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Warner Bros. Admits To Issuing Bogus Takedowns

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the hold-up-a-cease-and-desist-notice-if-you're-surprised dept.

The Courts 199

An anonymous reader sends this quote from TechDirt: "One of the bizarre side notes to Hollywood's big lawsuit against the cyberlocker Hotfile was a countersuit against Warner Bros. by Hotfile, for using the easy takedown tool that Hotfile had provided, to take down a variety of content that was (a) non-infringing and (b) had nothing to do with Warner Bros. at all (i.e., the company did not hold the copyright on those files). In that case, WB admitted that it filed a bunch of false takedowns, but said it was no big deal because it was all done by a computer. Of course, it then came out that at least one work was taken down by a WB employee, and that employee had done so on purpose, annoyed that JDownloader could help possible infringers download more quickly."

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Oh Okay (5, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#45466679)

So if my computer just happens to download your copyrighted files by algorithm, it's okay because it was all done by a computer.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Re:Oh Okay (4, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#45466723)

I like the idea of randomly generating files that just happen to resemble songs and movies when played back through the proper software.

Re:Oh Okay (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467009)

I like the idea of randomly generating files that just happen to resemble songs and movies when played back through the proper software.

How would you distinguish them from "real" songs and movies these days?

Re:Oh Okay (4, Funny)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#45467127)

I was going to say takedown notices, but apparently that won't work.

Re:Oh Okay (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467261)

these are actually feasible for static images.

http://rogeralsing.com/2008/12/07/genetic-programming-evolution-of-mona-lisa/

Re:Oh Okay (2)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about a year ago | (#45468017)

I wish I could mod you up because...damn, dat link *ssssssss*

Re:Oh Okay (5, Interesting)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about a year ago | (#45466787)

I agree... Another loop hole in the laws and someone (big company) is abusing it...

The "penalty of perjury" language appears to only apply to the question of whether or not the person filing the takedown actually represents the party they claim to represent -- and not whether the file is infringing at all, or even whether or not the file's copyright is held by the party being represented. And, in the lawsuit, Warner Bros. is relying on that to try to avoid getting hit with a perjury claim.

Re:Oh Okay (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#45466935)

"I agree... Another loop hole in the laws and someone (big company) is abusing it..."

What in the world makes you think this is a "loophole"?

Loopholes are unintentional gaps in the law. The probability that this was not entirely intentional is pretty close to zero. The DMCA was crafted by lobbyists for the "big content" companies.

Re:Oh Okay (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467445)

> Loopholes are unintentional

Not back when I worked for people who worked for lawyers who worked for tax people who worked for lobbyists who worked for specific, very specific, businesses.

They (lawyers and tax people) _drafted_ the loophole language and the lobbyists made sure some congressperson got that sentence or two into the text before the final vote.

The "unintentional" language is what I hear after the fact by those who didn't notice at the time something slipped in.

What would you call a carefully crafted narrow specific exception to a fee or tax or regulation or law, if not a loophole?

Re:Oh Okay (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#45468139)

"What would you call a carefully crafted narrow specific exception to a fee or tax or regulation or law, if not a loophole?"

It may be used differently now, but originally -- even before it meant "a hole to shoot arrows through" -- it was a hole in a wall people used for spying. It was a thing that nobody knew about or noticed, and wasn't supposed to be there. This then came to mean an unintentional hole or flaw in the law that lawmakers hadn't noticed.

So in the original legal sense of the word, things that are intentionally put in a law are not "loopholes".

Re:Oh Okay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467457)

Um, no? A loophole can be intentional. Source: any dictionary.

Re:Oh Okay (4, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | about a year ago | (#45467651)

Exactly. It's not a loophole, it's a feature.

Re:Oh Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467895)

The DMCA [gpo.gov] (page 22) actually says the following :

To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:

...

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.

I'm not seeing the loophole here...

Re:Oh Okay (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466891)

No, no, you misunderstand. This has nothing to do with algorithms or computers or anything. They're arguing that if they file bogus takedowns, it's all okay, because fuck you, that's why. It's all very simple.

