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"Internet's Own Boy" Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim 157

Posted by timothy
from the until-proven-innocent dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a bitter irony, a documentary celebrating Aaron Swartz, the late Internet activist who helped create the Creative Commons, has been taken down from YouTube by a misguided copyright claim." From the article: [O]ne of the dark sides of how copyright is enforced on the Internet is that sites that don't actually infringe are sometimes mistakenly swept up in rightsholders' takedown notices, which are frequently automated. Visitors who tried to watch The Internet's Own Boy on YouTube Friday were greeted by the message, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Remove Your Media LLC," a reference to a company that specializes in sending copyright takedowns in accordance with the law that governs them, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). It's not clear who made the claim, but that's not the point—as activists are all too aware, false copyright claims can can knock legitimate content offline.
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"Internet's Own Boy" Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim

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  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 11, 2014 @07:04PM (#47435211)

    Is it me or is the mere fact that they automated the takedown notices speaking volumes of how frivolous the whole matter has become? Take them all down and let God sort them out, or how is that supposed to be?

    Am I the only one who thinks it's about time for some (serious) fines for frivolous takedown notices? It's not like they don't cost the media providers anything.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2014 @07:20PM (#47435327)

      Take them all down and let God sort them out

      Isn't that a quotation from the text of the DMCA?

      • by Narcocide (102829) on Friday July 11, 2014 @08:02PM (#47435569) Homepage

        I know you made this statement sarcastically but since you've referenced a very important and relevant point in history I'll mention for our younger readers that this is a popular paraphrase of a statement made by one Arnold Amaury during what has become now known broadly as "The Spanish Inquisition" when asked how he proposed they'd weed the heretics out of Béziers; his response was "Kill them all, God will know his own."

        The chilling parallels between The Inquisition and the current comparatively passive-aggressive war on freedom of information ought not be trivialized by satire.

    • Is it me or is the mere fact that they automated the takedown notices speaking volumes of how frivolous the whole matter has become? Take them all down and let God sort them out, or how is that supposed to be?

      Am I the only one who thinks it's about time for some (serious) fines for frivolous takedown notices? It's not like they don't cost the media providers anything.

      They're already supposed to be sworn under penalty of perjury, which beats the hell out of a "fine". The mechanism is already there, it's just that nobody seems to be interested in enforcing it.

      Whoever sent the takedown notice should be looking at jail time according to the law.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        The perjury clause isn't for the claim of infringement or mistaken claim, it's for the statement that you are a copyright owner and/or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. For the actually claimed infringement, it only takes a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

        Misidentifying a file would not be perjury. The best that could happen is damages and law f

        • by sjames (1099) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @02:41AM (#47436809) Homepage

          What we need is a revision that turns incorrect automated takedown notices into a contempt charge. That is exactly what it is., a failure to show the care and seriousness due to the DMCA process.

          • by ShakaUVM (157947)

            >What we need is a revision that turns incorrect automated takedown notices into a contempt charge. That is exactly what it is., a failure to show the care and seriousness due to the DMCA process.

            They considered this, but Goodlatte and other representatives in the pockets of industry explicitly rejected it because it might have a cooling effect on takedowns. :p

          • by Twylite (234238)

            Alternatively we need a legal precedent that a false claim of ownership of Copyright in a work is tort (e.g. trespass to chattels [wikipedia.org]) as the real owner is deprived of the use/benefits of the work; moreover if the claim was made dishonestly (the claimant knew it to be false) then the claim should be tantamount to theft [wikipedia.org]. Such a precedent could potentially be established in any common law jurisdiction.

        • But if the claimant doesn't have any copyright authority, I don't believe the claim is actionable under the DMCA. If I claim your video violates someone's copyright, YouTube is under no obligation. If I claim the video violates my copyright, only then is YouTube obligated to take down the video. And this triggers the perjury clause.

          • The perjury clause doesn't say what you think it says. If I own the rights on work A, to file a notice on work B, I claim that work B infringes work A. The perjury clause kicks in only if I do not own the rights to work A (or represent the person who does). If work B doesn't infringe, then that's a matter for the courts. This is quite annoying, but it does make sense. It's clear cut if works A and B are the same, but not in the case that B is a derived work of A. A court has to decide whether the use

            • You call that counterbalance?

