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Censorship The Media

EFF Launches "Takedown Hall of Shame" 163

netbuzz writes "Recognizing that public shame is a potent weapon, the Electronic Frontier Foundation today launched a new Web site — its Takedown Hall of Shame — that will shine an unflattering spotlight on those corporations and individuals who abuse copyright claims to stifle free speech. Among the early inductees are NPR, NBC, CBS, and Diebold."
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EFF Launches "Takedown Hall of Shame"

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  • They forgot one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:08PM (#29890147) Journal

    How about the Church of Scientology?
    Their censorship is the entire reason the /b/tards started harassing them.

    • Re:They forgot one (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:14PM (#29890223) Journal

      ...what, and get sued?

      (sadly, while originally typed that in a half-assed attempt to be funny, I can almost seeing the Xenuphiles doing exactly that...)

    • by bfmorgan ( 839462 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:14PM (#29890225)
      EFF might not have enough lawyers to fight the take down notices from the Church of Scientology... Whoops, I just got one.
      • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:39PM (#29890581)

        EFF might not have enough lawyers to fight the take down notices from the Church of Scientology... Whoops, I just got one.

        Since we're on the topic of getting sued by an organization that managed to shit an entire religion out of a tinfoil hat within the last decade or three, who's up for a Church of Common Sense? Anyone? Can I get a Hell Yeah!?!

        Damn Tom, I was just kidding man, chill...John, c'mon man I need my Interne...

        • by LandDolphin ( 1202876 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @07:17PM (#29891045)

          Church of Common Sense

          To few members to start a church. At these small numbers, it would just be a cult.

          • that totally makes sense. you've proven the church out of existance, thanks.
        • who's up for a Church of Common Sense?

          Sounds good, but the name "Scientology" also sounds like something reasonable and look how that turned out. A "Church of common sense" might in reality be some type of death cult where I give them all my live savings and they boil me alive to remove evil pirate ghosts from spiritual hotdogs that are following me around.

          Oops, sorry, that would again be scientology. The level of knowledge of the pirate ghost hot dogs is $900,000, their collection agents will be contacting all of us shortly.

          • I remember when I was a kid, didn't know what to call myself but wanted to say I believed in science. Was interested in Christian Science and Scientology due to that. Holy hell was that a wrong direction.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bertoelcon ( 1557907 )
          I would much rather just consider Common Sense a superpower now.
        • who's up for a Church of Common Sense? Anyone? Can I get a Hell Yeah!?!

          I'm working on it - it's harder than you think. Anyone can start a religion, but getting one that has enough momentum (and evangelism) to sustain and grow isn't easy. It's even harder when one refuses to use deception, doesn't preach eternal damnation for those who don't believe, and encourages people to think and challenge the teachings themselves.

          And no, I'm not kidding.

      • Gentlemen, Start your attorneys!
      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        I just browsed the site a little, there's an important thing missing -- the names of the law firms the people abusing the DMCA are using. They should be shamed as well; they're even worse, as they should have told their clients that they didn't have a snowball's chance in hell.

        Yay EFF! Not sure what I'd do if one of those sociopaths sent me a takedown.

        • Most of those companies probably used in-house counsel (not that they're any better) - and probably only went to outside legal if it was contested and ended in court. Hell, I'm sure for many of those notices, it was probably only a paralegal, if not someone in the legal dept, not a JD. You don't need to be a lawyer to send a DMCA.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The EFF even covered [] scientology takedowns!

      Also, project chanology is a steaming mess of faggotry. The EFG masks and microsoft voice synthesized youtube videos reek of internet tuff guy.

    • by nstlgc ( 945418 )
      MOD PARENT UP. The Church of Scientology has repeatedly used copyright to stifle free speech.
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      That was the first thing that hit me. Those guys should win a lifetime achievement award or something. Maybe they sued and forced the EFF to take down their award.
  • Video professor (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:14PM (#29890215)

    What happened to Video Professor []? Should have made the list IMO:

    In mid-August, in federal court in Denver, the Video Professor, a self-proclaimed consumer advocate, sued his own customers for posting comments on two consumer comment Web sites. The sites, and, are run by a Nevada company, Leonard Fitness, Inc.

