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The Courts Cloud Piracy

Warner Bros. Admits To Issuing Bogus Takedowns 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the hold-up-a-cease-and-desist-notice-if-you're-surprised dept.
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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Warner Bros. Admits To Issuing Bogus Takedowns

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  • Oh Okay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:06PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad.arnett@NOspam.notforhire.org> on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:10PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by parkinglot777 (2563877) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:17PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:34PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @05:28PM (#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?

          • "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 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Shagg (99693) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @05:54PM (#45467651)

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

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        actually represents the party they claim to represent

        they claim to represent the copyright owner

        anyways, it's either breaking a contract(that they had with hotfile for using takedown tool), perjury or fraud(wire fraud) that they committed. fraud is pretty serious business too("In the United States, mail and wire fraud is any fraudulent scheme to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication." - so tell me how the fuck it isn't wire fraud if they use takedown to take down shit they don't own.).

        blame the fucking jud

    • Re:Oh Okay (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:28PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ggraham412 (1492023) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:31PM (#45466915)
        If I had any mod points, I'd mod this up +1 Insightful.
      • by ATestR (1060586)

        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?

        • by suutar (1860506)
          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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...

          • 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 (Score:4, Insightful)

              by suutar (1860506) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @07:53PM (#45468535)

              One point of TFA is that WB is claiming "being wrong about whether it infringes isn't perjury as long as we believed in good faith that it infringed, and we had faith in our computer program," and they're right. The part of the takedown saying "we represent Warner Brothers" is subject to perjury, but the rest of it is subject to 'good faith' rules. And bad faith is hard to prove unless you can find a "smoking gun" type memo or email. (Notably, the case where an actual human filed a takedown request directly is going to a jury because the judge feels that the filer could well have known the material didn't infringe on WB's stuff.)

              The other point of the TFA is that while Warner Brothers is right about the law, this whole situation illustrates that the law sucks because it's slanted as hell, which I agree with fully.

              • by dbIII (701233)
                In other countries such actions come under the interesting sounding charge of "demanding money with menaces", which can end in prison time for the people making false demands by lawyers letter or something that pretends to be one. It's a pity that the USA doesn't have that, among other things that SCO licence scam would have landed Darl McBride in jail.
        • by jandrese (485)
          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 (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Frobnicator (565869) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @08:48PM (#45468919) Journal

            The thing is that the studio lawyers are gloating in the legal documents. One of the first rules of the court is: NEVER PISS OFF THE JUDGE.

            You need to understand the judge's background. Judge Williams spent her first four years prosecuting money laundering and trying to break up drug cartels whose lawyers did the kind of legal garbage like WB is doing. Then she spent fifteen years defending people who were accused of bank fraud, where she was in charge of defending people, managing a group of about 100 other legal experts and helping them see through corporate and government loopholes.

            She has spent almost all of her career trying to stop the corporations and the governments from abusing legal loopholes. This is one of her first cases as a judge, and even though she is going to try to be unbiased, her 30 years of experience in fighting exactly what the movie studios are doing is certainly going to be significant.

            This judge knows the tricks. She has spent three decades fighting against exactly this sort of thing. Now she is a judge and it is her first big case.

            Now understanding all that background, the judge has already dismissed the core of the lawsuit, the copyright infringement case. She spent 30 years fighting drug cartel financial lawyers and their loopholes, and when she sees the plaintiffs (Disney, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia Pictures, and WB) I'm sure she still reads "cartel".

            No, the movie cartel knows they're not going to fare well in the trial. If you read the docket on Justia you will see that they started out with broad accusations and claims and Hotfile was trying to block terms like "piracy" and "theft", and as the judge dismissed large swaths the studios became more and more defensive, and now they are doing everything they can to prevent the jury from learning the truth. Now it is the studios begging for words like "perjury" and "fraud" to not come out in trial.