              What's keeping me, a rights owner of a movie that's a real stinker, from silencing everyone who dared to do a negative review of it by carpet bombing any and all media pages with takedown notices for those reviews?

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Taking the DMCA in it's full wording, it seems it can be sufficiently twisted around to claim that a false DMCA takedown is in fact infringing the copyright management systems of the actual owner of the copyright who can then launch a DMCA claim against the false claimant who is using DMCA against them, especially via an automated system. This would enable the pursuit of criminal charges and the big dollar fines. So when a firm or individual makes repeated false claims thus impacting the copyright manageme

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      Am I the only one who thinks it's about time for some (serious) fines for frivolous takedown notices? It's not like they don't cost the media providers anything.

      Perhaps more effective would be to rain down takedown notices upon any group that shows anything. Just go through youtube and start at the A's. Claim copyright on every video, photograph, and PDF you can find - anywhere.

      And don't stop until the whole internetz is thrown into chaos.

      • Don't claim copyright on every video, this will make you guilty of perjury under the DMCA. Claim copyright on one video and then claim that every other video appears to be a derived work of that video. This is exactly the mechanism that the big studios use.
  • Pick up that can (Score:5, Interesting)

    by preaction (1526109) on Friday July 11, 2014 @07:04PM (#47435217)

    As long as our methods of content sharing are allowed to operate only by the grace of the major players (i.e. the rich), we will never be free.

    • by jelizondo (183861)

      Sorry for the bad news: we were never free.

      What has happened is that the elite has shorn any semblance of shame and decided to act according to its power.

      It's like they asked themselves: If we have the power, what do we care about appearances?

      Think back to satellite T.V. for example, in the U.S. it was (is?) theft to get the signal and decode it, in Canada it was fine to do it, because legally, the waves were in public space.

      • Re:Pick up that can (Score:4, Informative)

        by preaction (1526109) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @01:06AM (#47436625)

        But Youtube was supposed to change the world! Time magazine said it did! Instead, it and all other things like it are just another channel by which the major content providers are allowed to provide you with content. Consume, citizen!

        The DMCA requirements for good-faith are too lenient, clearly, if this many false-positives are allowed to continue. Google won't push back, it's not good business. And we won't stop using Youtube, ever.

        The Internet was allowed to be free only until there was money to be made.

  • in corporatese is meaningless without paying money. Every false claim takedown should have minimum damages applied, with opportunity for more damages possible.
    • by grahammm (9083)

      And those doing so should be also charged with perjury, as allowed for by DMCA. Claiming to own the rights to something to which you do not own the rights should be treated as being far more serious that copying (or distributing) something without permission (so called 'piracy').

  • and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Friday July 11, 2014 @07:10PM (#47435245) Homepage Journal

    as activists are all too aware, false copyright claims can can knock legitimate content offline.

    As not only activists but almost everyone aware of the rampant abuse going on has been claiming for years, it is high time that the "under penalty of perjury" part of the DMCA claims is actually enforced. Mistakes can happen, nobody is perfect, but some companies have been taking down large amounts of content for years, repeatedly and with not even a slap on the wrist.

    • Re:and... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ray-auch (454705) on Friday July 11, 2014 @07:51PM (#47435519)

      Read a DMCA claim wording _carefully_.

      What is sworn under penalty of perjury is that you are, or are authorised to act for, the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work, and that the other info in the notice is correct (which is I believe merely the location of infringed and allegedly infringing works, and your contact details). The notice is also an allegation of infringement hence you are swearing that you have made an allegation.

      What you are not doing is swearing that the allegation of infringement is in any way correct - that can only properly be decided by a court anyway.

      Or to put it another way:

      1. I allege the moon is made of jelly
      2. I swear under penalty of perjury that I have alleged that the moon is made of jelly

      1 + 2 = No perjury committed - even though everyone _knows_ that the moon is in fact made of cheese...

      • by sribe (304414)

        What is sworn under penalty of perjury is that you are, or are authorised to act for, the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work...

        Yes. Maybe you should read your own post again ;-)

        • by ray-auch (454705)

          I have read it again and I can swear that it still makes perfect sense to me. YMMV of course.

          Relevance of that line to the incident in TFA remains unknown, all we know is the allegedly infringing work. We do not know (at least from TFA) what work (call it Foo) that the movie was alleged to have infringed or who is behind the company making the DMCA claim and claiming to be authorized by copyright holder of Foo.

