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Censorship Your Rights Online

DMCA Takedown Notice For a Fake ID 563

Posted by kdawson
from the points-for-chutzpah dept.
TrippTDF writes "Rachel Hyman, an artist and bartender in New York City, maintains a blog where she regularly posts images of fake IDs she confiscates from would-be underage drinkers, along with a description of the confiscation. Recently, one of her posts (Google cache) was taken down when the owner of the fake ID invoked the DMCA against Blogspot. Can one claim a forged document as a copyrighted work of art?"
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DMCA Takedown Notice For a Fake ID

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:47PM (#19042739)
    Wouldn't the picture at least be copyrighted?
  • by dAzED1 (33635) <brianlamere&yahoo,com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:48PM (#19042773) Homepage Journal
    In much the same way that I can claim to have invented computers, someone can claim that an illegal document is covered under the DMCA. It is an invalid claim, as no illegal document can be protected in such a manner, but it is a claim none the less.
  • No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by barakn (641218) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:51PM (#19042833)
    The forger him/herself violated the copyright of whomever designed the document in the first place.
  • Um ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:52PM (#19042841)
    ... isn't claiming to be the "creator"/"artist"/"author" of a fake ID admitting to counterfeiting? Perhaps not the smartest move ever. And since a DMCA 'takedown notice' is a legal document denying authorship of the fake ID later would probably be perjury.

    I sure hope this ends badly for the underaged drunk wannabe.
  • by proficiovera (1099145) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:54PM (#19042911) Homepage
    Forged documents should be removed from the web for other reasons. DMCA aside the forged IDs could have real information. Information such as drivers license numbers and addresses gained from real IDs. Many fake IDs I saw while working as a clerk where modified legitimate IDs.
  • Of Course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by passthecrackpipe (598773) * <passthecrackpipe ... m minus caffeine> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:57PM (#19042957)
    Do you really believe the DMCA is about copyright? Its about having a stick to poke when anybody says anything you don't like on the Internet. The people that created and passed it don't care if others use it as well, as long as *they* get to use it
  • Re:Um ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adambomb (118938) * on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:58PM (#19042989) Journal
    Actually the point is more that the DMCA notice is a legal document CLAIMING authorship of the fake ID. It wouldnt be perjury but its still monumentally stupid. You'd think that implicating yourself voluntarily performing an illegal activity in a legal document would be grounds for charges to be filed.
  • by Raistlin77 (754120) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:12PM (#19043211)
    Because the fake ID should already be copyrighted by the agency that printed it. The fake ID user has no claim to the copyright of the ID anyway. Otherwise anybody could make a duplicate of any document then copyright it as their own.
  • Re:Um ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:28PM (#19043495)
    As a assistant DA, I can say that this pretty much convicts her of the crime of possession of a forged instrument. You may not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she created the forgery, just based on this statement alone, but she definitely admits to the possession. Then proving that it is in fact a forgery is routine at that point. The fact that she used it at a bar is enough the prove that she used it with an intent to deceive.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:40PM (#19043747)

    Either way, trying to claim it was an original work seems really dangerous as its basically an admission of forgery.

    Yep, it was not very smart. Until the DCMA request was filed, the only thing the underage girl could be reasonably convicted of when she hands a fake ID to someone is uttering, ie, presenting forged papers as legitimate. Well, and any additional laws she broke that may be specific to presenting false ID for the purpose of buying alcohol and being underage.

    If she filed a DCMA request which implies she's the creator of the work, it's not terribly hard to prove that she's guilty of both forgery and saying.

    Sidenote: I've seen half a dozen slashdotters declare "OF COURSE you can't copyright a forged document!", and yet have not offered any citations, explanations (that make any kind of sense) or case history. A cookie to the first poster that does.

    Sidenote number two: I'm not really cheering for this waitress. She's got a severe "big fish, little pond" complex going.