Re:Oh Okay (4, Insightful)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about a year ago | (#45466915)

If I had any mod points, I'd mod this up +1 Insightful.

Re:Oh Okay (1)

ATestR (1060586) | about a year ago | (#45467119)

So by this logic, someone could write a computer program that would randomly file a take down notice against Warnerbros.com [warnerbros.com] and it would be OK, since it was done by a computer algorithm.

.

Seems to me that they should suffer the same kind of damages that they would insist on if someone tried that stunt. Can we say $N,000,000 per instance?

Re:Oh Okay (2)

suutar (1860506) | about a year ago | (#45467227)

The DMCA only requires you to have a good faith belief that the material infringes, but it requires you (under penalty of perjury) to assert that you are the copyright holder or an agent of the copyright holder of the (allegedly) infringed material. So you pretty much have to hold some copyrights to be able to do anything, but if you do have them you can go to town.

Re:Oh Okay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467359)

Doesn't anyone who has ever posted a message on a forum "hold some copyrights"?

Re:Oh Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467379)

Whoosh

Re:Oh Okay (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467433)

So you pretty much have to hold some copyrights to be able to do anything, but if you do have them you can go to town.

Easy. Create a simple poem.
A-B-A-B
C-D-C-C
Thanks to the Copyright Act of 1976 [copyright.gov] , a work is protected by copyright once the work is in "fixed form," no registration necessary.

Mission Control
I am coming in
Here comes the roll
I'm going to win!

Been gone so long
No one remembers me
Immortalized in song
Touchdown Hong Kong.

DDOS takedowns of all WB properties begins in 3...2...1...

Re:Oh Okay (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45468067)

it requires you (under penalty of perjury) to assert that you are the copyright holder or an agent of the copyright holder of the (allegedly) infringed material

Except the entire point of TFA is that Warner Bros is claiming it doesn't.

Re:Oh Okay (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45467365)

That will work fine as long as you are a big multinational corporation so the penalties for false statements don't matter. I wouldn't try this as an individual, you might get in real trouble.

Re:Oh Okay (5, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#45467439)

you're not understanding. The summary is wrong. Warner Brothers can send takedown notices at will. The only thing that's illegal is to claim you're a content owner when you're not. You could send all the takedown notices you wanted to warner brothers. But the fact of the matter is they do not host enough content for this to be a problem for them.

What they are trying to do with these weak laws and automated systems is make life very difficult for file hosting services. If they inundate them with takedowns it ends up being too expensive to actually check them. So they put up automated systems like this, which the media houses exploit to hurt these services. As far as WB is concerned, the only reason Hotbox exists is to pirate their content, so they feel justified in what they are doing.

A few years ago I work for a moderately large (fortune 500) ISP and actually handled infringement complaints against their customers. Basically the Recording and Movie industry hired companies to traul torrent sites and send takedown notices to everyone that connected to files that matched their filters. They actually didn't bother with older releases, they only really cared about things they had recently released. But still, the shear volume of complaints was impossible to deal with. Thousands per day. Many of which were duplicates. I ended up spending most of my time writing scripts to weed out the junk. We also had no idea if the complaint came from a copyright owner... no way to check... Castro could have sent them for all I know. Even if we could verify the person that sent the email, how would we know they owned the copyright? It was impossible. On this we just had to trust them per the law. Then, after I'd weed out all the garbage, I'd have to find out which customer had the DHCP lease on that IP at the time of the complaint. Sometimes it was clear... We'd get multiple complaints over a 1 to 5 day period for the same customer for the same file... they were likely hosting the movie/cd. But many times the IP hadn't been leased out... or wouldn't even be in our network! We had several organizations that sent us so much bogus info that we ended up blocking their domain.

I really dont have answers regarding how to make all of this better. Short of just doing away with copyright. The fact that the easy media transfer genie is out of the bottle really should just put the media industry on notice... their time is short, there is no way they can legislate this problem away and the whole "lets just flood them with takedown notices to annoy them" will only work for so long as well. Eventually ISP's just end up ignoring the complaints and those of us handling them move on to get paid a lot more doing things a lot more interesting ;-)

Re:Oh Okay (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#45467809)

I've gotten DMCA notices when I've torrented older stuff, like movies from the 70's even.

