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How The DMCA Affects Search Engines

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the details-and-semantics dept.

The Internet 147

An anonymous reader writes "Here is an interesting article regarding the application of the DMCA safe harbor provisions to search engines. This is what causes Google to remove links from its search results and to put a disclaimer at the bottom of the page stating "In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed [x] result(s) from this page." The article is published in the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, and there is a direct link to a pdf version of the article."

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what i love though... (5, Interesting)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966582)

is that these links get extra attention.

For example, search for Kazaa Lite [google.ca] and look at the DMCA link at the bottom. The notice lists the URLs which they've had to remove.

Google's way of fighting the man?

Re:what i love though... (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966632)

It's an interesting workaround that Google has worked out. They comply with the DMCA Takedown request to not show the URLs that were requested, but they'll gladly instead link to Chilling Effects who publishes the entire notice Google got, including the URLs in that context.

If you really want the infringing content, you can get to it, but you at least have to scroll through the claim tha tit's infringing and move the URL to the address bar yourself rather than using a hyperlink. Seems like a fair enough deal to me....

Re:what i love though... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966836)

have to scroll through the claim tha tit's infringing

I type porn keywords so often that and I cunt spell right either.

Re:what i love though... (4, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966640)

Yep--Google's complying with the law, and giving the "rights" holder the finger by providing a copy of the C&D letter that contains more than enough information to find the "content" on a P2P network.

Re:what i love though... (3, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966678)

Yep--Google's complying with the law, and giving the "rights" holder the finger by providing a copy of the C&D letter that contains more than enough information to find the "content" on a P2P network.

I wonder if the rights holder can copyright their C&D letter...

Re:what i love though... (1, Troll)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966714)

I doubt that'd fly. But I'm sure it's been tried. And to whoever modded me down--bring it on. I have plenty of karma.

Re:what i love though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966855)

No chance. It's a legal document. Public record et al.

Re:what i love though... (2, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966665)

I had posted this in my journal [slashdot.org] a while back.

Basically, when you search for Tetris [google.com] , you get some friendly information on how they had removed the link because of DMCA. They give you more information here [chillingeffects.org] .

And here is a screenshot [metlin.org] of the said search.

What i love even more is (5, Informative)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966700)

the fact that they link to www.chillingeffects.org [chillingeffects.org] , which happens to be a joint project of the EFF and a number of top-notch schools:

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, and University of Maine law school clinics. Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you. Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities. We are excited about the new opportunities the Internet offers individuals to express their views, parody politicians, celebrate their favorite movie stars, or criticize businesses. But we've noticed that not everyone feels the same way. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence other online users. Chilling Effects encourages respect for intellectual property law, while frowning on its misuse to "chill" legitimate activity.

Nothing like educating the public about the dangers of the DMCA/etal by linking them to EFF and the like :).

Re:what i love though... (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966742)

thank you so much!!
my first question was, "can i see an example?"
excellent work, thanks.

Re: Google is the man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967066)

Google is the man!

The irony... (2, Insightful)

crazyhorse44 (242315) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967325)

of Kazaa having their lawyers go after people who are violating copyrights.

Re:The irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967686)

I hate elitists... back when a bunch of artists banded together against P2P (metallica et al), I hated those artists even more than I already did. Now that Sharman Networks is acting so viciously self-centred (as businesses are wont to do.. like Microsoft... but dont get me started on them today), I have good reason to hate them.

Re:what i love though... (2, Interesting)

holizz (737615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967753)

If you search for the same thing on google.co.uk, it still displays the notice. But the DMCA is an American thing.

Re:what i love though... (1)

mindriot (96208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967893)

I'm not really sure, but the DMCA is for the US only, so shouldn't I be able to get all the results from Germany using google.de? Using your search on google.de gives the same notice (and URL is .ca anyway).

why don't I see it? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 10 years ago | (#8968553)

I tried this with both mozilla and firefox, and neither got a page with the letters "DMCA" anywhere. The bottom of the page doesn't seem to have any links except the usual google boilerplate links. Other replies say something about a Chilling Effects Clearinghouse link, but I don't see anything like that, either.

What might I be doing wrong.

Oh, also, following this link seems to have done something that really hosed both mozilla and firefox. They became only semi-functional, unable to follow links or find strings in the text. The ^F "find" window didn't work at all, and couldn't be dismissed. Also, neither was able to raise their windows to the top of the stack. I had to kill them both and restart them to get them working again.