    • It's not her job to play Twenty Questions, or Detective, or engage in religious profiling. Apparently the girl is from a "mostly Jewish" neighborhood, and while Jewish law prohibits desecration of a dead body, that does not mean someone from a "mostly Jewish" town WOULDN'T be an organ donor. Maybe their parents were Jewish, and they're agnostic, for fuck's sake. Why should someone have to explain all that to get a beer?
    • Confiscating a license, or any other ID, is a great way to end up in a heap of trouble unless it is specifically allowed in your jurisdiction (which it is, in many cases. But stupid if it's not.) The right way: take the ID, walk to the office, call the cops. Wrong way: taunt her, make fun of her, and NOT call the cops.
    • Posting people's IDs, forged or not, is a great example of spitting into the wind. The state is probably not terribly pleased at seeing examples of counterfeit documents posted, and if it turns out it IS a legitimate ID, now you're doubly fucked, because you just confiscated a valid ID, provided proof, AND copied an official state document, AND posted private information. If the forged ID came from a ring, they're going to be pissed their ID made it onto the net. The girl, her parents, friends, etc are going to be pissed too.That's a great way to wake up one morning and find your tires slashed and a rock through your windshield. Lose, lose, lose situation. And for what? Some attention-whoring on the 'net....
  • Re:Confiscation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Calmiche (531074) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:59PM (#19044139)
    Hmm.. Here in Idaho, I was informed that we have to confiscate fake ID's, but I can't find any legislation to back that up. Nonetheless, I have a federal firearms dealers license and have confiscated several from underage kids trying to buy handguns. The bartender is completely correct. The easiest way to tell if an ID is fake or not is by feel. (Same with cash, by the way.) After you have felt thousands of ID's, it gets easier.

    However, I also remember some reading back a couple of years ago that mentioned that the Patriot Act had bumped false ID's up from a misdemeanor to a felony. It's very likely that I'm remembering it as a law that applied to firearm sales only though rather than for less serious purposes.

    I'm not sure about New York, but here, the offender can face pretty serious consequences, up to and including loosing their drivers license for a year.
  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:07PM (#19044251) Homepage
    It's called a law for a reason.

    You say the drinking at 21 law is stupid, I say the DMCA is stupid.
    Still have to obey both.
  • Re:Of Course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jacksonj04 (800021) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:14PM (#19044355) Homepage
    Nah, a fake ID is illegal full stop. It's a similar idea to banknotes having to have "SAMPLE" written on them even if they're obviously not banknotes ie on other printed material - it is (afaik, ianal) illegal to reproduce or attempt to reproduce or imitate any official document even if it has incorrect information. For example, any form of 'fake ID' runs afoul of this but there is nothing to stop me creating my own 'ID Card' with my false information, as long as it doesn't look too much like an official one.
  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:15PM (#19044369)
    You've never worked behind a bar have you. I can't name a single bar man/maid that I know that would risk being fined or losing their job just so some kid can have a drink. It'd be stupid to do so. If she cards a 30 year old that's "feeling the power". Carding someone she thinks is a minor is just plain sensible.

    "Laws which don't let you drink alcohol 21 are absolutely insane"

    I agree (I'm from the UK and I think 18 is old enough for most) but the law says 21 so she has to follow it the same as everyone else until it changes. Don't bitch at someone for not wanting to screw up their life just so someone else can get drunk.
  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:16PM (#19044405) Homepage
    Hilarious. Because nothing's funnier than making fun of people who are younger than you.

    You're spiteful glare and frustrated "Have a nice life!" as you walked out the door, proved how mature you are. Maybe one day you'll understand. Maybe after you're 21.

    Because posting about the incidents, including photos and possibly real addresses, is mature behavior? This is simple bigotry. People feel that since they went through something, everyone else should too (even if it's something as arbitrary as turning 21), and until they do they're somehow less of a person. Furthermore, behaving as if alcohol consumption is some sort of special privilege only makes it that much more enticing for minors.

    I really am liable for you drinking if you have that ID. Peter, drink at home. Drink on your dorm rooftop. Drink in a state that doesn't care or a bar where I don't know anyone. But don't come to my neighborhood and try to get us in trouble. You're not from here.

    "You're not from here?" Nice.

    Actually, she's not at all liable, and neither is the bar.

    7. (a) In any proceeding pursuant to subdivision one of section
        sixty-five of this article, it shall be an affirmative defense that such
        person had produced a driver's license or non-driver identification card
        apparently issued by a governmental entity, successfully completed the
        transaction scan, and that the alcoholic beverage had been sold,
        delivered or given to such person in reasonable reliance upon such
        identification and transaction scan. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/nycodes/c5/a6.html [findlaw.com]
        (Emphasis mine).
    If she asked for an ID, and reasonable documentation was provided, she's fulfilled her obligation under the law, and the liability now rests with the minor. If it's obviously false then she could be in trouble, but none of the posted photos were obviously false. The only reason to push the issue is to exercise authority and/or moral superiority. Which is fine -- legal anyway, and people are certainly entitled to their opinions -- but at least own up to it instead of shifting the blame to the state.
  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @07:12PM (#19045309)

    If she asked for an ID, and reasonable documentation was provided, she's fulfilled her obligation under the law, and the liability now rests with the minor.


