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HBO Asks Google To Take Down "Infringing" VLC Media Player 364

Posted by timothy
from the trial-balloon-and-a-harpoon dept.
another random user writes with an excerpt from TorrentFreak: "It's no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but their targeting of open source software is something new. In an attempt to remove pirated copies of Game of Thrones from the Internet, HBO sent a DMCA takedown to Google, listing a copy of the popular media player VLC as a copyright infringement. An honest mistake, perhaps, but a worrying one. ... Usually these notices ask Google to get rid of links to pirate sites, but for some reason the cable network also wants Google to remove a link to the highly popular open source video player VLC. ... The same DMCA notice also lists various other links that don't appear to link to HBO content, including a lot of porn related material, Ben Harper's album Give Till It's Gone, Naruto, free Java applets and Prince of Persia 5."
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HBO Asks Google To Take Down "Infringing" VLC Media Player

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  • by FunkyLich (2533348) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @11:11AM (#44297195)

    I certainly am going to be modded down, but it is about time I explained that "GFY" stands for "Go Fuck Yourself".

    Always with love from the Whole Internet.

  • by Urban Garlic (447282) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @11:14AM (#44297235)

    As you hint at, it's the libdvdcss capability that's the main problem under anti-circumvention provisions of the US DMCA.

    You can get versions of VLC which only use FOSS and patent-unencumbered codecs. Debian used to (maybe still does, I haven't looked in a while) make this distinction pretty clear, the "main" packaged VLC was unencumbered, and you had to go outside the main package tree to get the other stuff.

    So, in most practical installations, you're right, but it's not literally true that "VLC is illegal in the US."

  • Re:Penalties (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @11:21AM (#44297343)

    They aren't. The perjury clause only guards the representation claim, where the DMCA notice is sent by a lawyer. It does not guard the actual copyright claim, which is made "in good faith".

  • Re:Penalties (Score:4, Informative)

    by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @12:50PM (#44298653)

    No and they're not claiming they do either.

    They're claiming that they own the copyright on Game of Thrones (true) and that a copy of VLC is Game of Thrones (false).

    The latter claim isn't made under penalty of perjury, only the former.

    Welcome to reason ERROVERFLOW why the DMCA is a horrible law and should be erased from existence.

  • by Artraze (600366) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @12:50PM (#44298661)

    > They cannot possibly be the owner of the copyright to VLC, shitwit.

    Yeah, and no one is claiming they otherwise. They are claiming that VLC* violates their copyright on Game of Thrones.

    Do they own the copyright on Game of Thrones? Yes
    Has VLC been proven in a court of law to be not infringing on one their exclusive rights to Game of Thrones? No

    This is therefore a totally legitimate request under then letter of the law, slimy as it may be. Ignorance and name calling doesn't change that.

    *If we are being particular, they are citing a torrent page, not VLC itself. Thus your comment is even more incorrect as even if your misunderstanding was accurate they'd be claiming copyright of a page on torrentportal, not VLC.
    Further, while it's not really important for this discussion, I'd point out that that detail further muddies the waters: The torrent and/or the the description may actually contain some content from Game of Thrones. I've not checked and don't care to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @12:51PM (#44298675)

    That language tracks that of the DMCA, which only requires a statement under penalty of perjury that the rights you're asserting are yours ("I'm HBO and I have exclusive rights to Game of Thrones"), *not* that the takedown notice is accurate ("and I demand you take down the content at http://www.fgfsdgfdsgsd.nl/HeSticksHerWithHisNeedleWhileTheyDoItDireWolfStyle.avi which is believed to be infringing my exclusive rights in Game of Thrones.") (Actually, that example /might/ be ... ;) )

  • by dragon-file (2241656) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:10PM (#44298973)
    Malice doesn't have to be directed. If I plant a bomb in an attempt to blow up 20 people I don't know, that is malice. If I attempt to shoot my ex girlfriend with a rifle, that is also malice. Malice is just the intent to cause harm whether its personal or not.
  • Re:three strikes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Yakasha (42321) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:40PM (#44299433) Homepage

    No the three strikes rule should be you lose your IP to the public domain. If you cannot be trusted to not claim ownership of other peoples property, you should lose your right to claim copyright at all.

    We take a felons right to vote (without a doubt a more important right) so why can't we take away their copy right.

    You can.

    You just have to stop voting for the two major parties that support the current system.

  • Re:three strikes (Score:5, Informative)

    by GoogleShill (2732413) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @03:19PM (#44301021)

    A lot of states do not let felons vote, and it is a terrible thing. I don't see how one should be forced to pay taxes when they have no say in how the government is run.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_disenfranchisement [wikipedia.org]

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @05:31PM (#44302669)
    You can do evil unintentionally. You can not do Malice unintentionally.

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