This was on OSX. Maybe I'll try in on linux and see what happens. I'm curious to see this thing that google has done, but I it doesn't seem to work at all with mozilla or firefox on OSX.

MOve along, nothing to see... (0, Redundant)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966585)

Basically, a law designed to prevent copyright infringement, also prevents archiving infringeing content on search engines...

I'm shocked. shocked I tell ya.

AS USUAL... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966600)

Slashdot is promotes breaking the law..

oh, and... SLASHDOT SUCKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:AS USUAL... (5, Insightful)

DrLZRDMN (728996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966646)

sorry for feeding the troll but,
File sharing programs are by no means illegal, sharing files isn't illegal either, just some files whose "owners" don't want anyone to have without giving them money and eff will debate that

Re:AS USUAL... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966972)

Actually that isn't quite correct. There is a split in the circuits. Grokster was ruled legal but Aimster was not. Judge Posner's argument for ruling Aimster illegal was the willful blindness to the activity of your users did not shield you from contributory infringement.

Clicky:

http://homepages.law.asu.edu/~dkarjala/cyberlaw/ In ReAimster(9C6-30-03).htm
http://www.aaronsw.com/w eblog/000940
http://www.musicpundit.com/archives/ 000462.html

Sort of like... (4, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966602)

the police telling a newspaper they cannot publish the street corner where drugs are being sold in the city they serve.

Re:Sort of like... (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966629)

yes but the police and courts are there to prevent things like this.

the mpaa is a group of legally seperate in-duh-viduals who like to believe they are the police, it seems to me like the vigalanty groups of the late 20th and 21st centuries

Re:Sort of like... (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966769)

Police can't tell a newspaper that they cannot publish information, but they can tell them that they shouldn't and they can also threaten to deny any media-access rights that they don't have to give the paper but only do so out of courtesy.

And really, that's what a DMCA Takedown notice equates to... "We swear that we own the copyright to this and we want it taken down right away." The ISP doesn't have to comply, but they have to serve that notice to the user, or be liable for contributing to the infringment. They also have to put it back if the user swears back that they do have the right to put that piece of work up, which will also shield the ISP for being responsible and put all the responsiblity on the user, who has now steped forward and identified themselves for easy suing...

DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966604)

The DMCA Takedown process is really just a way to scare users into backing down. Those familiar with the law would know that users can send a counter-notification swearing that they're not really infringing, and then the provider has to reinstate the work but still gets to enjoy the liability shield of having complied with the DMCA Takedown rules... and then the copyright holder has no choice but to go after the user directly if they want to keep going.

Of course, in a majority of the times, the copyright holder is correct and this actually prevents a needless cause from going into the overworked court systems. The makers of Kazaa Lite could send Google a counter-notification to get back into the system, and then Shawman Networks would be in the uncomfortable situation of having to file a US-based lawsuit, despite trying to otherwise stay out of US jurisdiction.

Re:DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966754)

I think the Kazaa example is hillarious. They try to defend their product despite the fact that it is 95%+ used for illegitimate activities, and then they get uppiddy when someone uses the same tactics against THEM.

Re:DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (5, Interesting)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966771)

-----
95%+ used for illegitimate activities
-----
We don't prosecute the makers of rolling paper just because people roll joints. Plenty of pre-rolled cigarettes are available at low cost.

We don't prosecute Aldrich, the primary provider of sodium cyanide, even though its product is deadly.

What legal grounds do you think you have to prosecute Kazaa? They don't advocate drug use or murder. File-sharing? OOOOOOH! Lord save society.

Re:DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967078)

What legal grounds do you think you have to prosecute Kazaa? They don't advocate drug use or murder. File-sharing? OOOOOOH! Lord save society.

The legal ground is contributory infringment. They know they are profiting from copyright infringment, that that is the basis of almost all their userbase and therefore their profits. When a manufacturer makes a product that is explicitly designed to be used to commit a crime, they are responsible for that crime.

Re:DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (3, Insightful)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967955)

The problem is it's not explicitly designed to be used to commit a crime. It's explicitly designed to allow people to share files. What files those people choose to share is what determines if there is a crime. And can you proove in court that they know they are profiting from copyright infringement? I doubt they monitor the network and cross check all the files for legitimacy.