    Wrong. Under the text of the law you quoted, if she actually relied on the document (that means she subjectively believed it was accurate) and that belief was reasonable, then she would not be liable. If she, in fact, recognized the document as false or merely believed it to be false, she would have been liable—even though it may be difficult to prove if she lied about it—because then she would not have relied upon the document, reasonably or otherwise.

  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by senatorpjt (709879) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @07:17PM (#19045377)
    did you forget the sarcasm tag, or are you saying that 20 year olds drinking beer is what's wrong with society?

  • Re:Stupid waitress (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @07:22PM (#19045445)

    DMCA questions aside - what gives the bartender the right to confiscate an ID she thinks is fake, then post it on the Internet?


    IIRC, its not uncommon for state law to explicitly permit the seizure of false ID to people to whom they are presented for purposes of purchasing alcohol.

    Not forgetting that now she's in possession of illegal property,


    "Illegal property"? What do you mean?

    If it was seized legally, its not stolen property.

    If it is only illegal to make or present a false ID, but not to possess one, its not "illegal" for that reason, either.

    she doesn't have the right to "play cop" with every young-looking kid who comes up there looking for a drink.


    Actually, people who serve alcoholic beverages are often legally obligated to play cop to an extent. Its a condition of their licensure.

    Whether this goes beyond what is allowed is another question, but certainly you provide no well-grounded reason to believe that it did.

  • by Maestro4k (707634) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @07:35PM (#19045597) Journal

    It's not her job to play Twenty Questions, or Detective, or engage in religious profiling. Apparently the girl is from a "mostly Jewish" neighborhood, and while Jewish law prohibits desecration of a dead body, that does not mean someone from a "mostly Jewish" town WOULDN'T be an organ donor. Maybe their parents were Jewish, and they're agnostic, for fuck's sake. Why should someone have to explain all that to get a beer?

    I think you need to go read the articles again, I never got the impression that she actually said all that to the girl, but that she was posting about her own mental thought processes as to why the girl's answer as to where she was from just set off yet more alarm bells about the ID being fake. In that context it's perfectly reasonable, she already had reason to suspect the ID was fake, and the other information the girl provided was at best suspect. Seeing as her job is on the line if she accepts a fake ID she's going to err on the side of caution (for herself) and find that the possible, but not very likely, situation of her being a non-Jewish person from the area is most likely not the case here.

    Confiscating a license, or any other ID, is a great way to end up in a heap of trouble unless it is specifically allowed in your jurisdiction (which it is, in many cases. But stupid if it's not.) The right way: take the ID, walk to the office, call the cops. Wrong way: taunt her, make fun of her, and NOT call the cops.

    And now you've failed today's reading comprehension test completely. In the article from the first link she says "I've been informed that I'm required to do this." about confiscating the licenses. She doesn't say who has informed her but in context it's pretty clear her boss(es) were the ones who told her. Others in the comments have pointed out that it is indeed the law in New York that fake licenses are to be confiscated. And she didn't taunt her at the bar, she questioned her briefly, found her answers to be unlikely to be true and confiscated the ID and told her "You can't drink here, darling, and I'm keeping your ID." (That's from the cached copy in the second link.)

    Posting people's IDs, forged or not, is a great example of spitting into the wind. The state is probably not terribly pleased at seeing examples of counterfeit documents posted, and if it turns out it IS a legitimate ID, now you're doubly fucked, because you just confiscated a valid ID, provided proof, AND copied an official state document, AND posted private information. If the forged ID came from a ring, they're going to be pissed their ID made it onto the net. The girl, her parents, friends, etc are going to be pissed too.That's a great way to wake up one morning and find your tires slashed and a rock through your windshield. Lose, lose, lose situation. And for what? Some attention-whoring on the 'net....