Re:Oh Okay (1)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about a year ago | (#45467907)

I got ONE notice. It costs me money on a monthly basis. For my VPN

Re:Oh Okay (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#45467977)

I don't understand why companies make so much effort to accommodate 1000s of takedown requests per day. Just rate limit them to one a day. What are they going to do? Force you to employ more people and spend more time dealing with their requests?

Re:Oh Okay (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45467451)

The DMCA doesn't mandate a service provider take anything down on request. It mandates they take anything down on request, or else assume some liability for the infringement.

That means that when you are paying $50 a month for web hosting, you are not a sufficiently valued customer for the provider to risk liability. But when you are paying $tons-o-cash, or run your own servers, then any DMCA takedowns will be shrugged off.

Re:Oh Okay (2)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#45466931)

So if my computer just happens to download your copyrighted files by algorithm, it's okay because it was all done by a computer.

Sounds reasonable to me.

There's an app for that: http://sickbeard.com/ [sickbeard.com]

Re:Oh Okay (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about a year ago | (#45467217)

[cough]First Rule![/cough]

Re:Oh Okay (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#45467885)

What, usenet? It's already practically dead anyways, or at least it isn't what it used to be. And not talking about something isn't enough to protect it.

But that no longer matters, I've been using both sickbeard and couchpotato for well over a year now with just transmission, nzbtomedia, and tpb. I don't even use private trackers. Worst case scenario TPB goes down (good luck with that) but even if it did, something tells me tor is underutilized in this department (drug websites are even more hated by the government than tpb, and they aren't going anywhere any time soon.)

The only thing it doesn't do that sabnzbd did is automatically prune the files when they are done seeding, and stuff on usenet always utilized my 50mbit pipe better (but still not enough of a difference that I miss paying for it.)

Re:Oh Okay (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#45466943)

Yes, as long as the intent is legitimate and you aren't deliberately doing this in order to facilitate copyright infringement.

This is why Google is legal and The Pirate Bay is not.

Re:Oh Okay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466961)

Hell! I do all my downloading by computer! I'm free and clear!

Warner bros got my back.

Re:Oh Okay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467139)

Its only legal if you can afford to buy Congress. Otherwise, its to PMITA prison for you.

Re:Oh Okay (4, Interesting)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#45466987)

Funny how "on a computer" works wonders for government (no expectation of privacy) and corporations (ditto plus magic patents) but has the opposite effect on common individuals, where downloading by script (violation of TOU, not even actually stealing) may well land you in more trouble than, say, jacking a car.

Re:Oh Okay (4, Funny)

danceswithtrees (968154) | about a year ago | (#45467113)

Yes, if done by a computer it must be OK. Alternatively, if not OK, they should agree to a 80,000x multiplier for cost vs penalty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_v._Thomas was initially $1.92M for 24 songs or $80K/song which is a $1 on iTunes). Lets say IT and legal fees for a single request are $1000. So a single bogus take-down request should cost the label $80M. Sounds about right using RIAA math.

Re:Oh Okay (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#45467241)

Yup yup!

Just think of the poor starving lawyers!

Re:Oh Okay (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about a year ago | (#45467305)

If I go out and purposely issue a takedown order by myself, then I am wrong and liable.
If I write an algorithm that does the same thing, then I am home free.

Re:Oh Okay (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45467571)

Ever heard of torrents?

Re:Oh Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467689)

Actually, yes, in some very specific limited circumstances: 17 USC 512 (b)

[This is merely a general statement, not legal advice pertaining to your specific situation.]

World Domination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466703)

What are we going to do tonight, Brain?

Re:World Domination (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year ago | (#45466841)

The same thing we do every night Pinky try to get slapped with a perjury claim from filing false takedown notices.

Re:World Domination (1)

jamiesan (715069) | about a year ago | (#45467519)

But how will we get a pair of Abe Vigoda's pants to wear to court?