Re:DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (3, Insightful)

Jane_Dozey (759010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967621)

"We don't prosecute the makers of rolling paper just because people roll joints. Plenty of pre-rolled cigarettes are available at low cost."
Pre-rolled ciggarettes make me feel sick and the rolling tobacco I buy is a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest pre-rolled ciggarettes that I can buy here.
I think your analogy would be more accurate if rolling paper had drug dealers phone numbers printed on them.
Just thought I'd point that out.

Re:DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966842)

Does not work because pussyshit isps rip it down no matter what.

Re:DMCA Counter-Takedown letters... (1)

cookie_cutter (533841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967224)

They'd have no problem getting into a US-based lawsuit. After all, they had no problem getting US lawyers. The only problem is if they win $$$, they'd have trouble keeping it since the RIAA/MPAA would probably force the court to hold onto it.

I wrote a paper about this (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966606)

But a search engine I can't name made me take it down because it includes information on circumventing their search technology to find DMCA information.

Phew! (5, Funny)

spangineer (764167) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966610)

Thank goodness the 23 page article has an abstract.

Re:Phew! (1)

sleepnmojo (658421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966648)

Do you think slashdotters would even read that? Even the abridged version of the article is to much for some.

Law out of control! (5, Interesting)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966615)

Soon we won't even be able to use a search engine. I ried reading the PDF and gave up trying to understand what the implications are!

Know why asian economies are leaping ahead by leaps and bounds? You just go out and do things, without millions of lawyers and others trying to leech of the whole business.

Re:Law out of control! (0, Offtopic)

dark-br (473115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966815)

And when you actualy do some wrong they just put a bullet in your head and bill it to your family.

Re:Law out of control! (1, Funny)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966843)

If only it were that easy.

No, in all reality, they sell you to the circus because they know that you'll dance before you'll die. They make you dance, and fly, and jump through hoops. The crowd cheers. Some people laugh, some people cry, but they all go home with a great sense of entertainment.

And, at the end of the day, you get to eat another portion of rotten meat and tasteless meal. If you don't perform tomorrow then they send you out on the road to take your chances with the homosexual police officers just waiting for a victim with available butt-cheeks.

Pleasant life, eh?

Re:Law out of control! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966826)

Uhhh, flamebait? Troll?

Also, selling pirated copies of Windows is not what I'd call an economy that's "leaping ahead by leaps and bounds."

Re:Law out of control! (3, Insightful)

Saeger (456549) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967259)

Leeches? Like the parasites who make a living suing the city when they "accidentally" trip over potholes. Or the parasites who fake disability. Or the parasites managers who shave hours off workers timesheets. Or the parasites who increase productivy with robots but keep the gains to themselves while the unemployed starve because welfare is still a dirty word. Or the parasites who... bla bla.

The sad fact is that the parasite-to-"honest"-host ratio is almost the same in society as it is nature: pretty damn high.

--

Next thing you know... (1, Insightful)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966625)

They'll be using routing tables on major backbones to eliminate traffic they don't like.

I'm turning in my two-week notice tomorrow. How about you?

I disbelieve this horse-patooey.

Crap Like This (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966626)

In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed [x] result(s) from this page

It's crap like this that absolutely works to destroy the usefulness and wonder of the Internet.

Re:Crap Like This (0, Flamebait)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966673)

In what way does it interfere with legitamate eEommerce and the distribution of authorised promotional materials?

Re:Crap Like This (1)

cookie_cutter (533841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967055)

I'm really surprised that Google (or any other online service based company) doesn't just completely relocate offshore.

Re:Crap Like This (2, Insightful)

Saeger (456549) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967219)

It's crap like this that absolutely works to destroy the usefulness and wonder of the Internet.

Yeah, but it sure does make the control freaks in power cream their pants.

But not to worry - it also absolutely works to accelerate the evolution of untouchable p2p search vs. centralized cluster search. A hard problem, sure, but more attractive by the day. (the control freaks could also attempt to kill this free communication by requiring "trusted routers" not to route "untrusted" packets; only way to counter that is wireless mesh networking.)

--

Backwards? (3, Interesting)

r4bb1t (663244) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966635)

This seems backwards. Kazaa can search for "kazaa" on Google and find "non-kazaa" material, so they tell Google to take it down? Since when is the search engine responsible for the content they generate by just following links on the web (forgive me if I'm unfamiliar with how Google crawls the web)?