    She apparently does this regularly and hasn't had a rock through her windshield or tires slashed yet. She's had a bunch of people commit mild identity theft over this one post, just ONE out of who knows how many mind you. And why is that occurring? Because the girl who used the fake ID is stirring up attention. Now, tell me, who exactly is "attention-whoring on the 'net" here? The bartender, or the girl who tried to use a fake ID and got busted? Looks to me like it's the latter, and she's even upping her crime level from presenting a fake ID to admitting she MADE the ID to filing a false DMCA report, etc.

    If you'd bothered to research any at all and find out that it is indeed the law for fake IDs to be confiscated in New York you'd know that there isn't any question that the ID was fake at this point. If it had been all it would have taken is a quick visit to the police and they would have come to the club and got the girl's license back that night. Before the bartender went home with it. Before it got posted online. But that did

  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cadallin (863437) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @09:59PM (#19046909)
    Unfortunately, that's not a viable solution either. The American "Cult of the Car" (Damn you Eisenhower and your Interstate Highways! You killed the Railroad!) has transformed American society in numerous abnormal ways. We're too spread out, and we have no public transportation. Thus because of the way so many of us live (suburbs, blech!) it is impossible to live without a car. This is a horrible chicken or the egg problem. People won't use public transportation because they drive, and we can't develop it without use. Fortunately, as fuel prices continue to rise, reality may beat some sense into the American people. At least I hope so.

    And People, don't try to use the "America's too big! You can't do public transportation!" It's bullshit. America had decent rail transport before, and we could have it again. Suburbs are a blight on the landscape and an abberration. Nobody else live like that. Cars are fucking dangerous. And maybe if some of you actually had to see other human beings on a regular basis, you might care about society again.

  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ottothecow (600101) <.ottothecow. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @10:15PM (#19047053) Homepage
    Bingo.

    It's a law these kids have no hope of changing. People will just say that they are "just a bunch of kids wanting to get drunk" and write it off. When they actually turn 21, they will lose interest in fighting an incredibly difficult battle since they can already drink legally. Same with the DMCA: People will see a complaint and think its from "some slashdot poster/hippie pirate/etc."

    You repeat it enough times and violate it blatently and you reduce the credibility of the law. When the law (or at least parts of it in the case of the DMCA) looks like a total joke, it's enforcment will start to fall back and eventually it will be pretty easy to get it off the books.

  • by VValdo (10446) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @10:51PM (#19047341)
    With all the discussion about whether or not you can copyright a forgery, I'm more concerned for the information contained on the legit ID/forged ID itself. We can see they contain a name, address, birth date, driver's license #, physical description, photo, and signature.

    Leaving aside the possibility that it is a valid ID, let's look at a hypothetical-- say only the picture has been forged. Say a legit ID was stolen/copied and someone slapped their face (or the face of someone else) on it. Or maybe it's an innocent "borrowed" big brother's ID or a picture with a similar enough face for the scammer to get by. The rest of the info is valid, and now the innocent cardholder has not only had their ID taken, but now their personal info has been posted on the Internet too!

    How many of you have been asked for your birthdate, street name, or driver's license in lieu of a password as a kind of phone verification? I've had credit card companies and others do this all the time.

    Even assuming the IDs ARE faked, forget shaming- is it not vigilante justice to violate the suspected faker's information online and subject them (or their victims) to an increased likelihood of identity theft? Does this violate state or federal privacy laws?

    Just a consideration that occurred to me..

    W
  • Re:hm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @12:19AM (#19047977) Homepage

    Considering that Vint Cerf, the real inventor of the Internet, says that Al Gore's claims in the (admittedly not very good) way he worded them were correct
    The whole "Al Gore invented the internet" has become something of a silly political litmus test. Those who tend to agree with Gore claim he wasn't entirely wrong, and that he didn't mean it the way he said it. Those who tend to disagree with Gore claim he's a dumbass who doesn't know a network from a series of tubes. The reality lies in the middle. Gore is a typical politician of average intelligence who said something dumb. It requires a lot of logical contortionism to claim what he said was correct: "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" is simply false. He didn't have a hand in creating the internet. It already existed in 1991, regardless of what Vint Cerf or anyone else says. It's simply too great a stretch to claim that "created" means the same as "greatly expanded" (the most generous description of what Gore had a hand in). Now, whether he actually believed what he said, meant to say something else, or was just reading mindlessly off a cue card, we'll never know and he'll never say. Politicians say stupid things. This is just one of many examples.
  • by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @01:31AM (#19048391)
    Anything the gov't puts out is in the public domain.