    The Professor alleged that his detractors had violated federal trademark laws by saying negative things about the name of his product, as well as committing defamation and several violations of state law

    • Re:Video professor (Score:4, Informative)

      by ubercam ( 1025540 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @07:02PM (#29890849)

      The EFF has an email address for just such a purpose. You can find the link at the bottom of TFA []. Perhaps you should let them know about it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or FOX News? I see NBC/MSNBC listed. What about fox? With all the hate I see directed at them from Usenet posters and even our own White House, surely they must be enemy #1 when it comes to censorship.


      They don't censor free speech? Hmmm; guess the anti-fox bias has no basis.

      • Or FOX News? I see NBC/MSNBC listed.

        No, you do not see MSNBC listed, unless you have a very vivid imagination. MSNBC's parent NBC Universal is a hardass about SNL footage (except for Andy Samberg's digital shorts, which they don't own) showing up on YouTube and consistently issues takedowns over such clips. This has nothing to do with MSNBC or your personal political differences with that channel.

        Hmmm; guess the anti-fox bias has no basis.

        Let me see if I'm following your "logic" correctly.

        This EFF web

  • I think given the high volume of abuse by some of these people, wouldn't some sort of tally/grouping work better? Also, what exactly are the criteria being employed by the EFF here?

  • I understand that they are trying to make a point about applying fair-use across the board. But you'd think they'd choose something other than NPR trying to mute gay bashes as an example. It's like trying to get bees with vinegar.

    PS. here's the censored youtube clip incase you were wondering what was actually said.

    • oops, messed up the html; here's the link [].
    • Re:NPR? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by schnikies79 ( 788746 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:24PM (#29890359)

      Free speech is free speech. Picking and choosing your examples is just as bad as censorship.

      • The rule is: The only words you can't legally spread, are lies. Because they actually damage someone's life/reputation/etc. See it as subtracting from normal state: 0 - x

        But what these companies do, is keeping up an artificial false view of them, and sue anyone who tries to tell the truth. Like a child rapist saying "I'm a really good person with children. And I sue anyone who disagrees!". See it as removing the addition to normal state: 0+x-x (where the first 1 is their lies, and the second one is the corr

    • >>>you'd think they'd choose something other than NPR trying to mute gay bashes as an example

      The Maine citizens who produced the "marriage is for heterosexuals" advertisement doesn't have a right to free speech? They deserved to have their ad taken-down from youtube??? This is the anti-free speech position you are adopting?!?!? Not very progressive of you.

      • I think the GP was making the point that some 'evils' are greater than others.

        Obviously though, if you want to choose the greatest evil, always go for the option with Cthulhu.
        • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

          And who decides what is more evil? That is why we have free speech. Both sides can present their arguments and the voters decide. When you start deciding that an idea is too evil for the people to hear you then have set your self up as God. You determine who is worthy of freedom of speech?

          • Free speech requirements only applies to the government.

            It is in turn a form of free speech for a non-government agency to refuse to give voice to someone else's exercising of their own free speech. So a news agency which refuses to repeat points of view it finds objectionable is itself a form of free speech.

            Like it or not, news agencies must filter whose points of view they're willing to give voice to. Even in a perfect world, with a perfect news agency, there is no meaningful way to give equal weight to

            • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

              That has nothing to do with this case. NPR published this media. Another group used it in a way that is totally legal under the concept of fair use.
              NPR tried to use legal means to get that media removed. It would be fine for NPR to say we don't like that being used in that way but they had no right to send a take down notice. Since the take down didn't happen the system worked.
              The problem is when people think that it is okay for NPR to send a take down notice but not when say FOX news does based on what the

    • It's like trying to get bees with vinegar.'re saying it will work better than using honey? [] =P

    • Re:NPR? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @07:03PM (#29890867)
      The one thing I hate the most is hypocrites. I'm a staunch advocate of same-sex couples having the same legal rights as mixed-sex couples, but fair use is fair use. Your principles should apply equally to those whom you esteem and those whose viewpoints you find repugnant. Opponents of same sex marriage have a first amendment right to use any legal, non-threatening method to communicate their viewpoint to others. I'd prefer they stick to facts, but apparently they have no legal obligation to do so, and except for being taken out of context, use of this clip was entirely factual. As Voltaire is credited with saying, "I may not agree with what you are saying, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it."
      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        I think there's another facet to it though, you have to look at the thinking behind the use of such take down notices.

        Companies like the media companies do it because they think it's right, because they think they should be able to block and stifle fair use, groups like NPR most likely do not agree with that stance, however are embroiled in a battle where dirty tactics are used, and if the tactic is available then they might as well use it.