Why not send notices to the websites directly? Oh, wait, that would mean that they would have to spend the time and find the people who are actually "breaking" the copyrights and prosecute them directly. That's too much work.

It's the same thing that the RIAA is doing -- going after the end-user in court because it's easier that way. I wonder what happened to the racketeering charges that were brought up.

Re:Backwards? (4, Informative)

tiltowait (306189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966677)

>Since when is the search engine responsible for the content they generate by just following links on the web (forgive me if I'm unfamiliar with how Google crawls the web)?

Since the DMCA. It's now illegal to link to illegal material. Read the article or see the past cases [dmoz.org] for more information.

Re:Backwards? (2, Interesting)

Greenisus (262784) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966726)

Just a thought...what if Google linked to another page that simply did a redirect to the illegal material. They're not technically linking to it. But, I'm not sure how broad the DMCA wording is.

Re:Backwards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966790)

If you were going to do that, just write the url into the results without it being clickable. It's just text right?

Re:Backwards? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966768)

In other news...

DMCA affects phonebooks... you got it. If a phonebook lists someone who is attempting circumvent copy protection, the phone book publisher must collect all the phonebooks they released with their contact information, and republish redistribute the phonebooks.

It will be notied that future editions will list the absent numbers on the back pages with a note removed due to DMCA.

Re:Backwards? (4, Insightful)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966807)

This is ridiculous. I think the US (government) should stop pretending their laws apply to online material just because people can access the internet from their country. I mean, why on earth do I have to have censored search results?

It would be just as silly if people in the US couldn't do searches on certain words because my country thinks it's not OK for the search engine to provide such results.

If they want filterning then they should run such filters on google.com only. I can't see how the DMCA should apply to google.it or google.com.ar or any other such domain.

Diego Rey

Re:Backwards? (2, Interesting)

rpj1288 (698823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967177)

Because for some reason our government seems to think our laws apply to all corners of the earth. Silly people. Remember what happened to Rome?

Re:Backwards? (2, Interesting)

Gmalloy (668764) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967869)

It actually doesn't work that way...If you go to google.co.uk [google.co.uk] and search for kazaa you get the same results as google.com [google.com] without the DMCA nonsense...

The ironic part is none of the offending links are in the top 10 search results...So the sites Sharman had removed are no longer the most likely sites carrying kazaa lite...

Re:Backwards? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8968032)

Kinda like when France forced Yahoo Auctions to remove Nazi memorabilia from their American auction site on the off-chance that Frenchmen might buy from them?

At least in this case Google is domiciled in the US. It is an American company, and thus the US is within its rights to enforce US laws, stupid as they might be, against it.

Re:Backwards? (2, Informative)

eissimuf (167535) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967145)

Ah. I'm not a dmoz.org editor. Thanks for the link, but most people will want to try this link. [dmoz.org]

Gotta Love Google (5, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966642)

I just gotta love Google for this. They hide the results, but you can still access them. This means two things:

1. People are made aware of what the DMCA does
2. People from the Free World where the DMCA does not apply can still access the information

I still think prohibiting search engines from linking to certain materials is a bad idea, though.

Yeah right, (-1, Flamebait)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966889)

"People from the Free World where the DMCA does not apply can still access the information"

You may not beable to vote, speak your mind or any number of any other things but at least you can access information about hacking et al and that makes you free?

Nobody is stopping you from clicking on the forbidden links. It's a formal barrier. Google is quite simply spitting in the DMCA's face by using an apparent legal loophole. Google would be shut down in other "Free World" locations.

And unlike much of this other "Free World" you speak of, we can still vote.

And since we can vote, we can work to get rid of it. This other "Free World" would most likely be screwed and have no way to repeal it.

We had a prohibition of alchohol in the not so forgettable past. That has since went away. You can bitch and moan and pretend we're some kind of backwards country or you can vote and take an active role in educating people about unfair laws.