    Isn't it possible that the copyright for a document (such as an ID card) is held by the company who designed the document and whose machines are used in printing it?
  • by eh2o (471262) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @03:15AM (#19048825)
    Yes but it is a *fake* ID. It does not identify the holder, therefore it is ineffective for vigilante justice, and furthermore could be stolen, leading to false accusations and future problems for the true owner. There is no moral high ground for making false accusations.

    Last I checked the cops don't post pictures of the evidence they confiscate online. And I'm pretty sure that if they did, there would be a some nasty lawsuits (libel / slander / false accusations... and yes, copyright too). Oh and the cops also lose their job if they don't confiscate that stuff, but we don't see them whining about it on their blogs.

  • Hi Mark! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stickerboy (61554) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @04:23AM (#19049147) Homepage
    What an incredibly bad idea. You probably are lying about being a "slash dot reader" (who the fuck would call themselves reading "slash dot" instead of "/." or "slashdot" after reading it for years?), but that's OK, Mr. 7-digit UID. Unfortunately, your friend, Ashley Heyer, was stupid enough to put her real name, her real picture, and her real signature on a fake ID. I don't know about you, but if I was a public prosecutor involved in a "get tough" law-enforcement program to show my fellow voters how I'm serious about protecting kiddies from the evils of underage drinking, I'd start with an easy case where the offender (like Ashley Heyer) is admitting her guilt in using a fake ID to try to buy alcohol.

    If she's claiming the fake ID is not hers, then how did her signature, and her photo (which I'm guessing is remarkably similar to the one on her real ID) get on there? Don't tell me, the Magic Fake ID Fairy? I guess it doesn't matter that Ashley Heyer was in possession of the fake ID that somehow wasn't hers, where and from whom did she get it from then? I like how you claimed in another post here, "rachel did serve the underaged girl beer. then the under aged girl served her a DMCA notice." What, so the fake ID miraculously appeared in Ashley Heyer's pocket? Or Ashley Heyer didn't willingly and conscientiously seek to be served an alcoholic beverage using that fake ID at a bar? Regardless of what Rachel did, that seems to be remarkably poor judgement for a page in Iowa's legislature who evidently is aspiring to "go places".

    Of course, since Ashley Heyer is a public figure serving the Iowa legislature, it only seems fair that her likeness (if not her signature) is no longer wholly her own. After all, celebrities can't sue the paparazzi for publishing their likenesses, based on that. Why would Ashley Heyer get special treatment in a court of law?
  • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by d3ac0n (715594) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @09:29AM (#19050741)
    Way to miss the point.

    No, What's wrong with society is too many people copping out and only following the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law, and not enough personal responsibility. Rachel Hyman is walking the good walk by not only carding minors, but confiscating their fake ID's and publicly shaming them for trying to break the law. These kids WILL remember this experience, and it WILL make them think twice the next time they consider breaking the law.

    Shame is an underrated emotion.

  • Re:Possesion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CRWeaks23 (980922) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @11:06AM (#19051933)
    db32, I don't understand your post. Points 1,2,3 and 4 are not even relevant, and 5 is incredibly pompous. Your arguments are sound, but have absolutely nothing to do with the parent. There was no cop present, no drugs either. If I have a real ID confiscated by a Mobil Mart employee who thinks s/he's a hotshot, I'm not going to act very rational either. And with you're strange tie-in with drugs, if the Mobil Mart employee decided to steal a bag of cocaine from the customer, s/he's getting arrested for possession.

    The question here is for what reason would an employee at an establishment take someone's ID, whether it be a store clerk or a bouncer at a bar, other than to be an ass? If the ID was fake, another can be made, it's not like you're solving the "nation-wide underage drinking epidemic." It's just a bunch of lame people stuck in a job they hate exploiting the opportunity to make themselves feel powerful.
  • Re:Of Course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by technos (73414) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @06:56PM (#19059765) Homepage Journal
    I wish I were joking, really.

    Mark it down to post 9/11 security theater. There are lots of new laws like that, authored with the thought to prosecute people for buying the instruments of forgery with intent.

    They don't have to wait until you actually make meth to bust you for it, don't have to wait until you've made explosives to bust you for them, why do you think they're going to wait 'till you have a fake ID to bust you? They merely have to cry 'But the terrorists!' and get what they want.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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