Re:World Domination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466925)

probably stuff our gullett with pizza to dull the pain of failure.

I didn't have sex with your wife (5, Funny)

sandbagger (654585) | about a year ago | (#45466711)

My wiener did. So, we're good, right?

Re:I didn't have sex with your wife (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466901)

Off topic? I think he made a good point.

Re:I didn't have sex with your wife (2)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a year ago | (#45467069)

Agreed. It makes me wonder if WB has an automated Score Takedown software when it detects ironic comparissons to their evil.

To Slashdot Mod Point holders: An ironic comparisson used to express outrage over a topic is NOT off-topic.

Re:I didn't have sex with your wife (1)

nightsky30 (3348843) | about a year ago | (#45467447)

My wiener did. So, we're good, right?

I don't think this is off topic. It may be crude, but makes the point that WB shouldn't get away with the excuse they used.

The score so far (1)

WanderCat (472666) | about a year ago | (#45466715)

Penalty for infringing on copyrights: uncounted billions.
Penalty for being a dick about it: zero.

Re:The score so far (5, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#45466813)

> Penalty for infringing on copyrights: uncounted billions.

Uh, excuse me, sir. It was $75 TRILLION. Not mere Billions. Google it: RIAA $75 TRILLION.

Oh, wait, but this is about movies rather than music. Nevermind. It's all okay then. :-(

This may be more than the global GDP, but music is worth it. If you FEEELTHY pirates can't pay $75 trillion because there's not enough wealth on the planet, then you shouldn't listen to the music. Better yet, all music should be locked up where nobody can ever hear it again -- to protect the artists.

Re:The score so far (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45466903)

I know, right?

I mean, I could have people over to my house and play music for them -- and I would be denying studio executives their huge compensation and causing the artists to have to eat their own feet in order to survive.

I could be really subversive and have people over to watch movies, and I would be robbing the studios blind.

My god, I need to go to my nearest Copyright Re-education facility and atone for my sins.

All I can say is it's a good thing we've got just and rational laws like the DMCA protecting us from people like me.

Re:The score so far (1)

JLennox (942693) | about a year ago | (#45467695)

I just googled it, as requested, and the second entry was "No, The RIAA Is Not Asking For $72 Trillion From Limewire (Bad Reporters, Bad)"

Re:The score so far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466995)

All the more irony behind this is that I have one of the members of a famous band as a Facebook friend, and I know it's really him, don't ask how because I can't tell you.... In any case, he posts links to Youtube videos of his band's videos and "infringing works" on his Facebook page all the time. He seems to love them.

Re:The score so far (5, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#45467041)

I have a friend who has been in several not so famous bands. We worked together back when napster was still a place people went to get music.

His comment at the time was "if I found out someone had put my bands music up online for people to download, why I would hunt him down and shake his hand".

Power is always abused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466725)

Corporate power is EVIL.

A corporation is just a legal entity. It's principals can act with almost complete immunity from personal responsibility.

How is this shit surprising?

Warner is a media company and we all know the evil that media companies have been inflicting on us.

I do my best not to consume their shit - hypocrisy alert here - I REALLY want to see Ender's Game!

Yep, give it to me - I'm a SHEEPLE - buuuyyyyyy....buuuuuuyyyyyyyyyyyy .....buuyyyyyyyyy....(*say "buy" like a sheep ...wail or whatever. Instead of "Bahhhhh" - it's "buyyyyy")

Re:Power is always abused. (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year ago | (#45466783)

buuuyyyyyy....buuuuuuyyyyyyyyyyyy .....buuyyyyyyyyy....(*say "buy" like a sheep ...wail or whatever. Instead of "Bahhhhh" - it's "buyyyyy")

Please step away from your weed slowly. Been hitting that stuff kinda hard, huh?

Re:Power is always abused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466847)

No. Scotch.

Scotch is for us WASPs. We are barely.. barly in control now.

The douche bags are winning.

Zuckerberg.

Anyway, weed? No, sir! I don't do drugs! That's dispicalbe or whatever ...