          • by sribe (304414)

            I have read it again and I can swear that it still makes perfect sense to me.

            Yes, it makes perfect sense. But it contradicts the point you were making.

            • by ray-auch (454705)

              Not to me it doesn't. The point that I was making is that it is useless going after false DMCA claims for perjury because the only tiny bit of the notice that is under penalty of perjury is not the bit that is wrong in false claims. This sentence:

              What is sworn under penalty of perjury is that you are, or are authorised to act for, the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work

              Is in fact the whole point - this is the _only_ bit of the notice that is under penalty of perjury. I allege that your work i

              • by sribe (304414)

                Not to me it doesn't. The point that I was making is that it is useless going after false DMCA claims for perjury because the only tiny bit of the notice that is under penalty of perjury is not the bit that is wrong in false claims.

                Ah, now I see where the confusion is. The thing is that you're wrong, because *MANY* of the stories about false claims on /. are about claims made by companies who do not have any rights whatsoever in the allegedly infringing work, including this story. Going after perjury charges for companies that make claims on works in which they have no rights would be a damn good start.

                • by ray-auch (454705)

                  Ah, now I see where the confusion is. The thing is that you're wrong, because *MANY* of the stories about false claims on /. are about claims made by companies who do not have any rights whatsoever in the allegedly infringing work, including this story. Going after perjury charges for companies that make claims on works in which they have no rights would be a damn good start.

                  I think you have just gone round in circles or are mixing up infringED and infringING. A DMCA notice makes no statement or claim whatsoever (let alone sworn) about any rights in the infringING work. It states merely that someone believes it is infringing another work - and even that is not under penalty of perjury. Remember that if a work infringes your work you may be able to stop its distribution but the infringement does not give you any rights to the work - a claim of infringement is simply not a cl

      • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Trailer Trash (60756) on Friday July 11, 2014 @08:09PM (#47435599) Homepage

        Read a DMCA claim wording _carefully_.

        What is sworn under penalty of perjury is that you are, or are authorised to act for, the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work....

        Correct. And since they're not authorized by the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work the statute should kick in.

        There's no way out. Someone perjured themselves and it's high time they get to see the inside of a jail cell. This crap stops tomorrow with one single example. Right now, there's literally no downside to filing thousands of frivolous claims. The worst that happens is... nothing. The whole point of the DMCA is that you can take stuff down but you have to put your own ass on the line in order to do so.

        There's tons of precedent for this, by the way. If I call the police and say "so and so robbed my house today" and then, when they come and investigate and find no evidence that my house was robbed I say "oh, well, not really" - I'm going to jail in that case. That's filing a false report and it's a crime.

        We do this for a reason. The DMCA was written like that for a reason. What we see right now is the direct result of lack of enforcement.

        • by ray-auch (454705)

          Correct. And since they're not authorized by the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work the statute should kick in.

          What work did they claim was infringed, and what proof is there that they are not authorized by the owner of that work - since TFA doesn't state.
          Do you have a copy of the notice ?

          Or, put another way:

          - I _allege_ "Internet's Own Boy" infringes copyright of "A work I made up yesterday"
          - I _swear_ I act on behalf of copyright owner of "A work I made up yesterday"

          Now, clearly we know that "Internet's Own Boy" cannot be derivative of "A work I made up yesterday", but that doesn't mean any perjury has been commi

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            For the content, one only needs a good faith belief. There could be a garage band in the background singing "row roe row your boat" and the automated whatever thinks it is part of some bands album and issues the warning. That would be a good faith belief that the content was infringing. But as you showed, would not be perjury.

        • by Solandri (704621)

          Correct. And since they're not authorized by the copyright owner of the allegedly infringed work the statute should kick in.

          For the umpteenth time, no that's not how the DMCA's perjury clause works.

          I own the rights to a video I made about dogs. I file a DMCA takedown notice claiming your video about cats violates my copyright.

          Because I am asserting you're infringing my video about dogs, and I own the copyright to that video, there is no perjury. I am legitimately filing takedown notices to protect

        • by ultranova (717540)

          The whole point of the DMCA is that you can take stuff down but you have to put your own ass on the line in order to do so.

          No, the point of the DMCA is that those with money can take stuff down.