            My guess is that near the end of 2014, after the jury hears everything but before a penalty is assigned, the movie cartel will suddenly settle the lawsuit with undisclosed millions going to Hotfile in order to avoid a punishment.

        • Re:Oh Okay (Score:5, Informative)

          by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @05:27PM (#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 ;-)

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

            • I got ONE notice. It costs me money on a monthly basis. For my VPN
              • Re:Oh Okay (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @07:35PM (#45468389)

                You should check with other users on your ISP. In most cases the ISP has a policy saying you'll be cut off after so many complaints but in reality it's nearly impossible to enforce. In many places, if your ISP is the only company in the area they are very likely legally required to provide you service as long as you're paying your bill. We honestly treated it like the customers WiFi had been compromised and someone had done this from outside their home. Our letters even reflected this to the customer. If they got a LOT of complaints (like thousands) we'd even call them, concerned, because clearly their network had been hacked by some terrible software pirates. They'd play along, and the complaints would go away. Remember, your ISP is usually on your side in these cases. You clearly pay for the service so you can do this thing... and the copyright holders don't pay anything... and they're forcing you to pay staff to do something that actually drives customers away from your service. Many people, after getting a complaint, will call in and reduce the speed of their service. We had stats on this. You're getting thousands of complaints per day that if you send on to your customers have, lets say, a 20% chance of causing them to reduce their services or cancel service all together. Or in your case use a VPN and waste a lot of your bandwidth. It's ALL bad for the ISP. They hate the complaints even more than you do.

            • They use blanket filters. So think about it like this, if you download anything "star wars" for example, you're probably going to get a notice. Because they are constantly releasing star wars stuff. If you picked some obscure movie it'd be a lot less likely. Also, there are notices that come from shifty lawers claiming to represent copyright owners that are really just trying to extort a settlements out of people. They usually try going after embarrassing stuff like "Naughty Anal Nuns" or whatever. They'd u

            • by antdude (79039)

              Your ISP didn't cut you off after several notices?

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            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?

            • by mcl630 (1839996)

              Service providers lose their "safe harbor" if they don't respond to take down notices. Without safe harbor, they can be sued for their customers' infringement.

            • The DMCA makes it legally required to make a "reasonable" effort. It's very wishy washy and the ISPs have no idea what to do.

          • by vux984 (928602)

            We had several organizations that sent us so much bogus info that we ended up blocking their domain.

            That raises an interesting question:

            Are you required to take takedown notices via email? Given the glut of garbage, bogus information, and so forth, coupled with the fact that take down requests are a legal obligation

            I almost wonder if you could have required they be sent by registered, traceable, mail or courier.

            It shouldn't be your job to filter someone elses raw automated garbage, even if you have an oblig

            • That would cost the ISP more money. Now you have to open piles of mail... all the while you know the media industry would automate that mail process in no time.

              • by vux984 (928602)

                all the while you know the media industry would automate that mail process in no time

                They'd still pay $5.00+ per notice sent. That ought to motivate them to eliminate duplicates, and bogus nonsense. It would be be millions of dollars a year.

                Your right of course, that getting the documents in paper might still be an extra cost for the ISP.

                Is charging a handling fee for eaach takedown request you handle prohibited? I don't mind paying someone to open the mail and process it, if I'm paid $5 per item. Go ahead

          • by Nyder (754090)

            ...

            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 ;-)

            I know how to fix it. Charge to process DMCA notices. Say a small fee for correct info and a large fee for incorrect info. Or just a fee for any incorrect DMCA notices/links given.

            Soon the companies will start hiring people to check the DMCA notices they send out, if they are being charge a fee for incorrect notices.

          • by shentino (1139071)

            It's simple, you punish people for screwing up.

            Make producers responsible for bogus takedowns.

            Oh, right, they're the elite that actually own the system?

            Then just bend over and take it.