I'm a Scothch man! ASnd that's because I'm respictable!

Re:Power is always abused. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#45468055)

Scotch is for us WASPs. We are barely.. barly in control now.

Perhaps the barley's in control?

Re:Power is always abused. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#45468169)

Please, you're giving weed smokers a bad name. I've seen people go through an eighth on their own and still construct more cogent arguments than that.

Re:Power is always abused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466939)

Reminds me more of the beadle and the Board in Oliver Twist...

They did it to me... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466729)

They're totally guilty as charged. They attempted to take down a video that (kinda) had some of their content. The problem was, it was a lecture about fair use AND the topic was about a song that should have been a fair use of their content. The band had been sued by Island back in the early 90's and there were lots of issues with the way the whole thing went down.

Re:They did it to me... (2)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45467389)

As far as the RIAA and MPAA are concerned, Fair Use is an archaic concept that has no place in modern society. They just assume it doesn't exist and take legal action accordingly.

Re:They did it to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467805)

"As far as the RIAA and MPAA are concerned, Fair Use is an archaic concept that has no place in modern society. They just assume it doesn't exist"

          Well then that's the public's view about copyright. Good luck media companies, by declaring war on the public you'll need it.

"As far as the public is concerned, Copyright is an archaic concept that has no place in modern society. We just assume it doesn't exist"

FTFY

celle

Not good at all (5, Interesting)

Tmann72 (2473512) | about a year ago | (#45466735)

"In that case, WB admitted that it filed a bunch of false takedowns, but said it was no big deal because it was all done by a computer." Tell that to all those people who lost their homes due to robosigning.

Re:Not good at all (5, Insightful)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#45466831)

If WB sends false DMCA takedowns (under penalty of perjury) but it is done by a computer, then it's no big deal.

But if Google returns search results, done by a computer, that might (but not even necessarily) lead to infringing material, it's a national emergency.

I'm shocked (1)

Marquis231 (3115633) | about a year ago | (#45466751)

Is anybody honestly surprised at this point?

Re:I'm shocked (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45466921)

Is anybody honestly surprised at this point?

Somewhat surprised they still get away with it, and also somewhat surprised there hasn't been a rash of killings of *AA members and studio execs just to get them out of the gene pool.

Obamacare Death Panels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466757)

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/woman-hailed-president-obamacare-success-story-now-cant-afford-obamacare_767868.html

"CNN reports that a woman the president hailed as an Obamacare success story just realized she won't be able to afford Obamacare because it's too expensive: ...

But days, just really three days after she was mentioned by the president, Jessica Sanford started having problems, she was receiving letters from the Washington state health exchange," reports CNN. "The first letter telling her that tax credit was reduced, therefore, increasing the cost of her health care plan and the, take a look at this, then she received a letter just last week telling her that her tax credit had been taken away all together. Show you another document here, showing what the tax credit worked out to be... zero dollars according to this document that was provided to us by Jessica Sanford. She describes all of this as a roller coaster ride. Now she says she can't afford insurance in Washington state because of the new developments."

Awwwww. And no doubt she would vote for the dog eater even still.

Thanks you extremist Democrats for fucking us over so thoroughly.

HEY! they're infringing on my business method pat (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#45466767)

PERJURY, with a computer!

Re:HEY! they're infringing on my business method p (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466959)

Oh, don't get started with the whole "lol their business model is threatened" bullshit. That was the hardcore gamer scene's hasty rationalization for pirating video games, and what happened? The gaming industry adapted (DLC, F2P, subscription models, gaming-as-a-service, etc), they made money hand over fist, and the hardcores switched to whining that it wasn't fair, or that it created the evil evil scary plague of casuals, or that suddenly the gaming market wasn't serving the hardcore scene, or whatever crying nonsense they came up with on any given day.

So shut your trap before the movie industry actually DOES figure out a different business model, one that's far worse for you, yet far more profitable for them.

Re:HEY! they're infringing on my business method p (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#45468005)

PERJURY, with a computer!

You should get a patent on that.