Ben

Re:Yeah right, (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967173)

Try canada. Downloading music is free. No DMCA, and basically legal pot. The new land of the free. Untill our laws catch up to your draconian ones I guess... Enjoy :)

Re:Yeah right, (1)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967476)

heh

I love this logic: Yeah, the US sucks ass, but at least it's not Soviet Russia. Like that makes it better some how. I have a revolutionary idea, how about we change some of this crap instead of patting ourselves on the back about how not Soviet Russia we are.

oh well....screw it.... I say BUSH IN '04!!!!!! I need a good excuse to move up there....

Re:Yeah right, (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967506)

Try canada. Downloading music is free. No DMCA
Danger, danger! Don't get complacent. Our friggin' Heritage Minister is now in bed with the recording industry and wants to amend Canadian copyright law to give record labels more power. Get involved now to stop this from happening - join the forum [digital-copyright.ca] and get organized.

Re:Yeah right, (3, Insightful)

Fuzzle (590327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967315)

There are several other countries that have a democratically elected government, with personal liberties and freedoms protected under their constitutions/charters. The US doesn't have the market cornered on that.

Re:Yeah right, (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967897)

Indeed - Europe (circa 450 million) and India (1 billion), Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Israel, etc are now democratic. It probably totals to 2.5 billion people enjoying a reasonable level of democracy.

Re:Yeah right, (2, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967799)

``You may not beable to vote, speak your mind or any number of any other things but at least you can access information about hacking et al and that makes you free?''

Nice troll. The USA is not the only country with freedom of the press and elected government. In fact, it's not even that democratic if you consider there are only two parties that can really compete for power, both of which depend heavily on corporate funding for their campaigns. With the press under control of large corporations, and the political parties dependant on them, it's not hard to see how the country could fall under corporate control. That would also explain why you have laws like the DMCA, and patents on software.

In comparison, where I live the government is composed of multiple parties in proportion to how many votes they got. Assuming that the distributor has taken care of legalities, we can freely download anything on offer on the Internet. Google is not in any way being ``shut down'' here. We have the _right_ to reverse engineer software to achieve interoperability. Same-sex couples have the same legal status as heteros. Our country respects international law and human rights. Health care is for everyone, and unemployed get enough money to live on.

I realize I provide an incomplete picture of reality here. There are many more things to mention about the US and about my country, both good and bad. I just hope I have illustrated that your apparent denial of there being freedom outside the USA is utterly unfounded.

Re:Yeah right, (5, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967882)

``And unlike much of this other "Free World" you speak of, we can still vote.

And since we can vote, we can work to get rid of it.''

Attacking this point specifically:

Yes you can vote, but you may not be able to get rid of the DMCA. To do that would require there being a party that would abolish the DMCA, and that party getting elected (or at least powerful enough to abolish the DMCA). Since politics is about much more than the DMCA alone, such a party would likely have other things in its programme that you don't like. And that others don't like. And then either not get enough votes to kill the DMCA, or introduce other laws that you would not want to have.

Since the US' political system is ill-suited to more than 2 parties, the chance that you (plural) can vote for a party that 1) will abolish the DMCA, and 2) otherwise suits your tastes is quite slim.

The issue is that you can't vote for or against one issue, you vote for a party and it's entire programme.

Did I mention that the corporations will probably try to influence public opinion in such a way that they become more powerful?

Re:Yeah right, (1)

dustmite (667870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8968737)

And unlike much of this other "Free World" you speak of, we can still vote.

What the hell are you talking about? By "Free World" he/she was talking about free countries with democratically elected governments, basic human rights, liberty, and freedom of speech which are upheld by the laws in those countries.

How exactly did you manage to read and interpret "Free World" as meaning "countries without even voting rights"? What bizarre definition of "Free World" did you use? This is not sarcasm, please explain, I'd like to understand it.

CONTENT DELETED (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966647)

In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed all contents from this message.

Re:CONTENT DELETED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966688)

The parent was moderated down due to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Thanks for your cooperation.

Thumb on the scale of justice... (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966654)

The primary effect the DMCA has on Search Engines and other Internet sites that allow user posting is that it forces the site operator to make a decision for themselves over whether a work is infringing before the court case... and then puts its thumb on the scale. If they refuse to comply with a proper takedown notice they'll be liable to the copyright holder, while if the needlessly take take down the piece they will lose nothing or very little unless they're a major paying customer.

No wonder most companies, when confronted with a DMCA Takedown letter choose the path of least resistance.

but, couldn't you make the point.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966664)

HA HA Made you think this was ontopic....

