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Piracy The Courts The Internet

German Domain Registrar Liable For Copyright Infringement 164

Posted by timothy
from the with-a-name-like-h33t dept.
jfruh writes "When the German domain registrar Key-Systems registered and maintained the domain h33t.com, should it have been obvious that their customer would use the site for unauthorized distribution of Robin Thicke albums? A regional German court says that they should've known, and once they had been notified they should have taken steps to prevent it from happening. Obviously domain registrars are worried that this will upend their entire business model."
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German Domain Registrar Liable For Copyright Infringement

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  • by aaribaud (585182) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:33AM (#46194123)
    ... which the Slashdot title does not exactly convey. From TFA, what happened is the domain was registered and used to distribute material without consent of the right owner(s), the infringement was obvious, the registrar was notified, and did not take action beyond passing the notice to the website owner. *This* lack of action is what made them liable; TFA even explicitly states that generally, registrars are not liable if they do act promptly upon serious requests.
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:37AM (#46194143)

    So,
    - Some troublemaker files a false complaint to my registrar who, afraid of liability, immediately kills my domain and takes down not just web but email too.
    - Some troublemaker files a false complain to whoever sold microsoft.com and their complaint is forwarded to the trashcan.

    It's the DMCA again: Another trick internet bullies can use to silence and annoy anyone they dislike. I hope Anonymous figures this out and starts abusing the process,then we might see some attention given to the issue.

  • Re:on topic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GiantRobotMonster (1159813) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:48AM (#46194189)

    of course the guy that put up the street signs and the house numbers are responsible for what goes on inside the buildings; makes perfect sense to me.

    Also, fuck beta.

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:59AM (#46194223)

    I guess you didn't RTFA.

    the court ruled that the registrar had a duty to investigate after notification of infringing activity and had to take corrective action in case of obvious violations,

    The registrar did not investigate at all. What you are talking about is a knee jerk reaction. What the court is talking about is reasonable action.
    Combining the court scenario with your scenario would come out as follows;
    - Some troublemaker files a false complaint to my registrar. The registrar investigates and finds the complaint to be false and ignores it. The troublemaker goes to court, loses and has to pay the legal fees of the registrar.

    If Key-Systems ignores this ruling it faces a maximum fine of €250,000 (US$339,000).

    The registrar is not being fined if they follow the ruling. Their only cost would be the legal fees. If the troublemaker's claim was obviously bogus the court could award costs to the plantif so the registrar would be out nothing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:02AM (#46194235)

    The registrar did not investigate at all.

    Nor should they be required to enforce copyright for parasites like these.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:32AM (#46194341)

    Investigations cost money. If the registrar is making $30 a year on a domain, it isn't going to be worth a formal investigation. They might be concerned about getting a reputation as an 'easy takedown.'

    You want to see an example, you only need to look at the DMCA and youtube. DMCA complains are a standard tool of visious youtube fights - people DMCA videos that insult them, pseudoscience organisations use DMCA takedowns to take down videos condemning them*, political factions DMCA videos promoting opposing views. Even worse, it's largely automated. Bots take down anything that matches their filters - witness the rather amusing incident of the Hugo awards, which showed a clip (with permission), and found their ustream blocked mid-broadcast because the copyright holder had neglected to whitelist the show's stream channel on their enforcer bot, or the takedown of NASA's coverage of the Curiosity landing because a news channel automatically submitted everything they broadcast to the enforcer-bot.

    Investigations cost human time. It's also a risk - humans make errors. Unless you're a major customer, you're not worth that much as an individual. This will be especially true when someone realises that you can take the result from googling 'justin beiber intitle:"index of" ' and feed it straight into the mailer. There's no penalty for submitting false positives.

    *The producers of the HIV-denying nonsense 'house of numbers' have been doing a lot of this. Criticise the many, many errors and outright lies in their 'documentary' and you may well find a takedown headed your way.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @07:45AM (#46194575) Homepage

    It's only valued at zero the same way hollywood movies never make any profit; financial hacking to prevent paying tax and dividend.

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