Perjury? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45466789)

Of course, it then came out that at least one work was taken down by a WB employee, and that employee had done so on purpose, annoyed that JDownloader could help possible infringers download more quickly.

Isn't making a false statement under the DMCA essentially like perjury? And if it is, why isn't someone being charged criminally?

It's gotten to the point where these companies ignore the letter (and intent) of the law at will, and with no penalty.

If your computer system is identifying incorrect stuff, your computer system is faulty. If your humans are illegally issuing take downs for stuff you don't own, that's a criminal act.

And don't tell me it's a civil matter, because the *AAs have gotten enforcement of this ramped up to a federal crime.

Re:Perjury? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45466911)

Isn't making a false statement under the DMCA essentially like perjury?

Only some components of the notice of claimed infringement are under penalty of perjury. Others aren't. Please see parkinglot777's comment [slashdot.org] .

Re:Perjury? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45466969)

Yeah, I subsequently saw posts to that effect.

So, essentially they've managed to get themselves a completely one-sided law where if we infringe, they'll ruin our lives ... and if they cheat and lie absolutely nothing happens.

Charming, the corporations have won, and have no penalty associated with their bad behavior.

Didn't I see a new story about hitmen taking Bitcoin recently? ;-)

Re:Perjury? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467859)

Don't we have laws against this kind of discriminatory crap?

Re:Perjury? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about a year ago | (#45466933)

Of course, it then came out that at least one work was taken down by a WB employee, and that employee had done so on purpose, annoyed that JDownloader could help possible infringers download more quickly.

Isn't making a false statement under the DMCA essentially like perjury? And if it is, why isn't someone being charged criminally?

It's gotten to the point where these companies ignore the letter (and intent) of the law at will, and with no penalty.

If your computer system is identifying incorrect stuff, your computer system is faulty. If your humans are illegally issuing take downs for stuff you don't own, that's a criminal act.

And don't tell me it's a civil matter, because the *AAs have gotten enforcement of this ramped up to a federal crime.

Filing a false notice/complaint, or a false counter notice (either or both) is also covered in the DMCA. Both hold large penalties. Both have the potential (depending on the circumstances) of it also being a criminal matter.

Both are areas where there have been few companies or people who have asked for those provisions to be upheld. :-(

Re:Perjury? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466963)

Why? From TFA:

The "penalty of perjury" language appears to only apply to the question of whether or not the person filing the takedown actually represents the party they claim to represent -- and not whether the file is infringing at all, or even whether or not the file's copyright is held by the party being represented. And, in the lawsuit, Warner Bros. is relying on that to try to avoid getting hit with a perjury claim. Basically, the company is saying: sure, sure, we lied and pulled down content we had no right to pull down, but the law is so laughably weak and in our favor that screw you all, it doesn't matter what we take down.

Re:Perjury? (1)

monk (1958) | about a year ago | (#45466991)

...
Isn't making a false statement under the DMCA essentially like perjury? And if it is, why isn't someone being charged criminally?
...
And don't tell me it's a civil matter, because the *AAs have gotten enforcement of this ramped up to a federal crime.
 

The only crime that matters is annoying someone with power.
Who with power was annoyed by WB lying?
See? No crime.

Re:Perjury? (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about a year ago | (#45467019)

Haahha, do you really think that the same corporations who wrote the DMCA would allow language in the law that would allow it to be used against them?

Even if there was a sound civil case against them, the reason the government rarely files charges against big corporations is that it would be a net loss of money even if the government won. Forget about a criminal case, the bar is way too high. Rich C*Os don't go to prison unless you really f up like the guys at Enron. (Jeffrey Skilling went to my high school! whoo were famous!!!)

The most that would come out of this is a settlement where WB denies any wrong doing.

Re:Perjury? (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year ago | (#45467107)

Isn't making a false statement under the DMCA essentially like perjury?

From what I understand, the law is stacked in favor of the so-called "rights holders". The claim that they are making under the threat of perjury is not that they own the rights to the work that they are claiming, it is that they are representing who they say they are.