But since you are here:

there's someting in mai butt tonight, Fernando.

SINg it!111

Remember Kazaalite and Scientology? (4, Insightful)

CharonX (522492) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966684)

Kazaa had Google remove [google.com] several links to Kazaa Lite pages [chillingeffects.org] , and not long ago Scientology tried the same against a Scientology-critical site.

While some here cheer that Google put a reference to the the Kazaa Lite pages removed (or rather to the DMCA notice which includes the URLs of those pages), effecly nullyfing the effect, it is worrying me instead.
Fact is that Companies and Organisations can force the removal of Links from Search Engines, and if those Engines don't act as smartly as Google here (be it due to fear of lawsuits from those Organistions or due to simple lazyness) we might not even notice it....

Re:Remember Kazaalite and Scientology? (3, Funny)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966698)

-----
Fact is that Companies and Organisations can force the removal of Links from Search Engines
-----
Yet I still can't remove the references returned by Google propagated by some script kiddie with my mail address as an index token.

I'm fscked..

Slashdot users violating SCO's IP (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8966696)

Dear Slashdot users,

If you would like permission to legally view the content of search engines such as Google, contact SCO licensing [mailto] where we can provide individual licenses for only $699 per search engine or a bulk license of $10^699 for all search engines.

If you do not comply I will publicly brand you a Linus long-hair and GNU hippy, and will ask Microsoft for money to sue you with.

Yours faithfully,

Darl McBride,

CEO SCO Inc.

Re:Slashdot users violating SCO's IP (1)

mcx101 (724235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966744)

It's not like Slashdot to mod Darl up :-)

All this proves... (3, Interesting)

ambienceman (721763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966717)

is that we need to fight this infringing legislation by our votes, tax dollars, and our consumer dollars. Fight the supporters of this legislation by avoiding their products. Use alternatives that promote free speech and _total_ fair use.

I'm sick of America being bullied around by the corporations. We are the people. We have the power here.

Fight with you pockets...and your _paper_ ballots (unless of course Diebold has their way with the government.)

iF you really think "we have the power here" (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966733)

then you are truly living up to your sig.

Re:iF you really think "we have the power here" (1)

ambienceman (721763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966793)

If you and everyone that is an American citizen thinks like that, we have absolutely no hope in gaining back rights taken from us. we have no way of reversing things like the Patriot Act. We have no way of being _free_ as our lady liberty meant us to be.

It doesn't matter what ANYONE thinks, frankly. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967439)

Otherwise we wouldn't have the DMCA, the patriot act, guantanamo bay, or the federal government harassing medical marijuana operations in states that have officially legalised medical marijuana.

Lady liberty's been taking it up the ass since the arms for hostages scandal, and there ain't jack shit can be done about it. period.

Re:All this proves... (1)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966738)

-----
Fight the supporters of this legislation by avoiding their products
-----
Until you realize that competency with their products determines the grades of your children which will be used to decide how well they do in life.

The system is skewed in favor of the mediocre majority who already have the cash. We'd better learn to accept it or die a long, slow, mundane death at the hands of homelessness and hunger.

Re:All this proves... (1)

ambienceman (721763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966803)

And all that proves is that we've allowed 1984 to happen.

Re:All this proves... (1)

maximilln (654768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966821)

Are you surprised? I've been watching it happen since 1999. I've tried to warn people. They wouldn't listen. In all reality they banded together to ride me out of town so that they could put their heads back in the sand.

I'm handing in my two week notice on Monday because of the Big Brother authoritarianism.

Genuine question (2, Interesting)

Forgotten (225254) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966782)

I see the term "safe harbor" a lot in American law. What is it actually supposed to mean, what is it's provenance, and where is it applied? So far it seems a very vague and generic catch-all, but it obviously has some specific meaning to the courts, and seems particularly meaningful in the context of the DMCA.

Re:Genuine question (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967062)

Well, basically the idea is one of shelter. If you do what you need to do to qualify for it, you're sheltered from legal actions you'd otherwise be exposed to. But it's just shorthand for an idea -- there are various safe harbor provisions in the law, and they differ in terms of what the prerequisites are to take advantage of them and what they protect one from.

Re:Genuine question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967201)

IANAL

Basically it means:

If you do something illegal, "they" can't take any civil or legal action against you unless they tell you you're doing something illegal and you don't stop first.