          We do this for a reason. The DMCA was written like that for a reason. What we see right now is the direct result of lack of enforcement.

          What we see right now is the real face of copyright. This is the spirit of all such laws, no matter what their letter might say.

  • by buckfeta2014 (3700011) on Friday July 11, 2014 @07:16PM (#47435305)
    Youtube should really stop accepting DMCA requests from these nobody companies. If you own an IP, then man up and have the balls to file the claim yourself. I had a video containing nothing but video game footage taken down by a "music society", whatever that is. I fought it and won, but I shouldn't have had to go through that process.
    • by bl968 (190792) on Friday July 11, 2014 @10:03PM (#47436119) Journal

      I regularly receive false copyright claims on music which is clearly in the public domain and was performed live by Military bands. The company which files the claim should face criminal penalties for perjury, Once a false claim is made by a company, Youtube should be forced to remove their access to the content id system or should become directly liable for the false claims made by these companies.

      • by houghi (78078)

        The whole issue is who gets to decide if the clain is false or not.
        In Belgium the comany I used to work for we received several claims from SABAM [sabam.be] for people uploading things through e.g. napster and other sharing programs (So this dates back a while) asking first for the name and address of the people doing this.
        Legal told me to caugh it up and I told them no, because of the law on privacy. They must come with a legal order, otherwise WE would be punishable as a company. That was something they did not want

        • by bl968 (190792)

          You can when the works are clearly in the public domain, which means no one can legally claim copyright on these items.

  • >[O]ne of the dark sides of how copyright is enforced on the Internet

    Not exactly, it's just Google. I can understand that they want to automate as much as possible because everything else would make it more complicated on their side, but it's still just Google.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I already migrated my videos from youtube to archive.org for other reason. The player has some issues but otherwise seems similar.

    It looks like this [archive.org]

    Karel Kulhavy Twibright Labs [twibright.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That is why I have always advocated strong penalties for filing false claims. Something the copyright industry lobbies heavily against because it would require them to prove infringement rather than automatically sending out thousands of claims in the suspicion that one or two percent of them might contain actual infringing content.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The summary makes it sound like bad faith DMCA takedowns are an accident. They're not. There is real malice here.

  • What's really needed (short of scrapping the whole thing) is to change the law so that DMCA takedowns must be of the form "I declare under penalty of perjury that I am the owner of this copyrighted material, and it is being used here in violation of my copyright." And start putting some of these bastards in jail for perjury if they keep this crap up.
    • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Friday July 11, 2014 @08:10PM (#47435607) Homepage

      What's really needed (short of scrapping the whole thing) is to change the law so that DMCA takedowns must be of the form "I declare under penalty of perjury that I am the owner of this copyrighted material, and it is being used here in violation of my copyright." And start putting some of these bastards in jail for perjury if they keep this crap up.

      That's how the DMCA is already written. The problem is the lack of enforcement, not the law.

      • by Binestar (28861) on Friday July 11, 2014 @11:07PM (#47436373) Homepage

        Except the DMCA is *NOT* written like that.

        http://www.law.cornell.edu/usc... [cornell.edu]

        The relevant portion:

        (3) ELEMENTS OF NOTIFICATION
        (A) To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:
        (i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
        (ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
        (iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.
        (iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
        (v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
        (vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

        Notice the wording of section VI: A Statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, THAT THE COMPLAINING PARTY IS AUTHORIZED TO ACT...

        The only part of any of that in a DMCA takedown is a statement under penalty of perjury that you are actually authorized to send DMCA by the owner of the material you are saying this infringes against. There is no perjury on any other portion of it, including the good faith, or accuracy notification.

        This law was written specifically this way to protect any agent of copyright holders from mistakes and/or malice.

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Since the notification was clearly not check for accuracy then you'd hope perjury should apply - but so far in the life of the DMCA it has NEVER applied. Shortcuts should be dealt with and eliminated instead of being the normal situation.
          • by ray-auch (454705)

            Read the parent post.

            _Statement_ that the notification is accurate.
            _Sworn under penalty of perjury_ that the complaining party is authorized to act.

            There is _no_ penalty in the law for inaccuracy in any part of the notification other than your authority to act, perjury does _not_ apply because the only bit it applies to is trivial to get right and is not the bit that is almost always wrong in false notices.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              Yes I read it and was complaining about the loophole in the DMCA which has meant perjury for false claims has never applied despite a vast number of false claims. There's things that are effectively spambots for DMCA notifications out there.
              • by ray-auch (454705)

                Yes you did - sorry, somehow I read "never been applied (enforced)" instead of "never applied".