That makes it legal for them to say "we represent Warner and we are demanding the takedown of Nailin' Palin because it infringes our rights." It's legal for them to say that even though Warner does not actually own the copyright to Nailin' Palin. It would be illegal if they stated that they represented someone other than who they represent.

In other words, the law basically says "fuck you, that's why."

Re:Perjury? Sort of. (2)

Jaywalk (94910) | about a year ago | (#45467143)

Yes, filing false DMCA is explicitly defined by the law as perjury and the EFF is currently pursuing [arstechnica.com] a number of these cases. The problem is that perjury is defined as the "willful act of swearing a false oath" so they're just going to claim that they didn't know the takedown notices were wrong and that it was just a mistake.

Which raises the question, when did they find out the program kicked out false positives and did they continue to use it after that? IANAL, but if they used a program they knew would commit perjury, I can't see how it's different than committing the perjury themselves. I find it pretty implausible that a company that lives by its copyrights doesn't know -- and is not required to know -- what a legitimate copyright claim is.

Re:Perjury? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467211)

1. yes and no: the 'perjury' part comes in ONLY as to whether you have the authority (ownership or agency) to issue a takedown for that particular work, NOT that you swear it is a 'valid' takedown...

2. as you indicate, it really doesn't matter if it WAS totally illegal to issue careless/invalid takedowns, the MAFIAA dons are not going to get pinched for it; but let me or you do something similar to warner bros, and we'll get shit on all the way to the graybar motel...

3. one law for thee, no laws for meeeeeeeee!
(translation: its good to be the king!)

Re:Perjury? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467855)

Isn't making a false statement under the DMCA essentially like perjury? And if it is, why isn't someone being charged criminally?

Apparently not. RTFA for more detail, but briefly: the perjury penalty has been interpreted as only applying specifically to the information that the filer of the notice is authorized by the holder of the copyright that they claim was infringed to do so. It does not apply, apparently, to the identification between the hosted content and the copyrighted work. So, as a copyright holder on my web site, I could send /. a notice claiming that they have to remove your comments because they violate my copyright in my web site (even though there's actually no similarity between the two at all), but what I couldn't do is claim to be you.

Bug fix for 17 USC 512 (c)(3)(A)(vi) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466791)

From:
(vi) 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.

To:
(vi) A statement under penalty of perjury that both the information in the notification is believed to be accurate and that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

I wonder what congress critters do with a bug on a silver platter?

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512

Re:Bug fix for 17 USC 512 (c)(3)(A)(vi) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466845)

On second thought, telling a falsehood with intent to cause mischief and succeeding ought to fit under a fraud statue?

Re:Bug fix for 17 USC 512 (c)(3)(A)(vi) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467313)

Most state and district AGs are elected officials in the U.S. They have corporate sponsors. They know not to bite the hand that feeds them. Occasionally they might growl in the right direction until they get a "campaign donation". But only the stupid or the poor get prosecuted here. Fixing a broken law won't matter. It wasn't written to protect the people from Warner Bros. It was written to protect Warner Bros from the people. Not much equity there.

Some day I want to type in "define: campaign donation" into the google and get back "1. in the U.S., a bribe to an elected official or one seeking office. 2. Free speech (if you can afford it)."

Great! So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466801)

what penalties do they now face?

Obama official again lowers bar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466811)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/19/obama-official-again-lowers-bar-on-deadline-to-fix-website-saying-will-be/

"The Obama administration is lowering the bar again on the problem-plagued ObamaCare website, saying that it will be “greatly improved” by month’s end -- not fixed.

“The consumer experience will be greatly improved for the vast majority of users by November 30,” Henry Chao, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ deputy chief information officer, will tell House investigators on Tuesday, according to written testimony obtained by Fox News.

Chao’s testimony, 11 days before the fix deadline, appears to be the most recent case of the administration attempting to lower expectations, or at least prepare Americans for more problems when attempting to enter the site to purchase insurance policies that begin coverage January 1."

These rocket fucking scientists can't even build a website to spec, and you all are just A-OK with turning over all our healthcare decisions to them. Healthcare decisions that will affect us, our parents, our children, our lives.