If you comply with their notice, they can't sue you.

http://tinyurl.com/32sme is a pretty good link

The short version (4, Insightful)

Stuwee (739059) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966832)

I speed read the 23 pages, and basically it seems to (IANAL) boil down to the fact that search engines want to remain within the laws that are protecting them -- the DMCA safe harbours. Classified as an "information retrieval tool", search engines must make sure that they do not knowingly link to material that violates the DMCA. So when Sharman Networks comes along and tells Google that it is linking to material that violates the DMCA, the people at Google put on their best poker faces and cry "oh no, surely not!". Under the safe harbours, Google then has to remove this content, or they can be held responsible. The most interesting part of the paper points out that adopting this behaviour will never justify the safe harbour use:
... service providers, being risk-averse, will widely embrace the safe harbors in an attempt to avoid the uncertainty of liability outside them. Due to the widespread use of the safe harbor procedures, courts will not be given the opportunity to decide cases clarifying the liability of service providers, as service providers will err on the side of caution and liberally remove content in response to notifications. The resulting lack of judicial clarification will reinforce the use of these procedures, thus creating a self-perpetuating cycle.

It may affect search engines (3, Interesting)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966838)

but people who really want to find that information will find it.

If one is interested in studying a "taboo" topic they'll join mailing lists as well. Especially in the case of religion and potential cults, nobody with any sense is going to just talk to one group. You're going to talk to members, ex members, and do your own studying.

You need to join message/news groups for that and the DMCA has no effect on those. The DMCA can't control what somebody sends to my e-mail account in response to a request for information.

Ben

The DMCA is a BAD law. (2, Interesting)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966870)

Of course I'm preaching to the choir here but I want ANYONE to point out to me how the DMCA is a GOOD law and what benefits it provides to society.

It stiffles progress. MOST everything in existence is the result of people taking things apart and improving upon previous designs.

DMCA puts that practice to a dead halt.

The DMCA should be abolished ASAP....

Re:The DMCA is a BAD law. (3, Interesting)

HybridJeff (717521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967080)

I completly agree, but in the mean time, ill just keep my figners crossed that we dont "import" this or a similar law to Canada.

It scares me that the US could have actually passed and implimented somthing like the DCMA. Even if we dont end up following big brother, I would be suprised if companies creating DCMA complient devices and tecnologies for the American market could be bothered to take the time to those "features" for non US markets.

Re:The DMCA is a BAD law. (2, Interesting)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967539)

I'll just keep my figners crossed that we dont "import" this or a similar law to Canada.
Please, I beg you, do more than that! After that Federal Court of Canada ruling [canoe.ca] (that file/music sharing is legal within Canadian copyright law) the Heritage Minister changed her tune all of a sudden... gee I wonder why? A stroke of pity for the CRIA [www.cria.ca] , no doubt. What happened in the US and EU is slowly happening here in Canada too. Let's fight it, because really these government measures are meant to give the industry what it wants without concern for citizens' rights, or desires.

Please, Canadians, take note: our copyright laws are about to get fscked up by the powerful industry lobbies. You can voice your opposition; start by getting involved here [digital-copyright.ca] , join our forum. We're working on a Petition For Users's Rights [digital-copyright.ca] to impress upon the government that Canadian Copyright law is fine as it is. We're starting to contact media outlets and get our press release out. We need more volunteers.

Re:The DMCA is a BAD law. (3, Informative)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8968543)

The basic idea set forth by the DMCA is that digital security and protection (for copyrighted material) will always be able to be broken (the nature of digital information), and that a never-ending race between the protections and the cracks is not beneficial to anyone. To keep that from happening, the DMCA says that breaking protections is illegal and that the security does not need to be perfect (impossible to acheive) to protect content. That is quite an admirable goal; freeing content producers to worry about producing content, and not having to focus just on creating stronger and stronger security.

In the physical world, we don't have to secure our houses with bulletproof glass or 2 ton safe doors, we can put up a lock and rest safe knowing that even if the lock is defeatable, the act of breaking into the house is illegal.

The real problem is not with the DMCA making the defeat of such security illegal, but in content producers placing locks where they have no business being, or producing locks that don't have "keys" for alternate OS's (like Linux). The DMCAs most controvertial point is that it also outlaws "gray" material that has both legitimate uses (such as DVD playback on Linux) and illegitimate uses (ripping or copying rented DVDs).