                Good job I am only a lawyer in my nightmares...

  • How can you make a DMCA claim, while withholding both the name of the copyright holder and the particular copyrights involved?

    If there is zero burden of proof, then what is to stop someone from sending a DMCA takedown notice for EVERYTHING on youtube?

  • Refresh my memory... (Score:4, Informative)

    by bistromath007 (1253428) on Friday July 11, 2014 @09:42PM (#47436023)
    Why again are we still supposed to use the ballot box instead of the bullet box?
    • Why again are we still supposed to use the ballot box instead of the bullet box?

      Because if you can rally enough people to your cause to actually win a war, then you can rally enough people to win an election. The system is designed to have an easier method for regime change than bloodshed, and for good reason: after a typical revolution, the chances of ending up with something better are not high.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The system is designed to have an easier method for regime change than bloodshed

        Correct. And that's why the voting system has been thoroughly compromised. [snagfilms.com] So the only avenue left is protest. Ah, but we've got "protections" in place to keep you from doing that as well. [theguardian.com]

        Self satisfied people like you are actually sucking their own cocks. I, on the other hand, am not satisfied with my own self delusions, and actually seek out the fucking information available before I attempt to make up my mind. Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining, especially not if you haven't even tried lo

        • Correct. And that's why the voting system has been thoroughly compromised. [snagfilms.com] So the only avenue left is protest. Ah, but we've got "protections" in place to keep you from doing that as well. [theguardian.com]

          Protesting is for tools, and people who don't understand the system.

  • Perjury charges were promised for false claims. If the DCMA can't be repealed why not amend it to what was promised when it was being voted on?
  • by chromaexcursion (2047080) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @12:40AM (#47436581)
    When the DMCA laws were first proposed, there was supposed to be a penalty for making a false claim.
    Obviously this needs to be re-visited.
    Automated or not, someone set up the system. "Oh. I'm sorry. My Automated script did it". Make them pay a fine. One which increases for each false claim.
    Another problem is third party enforcement. Rights holders hire companies to do this for them, then wash their hands of it. Make the original rights holders responsible. That's the way is works in the brick and mortar world. Own a building, you're liable. If a contractor does shoddy, you're responsible. Though you may be able to sue the contractor.
    As people and companies are claiming (and in many cases justly so) real rights to content on the internet. It's time to bring the other side of that coin into play. If someone wrongly says they own part of your yard, you're entitled to damages.
    Get off my yard.
    • If someone wrongly says they own part of your yard, you're entitled to damages.

      Get off my yard.

      prepare to be damaged!

    • by phorm (591458)

      "Oh. I'm sorry. My Automated script did it"

      Yeah, let's see that excuse save somebody's ass when it's a botnet taking out a media company's site. Oh wait, it won't. So why is it a valid excuse for media companies performing takedowns of other's people's content?

  • 1 - Write an automated take down script :
    For each $contentProvider
    {
    For each $content in getCatalog($contentProvider)
    {
    if(true)
    sen

  • This outstanding article at Vice by Matt Stoller is well worth reading,

    http://www.vice.com/read/aaron... [vice.com]


    http://www.thestranger.com/sea... [thestranger.com]
  • The DMCA sucks. It may be useful to also pursue additional legal means. False/unwarranted takedown notices are a form of harassment, particularly when there's a pattern of such, and it's not "mere relatively rare accident". Sue the party submitting the takedown notice and the copyright holder authorizing the party to submit such, get a restraining order against them issuing any such unwarranted takedown notices against any of your content, and if/when they violate such restraining order, notify law enforcem
  • You can have someone else than the actual copyright owner legally send the DMCA notice? So it is actually legalized one sided trolling. For the DMCA notice to be removed and the content restated you have to sent a counter claim including your personal details to the original claimant... which means that you have to give out your details while the "claimed owner" of the first notice, the one who hired this entity to send out the DMCA notice can stay totally in the dark? This system is even more fucked up tha
  • Maybe there needs to be a financial incentive to make sure your take down notice is valid. A fine of some sort, of the take down has been found flagrantly bad.

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