We would be better off just fucking ignoring the whole doctor and science thing and just drinking Brawndo and HOPEing for the best.

You extremist Democrats have fucked us beyond belief.

Thanks for justifying my torrenting! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45466881)

Some days, I feel almost bad for torrenting. But then I see something like this and go back to my gleeful piracy.

Re:Thanks for justifying my torrenting! (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about a year ago | (#45467007)

Arrr...

(my way of agreeing with you!)

And yet most people here likely enjoy the movies (5, Insightful)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about a year ago | (#45466947)

Just remember the next time you fork over $12 for a movie ticket, who are you supporting with that money.

Re:And yet most people here likely enjoy the movie (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45467403)

But if I don't hand over that $12, the MPAA just assumes I must be pirating the movie instead and uses that as ammunition to get more ridiculously one sided laws passed to make my life even shittier.

Re:And yet most people here likely enjoy the movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467461)

Yep. I haven't been to the movies in several years and I don't plan to go anytime soon. I'm watching for free at home instead. It doesn't matter what they do anymore. I won't go to the movies even if they give me tickets for free. They have lost me as a customer for ever.

Damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467111)

I estimate my emotional pain and suffering at $1,000,000 per infraction. How many did they send out again? We should calculate this on a per-file basis, not on actually provable damages.

Easy fix (2)

Cley Faye (1123605) | about a year ago | (#45467259)

Hotfile should just suppose that all takedown sent to them from the form might be bogus, and ask for handwritten letters to be sent to them to verify that a human was behind it.

What's Good For the Goose... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45467427)

WB admitted that it filed a bunch of false takedowns, but said it was no big deal because it was all done by a computer

I'm glad WB does not feel that people should be penalized for mistakes made by custom computer software, especially since my custom script to download the latest version of Ubuntu (Wascally Wabbit) accidentally downloaded a torrent of the entire WB catalog.

Is this a possible tack? (1)

kamakazi (74641) | about a year ago | (#45467505)

In fighting these overreaches in the courts, would it be possible for a party whose legally owned video was "accidentally" taken down by someone like Warner Bros. to bring a suit for libel? Warner Bros. or some computer they have empowered to act for them has made a false claim that they (the legal video poster) committed a crime.

If I were to tell the grocery store down the street in writing that my neighbor Joe stole bubblegum, and the store took action against Joe, based on my known false statement; Joe could sue me for libel with a good prospect of success.

Is this case much different? Even if the DMCA says that someone can claim works they don't own, it doesn't it definitely does not say they can testify in a legal document that someone broke the law without the accused having recourse in the courts.

I would love to see them held in contempt and found guilt of perjury, but it appears that isn't going to happen. However when actual damages have occurred such as loss of YoutTube accounts or damage to reputation it seems to me that someone should at least talk to a lawyer about the possibility of a libel suit.

It would really be fun to see a class action libel suit brought by a group of victims of false take downs.

14th Amendment (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45467587)

Section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

If corporations are people, then all corporations and individuals have a Constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

In short, if the corporations can do it, so can individual citizens; just cite the court case and the 14th Amendment as precedent.

PERSPECTIVE (5, Interesting)

Andrew Osiris (2826645) | about a year ago | (#45467835)

Kill Michael Jackson: 5 years Pirate Michael Jackson music: 15 years

Point Missed (1)

Warhawke (1312723) | about a year ago | (#45468117)

The issue isn't whether the employee (or computer) is an agent and therefore authorized to file any DMCA claim. The issue is whether the authorized agent sent the notice "in good faith." The conundrum is that fair use does not have a bright line test. WB will claim it has no means of knowing whether a use is fair, so all DMCA claims are in good faith. The problem with this argument is that it doesn't work in pre-internet copyright terms. Early dismissal and summary judgment and counter-damages were common where the plaintiff should have known the use was fair. Basically, the problem is that no one can categorize, legally, whether a use is fair except for a judge, and by then you're eyeballs deep in legal fees.
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