The Forge Of Strings (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966881)

Only One String Its Enough To Slayer Freedoom.
A String that Slayer All Of Us.

So what we really need... (4, Interesting)

Snaller (147050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8966975)

... is a search engine in a free country? ;)

In 1732 I Was Born... (0, Offtopic)

Tagren (715283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967035)

I was *first-poster* as a somewhat powerfull positioned man.
I digged Freedom.
At Mount Vernon I spent my last years. And also died, the year 1799.
Today I would suffocate from invisible strings.
Can you guess my name?
--

Idea to Protect from the DMCA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967160)


idea: the government is now trying people under newer, harsher, more unreasonable "terrorist" laws. Example: trying drug dealers as "manufacturing chemical weapons" instead of the less frightening and less severe "drug trafficing". So if a criminal is caught and is going to be pounded by the "MAN" what he should do is to quickly hire someone to charge him of the same crime but under a less severe law and then he will quickly plead quilty before he is taken to trial for the more severe charges. Then because of U.S.A. 'double jepardy' laws the Gov. will not be allowed to procede with their case. Now IANAL, but I do recall a case where a murderer was found 'not guilty' and then evidence was later found prooving UNQUESTIONABLY that he did do the murder and he then admited that he did, but they could only then charge him for PURGERY (because he said he did not do it) and WOULD NOT/COULD NOT re-try him for the murder, so he spent (a maximum of) 7 years in jail because for purgery instead of 20+ for the murder. So the next time some company or organization cough*RIAA*cough sues one of us under the DMCA we just need one of our friends to sue us under existing copywright laws (when it applies), hand the pittance over to whoever is suing us and then tell them to shove the DMCA up their RJ45 plug.

Some questions (5, Interesting)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967178)

Ok i've got some serious questions here:

1) If I link to a site that links to a site that has DMCA violating speech, does that mean my site is violating aswell? what about google? If so, how far does this chain go?

2) What if someone links to a google cache?

3) Can I say DMCA violating things to my lawyer? What about to a public court?

4) If I violate the DMCA outside America, will the FBI trick me into going to Rome and then drug me and take me back to the USA?

5) If I say something that violates the DMCA on national TV will viewers be breaking the law by watching, and will Tivo be breaking the law by recording it? will these people also require a trial?

6) If I wear DMCA violating clothing can the police confiscate it if it means i would be breaking public nudity laws? (ie it could be underwear too)

7) Im i allowed to violate the DMCA while engaged in sexual intercourse in the state of Florida? What if its consensual?

8) When praying, is it ok to attempt to tell God that the shift key will disable some CD copy-protection systems?

9) On violating the DMCA, certain evidence would be submitted to court, such as video/audio tapes containing said violation. Who owns this evidence, who can see it and how does the freedom of information act apply to it?

10) I thought of a way to circumnavigate X device, am I liable under the DMCA if the thought is in my head? what would happen if i talked about it in my sleep? Could i write about it in a private diary? an online journal? a letter?

Re:Some questions (1)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967526)

1) If I link to a site that links to a site that has DMCA violating speech, does that mean my site is violating aswell? what about google? If so, how far does this chain go?

Knowing who wrote the law my guess would be six degrees. Our lawyers are drafting a C&D for ICANN as the entire interweb is in violation.

DMCA pigs and book burning (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967233)

Land of the free my f***ing ass >:(

I wrote the article... (4, Interesting)

CraigWWalker (774420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967493)

and would be happy to answer any questions people have about it. --CWW

Cutting off your nose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8967503)

in spite of your face. What the search engines should do is make *no* mention of the offending sites, in any way. So when a potential cliet/customer goes looking for information then they will only be directed to the competitors we sites!

And, one would hope, this would either cause the scum to abandon the web or go out of business.

WTF? (1)

Steamhead (714353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8967956)

I know google is a US based company, but if you want to register a .ca domain you have to be located in Canada... WTF? [google.ca] This isn't the US based site... Urrgh, this just makes me mad...

Use right-wing tricks against them (3, Funny)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8968275)

Instead of saying "due to DMCA blah blah blah"

say "Enemies of free speech and opponents of a free press in your governmnet blah blah blah"

This message brought to you by a left-wing liberal openly opposed to the current order.
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