        It doesn't mean they inherently support the existence of such laws.

        • Judge by actions (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nerdposeur ( 910128 )

          The test of whether someone is fit for the list should really be "Would this company support the creation of such takedown laws factoring in the damage they can have on fair use if they did not exist".

          Which is impossible to answer. You're giving NPR the benefit of the doubt, but not others. Why? All these organizations might say, via their PR people, "we don't like this tactic, but we have to do it." How would you decide who is lying?

          It may well be that NPR agrees with you entirely, but if they don't use it

    • The antidote to speech with which you do not agree is more free speech, not limits on speech. As much as I might not like that message, if we start getting into battles about what's acceptable and what's not, then it's inevitable that everyone will be unhappy with the result.

      That ad was ridiculous, but it did not incite violence, did not include anything approaching hate speech. It was idiocy and should--and could--be countered by other communication presenting the other side.

      It's a pity that cateri
  • NPR is on here? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:22PM (#29890339) Journal

    Since we the taxpayers are paying for National Public Radio, shouldn't all their productions be considered public domain, or at least open-licensed, under U.S. Congressional law?

    Stand for Marriage Maine (SMM) created an ad criticizing same-sex marriage that excerpted a brief portion of an All Things Considered interview. Although the ad's use of the content was clearly necessary to its critical political message, NPR sent a takedown demand to YouTube resulting in the removal of the video. NPR failed to recognize that SMM's excerpting is simply another clear-cut example of a fair use in political speech -- the 21st century equivalent of an issue pamphlet.

    • Re:NPR is on here? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ral ( 93840 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:41PM (#29890605)
      About 2% of NPR's funding comes from the government []
      • I don't know where you got "2%" but I see this in the link provided:

        - 11% from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which is federally funded
        - 9% from licensee support [National Science Foundation and Endowment for the Arts]
        - 5% from local and state governments

        So we taxpayers own about one-quarter of the products produced. If NPR wants to maintain control, that's fine with me, but their programs should be open-licensed to any non-commercial citizen who desires to use their programs.

        • Re:NPR is on here? (Score:4, Informative)

          by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @07:03PM (#29890869)

          Your assumptions are incorrect. The CPB might get federal funding, but only about 17% of its budget comes from the federal government. 23% of it comes from state and local tax revenues, and 60% of the rest comes from private contributions. That makes about 2% of the NPR budget coming out of federal sources.

          I also don't understand why you equate licensee support with NSF and endowment for the arts. NPR material is licensed to local radio stations for use - there actually is no NPR station. Only stations that carry NPR material.

          So taxpayers across the nation own about 2% of the products produced. And if you want access to their material, I can pretty much download anything I want from the sites of the various local stations.

          So what's your point exactly? That they ought to be smacked down for abusing copyright in the case listed? Sure. That they somehow are owned by all Americans? Hardly. If anything, they are owned by those who contribute directly.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Okay thanks for the corrections but you still said, "About 2% of NPR's funding comes from the government," and by your own numbers that's not true. CPB donation == (17% from U.S. + 23% state/local government)* 11% == 4.4% given to NOR. And the article says an additional 5% is donated directly to NP$ by state/local government.

            That's still almost 10% coming from the government (our pockets). If Obama can order around Bank of America and demand that the top 100 managers get 50% paycuts,

            • Sheesh, you can't read, can you? I said federal government. That means that unless you live in the state that happens to support NPR via a grant, you only contribute 2% to the budget of NPR.

              Finally, the federal government orders AIG around because without the bailout, it would cease to exist. As a result, it is nonsensical to hand out performance bonuses. If Obama wants to cut $900k from the federal budget, I'm sure NPR would continue to produce content.

              As for the state budgets, you don't get to bitch about

              • Not you. This guy:

                by ral (93840)

                About 2% of NPR's funding comes from the government []

                He said government. He said nothing about federal, so contributions from "government" would also include state and local governments, and raises the percentage to about 10%, not 2

                Personally I don't think NPR should be receiving *any* funding. It's not as if we are lacking for sources of information (dozens of radio stations, hundreds of tv channels, and millions of websites).

