+ and my post reads "Comcast threatens to sue TorrentFreak for Copyright Infringement", which totally does not capture the problem. /. headline is much better.

Another reason not to use US based (1)

future assassin (639396) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632757)

hosting. US copyright law, Americas biggest enemy.

I miss Groklaw today (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632773)

I really miss what PJ and her friends at Groklaw would have done with this Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP).

Why should they care if hosted abroad? (1)

opus_magnum (1688810) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632797)

What clout does a DMCA have on a German firm?

The notice sender was Cyveillance, not Comcast (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44632941)

Though apparently at Comcast's behest. Cyveillance are a Big Government 'intelligence industry' contractor tied in with Secret Service, NSA and PRISM. They comb trough 'data sources' looking for 'violations' of 'intellectual property' and whatever other 'risks' they're asked to toll for by their customers. Google 'Cyveillance' and see the wikipedia article about them. It seems this is less of an issue of Comcast protecting something intellectual it created, but rather a desire to avoid more revelations about the information Comcast provides to government/legal entities. Tin foil hat time.

And now a demonstration of the Streisand effect. (1)

Petron (1771156) | 1 year,26 days | (#44632983)

Good idea Comcast! What could possibly go wrong?

Update - Comcast flip - flops (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#44633387)

Update 7pm CET: A Comcast spokesperson responded to an inquiry we sent to the company’s lawyers:

“[I] am replying to let you know that the cease and desist was sent in error, and you may disregard it. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”

The ISP threat (4, Informative)

Skapare (16644) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633441)

The ISP threat contains the wording "PLEASE NOTIFY US WITHIN 24 HOURS WITH TAKEN ACTIONS". They did NOT say what actions need to be taken, other than to notify them. So notify them of exactly what actions were taken. Say "We have removed each piece of content listed in the referenced complaint. Since there were no items listed in the referenced complaint (see the referenced complaint yourself and you will see there there are none), there were no items removed and we have asked the complainant to provide us with the list. We will provide you with a copy of that list when we receive it. If you receive the list before we do, please send a copy of it to us as quickly as possible so we may act on it. For now, our actions are therefore complete.".

Sometimes court documents are not public domain (1)

davidwr (791652) | 1 year,26 days | (#44633607)

If I introduce a non-public domain work into a court case, that does not make it public domain.

Granted, anyone who republishes it in the context of republishing court proceedings will have a credible claim to "fair use" but that's not a slam-dunk.

In this particular case though, it looks like Comcast hasn't even articulated a clear claim, so their cease-and-desist letter is at best meaningless and very likely constitutes harassment or is otherwise opening them up to be sued.

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