          • by ruir (2709173)
            In contrast I worked as an expat in a country with basically was not binded by IP laws at the time, and even broadcasted all the new movies from torrents in their 3 or 4 national channels friday nigth. We were also very short of hand of skilled people. The email server operator just filtered out domains that sent automated infringing notices, because all they were good for was for filling up the server and mailboxes.
          • by gronofer (838299)

            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.

            The way I read the article, it would be illegal to send a takedown notice in the name of Warner brothers if you don't actually represent Warner Brothers. However if you do represent Warner Brothers, it's fine to send takedown notices about absolutely anything regardless of whether Warner Brothers holds the copyright.

        • 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.

    • 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]

      • [cough]First Rule![/cough]
        • 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 go

          • by Qzukk (229616)

            something tells me tor is underutilized in this department

            As it is, bittorrent won't work correctly over tor (tor's anonymization is (theoretically) one way, unless you're leaking your identity to everyone) Best you can do is be the leeching node that nobody can connect to and get whatever exit nodes you are using at the time hammered with everyone trying to connect to "you" for that one last little piece. People do it, but if everyone did it, nobody would be able to get anything.

            What's needed is to rewri

    • Re:Oh Okay (Score:5, Interesting)

      by erikkemperman (252014) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:38PM (#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.

      • So what if Hotfile put Terms Of Use on their automated takedown API to say it can only be used under some list of circumstances which prevent bogus takedowns? Then they could sue Warner under whatever-the-USA-computer-misuse-act-is instead of the DMCA. Maybe they could even specify some charge per bogus takedown in the TOU.

    • Re:Oh Okay (Score:5, Funny)

      by danceswithtrees (968154) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:51PM (#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.

    • 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.
    • just to punish WB, I'm going to seek out 100 films by them, download them and seed them.

      FUCK YOU, WB.

      fuck you to hell.

      you wanna fight? bring it!

  • by sandbagger (654585) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:09PM (#45466711)

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

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

      Bestiality is illegal, mkay?

  • They did it to me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:10PM (#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.

    • by jandrese (485)
      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.
      • by suutar (1860506)
        and sadly, since fair use is an affirmative defense and not a right, they're correct unless your lawyer is better than theirs.
    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      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.

      Please don't say you think that wasn't deliberate?* "Fair use" is a curse word to these rats, of course they'll fight it any which way they can!

      It wouldn't surprise me at all to see them going after libraries next, as they are evil dens of knowledge sharing...why, most people can even get the media they want from a library for free! Oh, the horror...think they'll need to go have a lie down...

      *...okay, have to knock off the double negatives for a while, starting to make my own head spin...

    • by jrumney (197329)

      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.

      Did they ever find what they were looking for?

  • Not good at all (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tmann72 (2473512) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:12PM (#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.
  • by Thud457 (234763) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:15PM (#45466767) Homepage Journal
    PERJURY, with a computer!
  • Perjury? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:17PM (#45466789) Homepage

    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.

    • by tepples (727027)

      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].

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        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? ;-)

    • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by monk (1958)

      ...
      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.

    • 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 sch
    • 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' P

    • 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 wou
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:27PM (#45466881)

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

  • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @04:35PM (#45466947)

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

    • by jandrese (485)
      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.
  • by Cley Faye (1123605) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @05:06PM (#45467259) Homepage
    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.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @05:44PM (#45467587) Homepage Journal

    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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andrew Osiris (2826645) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @06:17PM (#45467835)
    Kill Michael Jackson: 5 years Pirate Michael Jackson music: 15 years
  • 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
  • by Dega704 (1454673) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @07:21PM (#45468285)
    We could only dream that the government comes down on them the same way they did on Aaron Swartz for what his computer was set to automatically do.
  • by Tom (822)

    Let me guess - nothing will come of this. Because large corporations are above the law. Do something similar as a private individual, and you'll be bancrupted by legal proceedings.

    Nice world we're living in. Wouldn't really be much of a shame if something happened to it, not anymore.

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