        • by ral ( 93840 )
          From the article I linked:

          A very small percentage -- between one percent to two percent of NPR's annual budget -- comes from competitive grants sought by NPR from federally funded organizations, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

          The data you referenced is how individual stations get funded, not NPR itself. But your point is well taken - a portion of NPRs funding comes from those stations, so the amount of government subsidy is arguable a bit higher than 2 percent.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrmeval ( 662166 )

        They get for free multi-billion dollar valued airwaves all over the country. That '2%' you cite is more if you consider the taxes not collected from the 98 percent donated. So I own their output until I'm paid back my share of that plus interest plus whatever fees they do not pay on the FCC license going back when they got their bucket of largess.

        • Yeah, and I own churches too since they don't pay taxes. I also own HAM radios. You're stupid.

        • WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by namespan ( 225296 )

          They get for free multi-billion dollar valued airwaves all over the country.

          Neither NPR nor CPB actually have any spectrum, let alone get it for free. They produce programming which is licensed by other broadcasters. The radio stations themselves are generally operated by public education institutions (with the occasional private university or ad hoc community organization thrown in).

          That '2%' you cite is more if you consider the taxes not collected from the 98 percent donated.

          Are we going to claim ownersh

    • The majority of NPR's funding comes from listener contributions. About 2% comes from government grants. Even the most conservative assessment of where the funding comes from tops out at about 5%. I'm just curious as to how you would enforce that 2%-5%. Should that fraction of each production be public domain? Should 2-5% of all productions be public domain? Or should the donors own the copyright to the shows?

      • Is that an attempt to argue that none of it should be in the public domain?

        It seems reasonable to suggest that information produced with any level of public funding should belong to the public. Don't like the terms? Don't take public funding.
    • Since we the taxpayers are paying for National Public Radio, shouldn't all their productions be considered public domain, or at least open-licensed, under U.S. Congressional law?

      By that logic, all government funded research and drug discovery should be considered public domain as well....

      • by znerk ( 1162519 )

        By that logic, all government funded research and drug discovery should be considered public domain as well...

        ... and the issue here would be...?

        As another poster stated (emphasis mine):

        It seems reasonable to suggest that information produced with any level of public funding should belong to the public. Don't like the terms? Don't take public funding.

        I don't see any problems, here.

    • Since we the taxpayers are paying for National Public Radio

      National Public Radio is a private nonprofit that receives most of its funding through membership dues from its member stations, subscription charges from stations to use NPR programming, and corporate sponsorship (corporate sponsorship alone provides around 1/4 of NPR's funding), with somewhere around 2% from various government grants.

    • Consider NPR a private organization with a (very small) government subsidy. Does everything with a subsidy automatically become public domain?
  • Clear number 1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:31PM (#29890475)

    Shouldn't the number one "shame" spot go to the congress that passed the DMCA?

    • Re:Clear number 1 (Score:5, Informative)

      by RIAAShill ( 1599481 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @07:19PM (#29891063)

      Shouldn't the number one "shame" spot go to the congress that passed the DMCA?

      No. The DMCA does not mandate removal of allegedly infringing materials. Without the DMCA, copyright holders could still send "cease and desist" letters to service providers, or otherwise request that allegedly infringing materials be removed. Service providers would then have to decide whether to comply with the demand/request or risk being held liability for monetary damages, perhaps under a theory of secondary liability []. Even worse, service providers might have faced monetary damages even if they were unaware of specific acts of copyright infringement.

      The DMCA "notice and takedown []" safe harbor provides a voluntary way for service providers to avoid monetary liability based on the potentially infringing activities of their users. Even better, if users issue a counter notice, then the service provider can replace the allegedly infringing materials without incurring monetary liability.

      Service providers that use the DMCA notice and takedown safe harbor are thus able to provide public fora without being having an incentive to police user activity to minimize the risk of owing damages in their users engage in copyright infringement. This is good from a free speech perspective.

      If a takedown notice is sent, service providers do not have to comply . They can keep the materials online, provided they are willing to risk being found liable. Thus, service providers who choose to use the DMCA to protect themselves from obvious instances of infringement can still choose to protect the availability of their users' submissions.

      This is good for service providers and good for users. Why do you think Slashdot [] has designated an agent under the DMCA?

      Given the benefits of this provision, Congress should not be ashamed. Only those copyright holders who send out abusive takedown notices and the like, and those service providers who indiscriminatly hang their users out to dry, should be ashamed.

      • >>>if users issue a counter notice, then the service provider can replace the allegedly infringing materials without incurring monetary liability.

        This is where the DMCA idea falls-apart. If MSNBC issues a takedown against my youtube video because I uploaded the snippet where they called a gun-toting black man a "white racist" (i.e. a lie), and then I issue a counter notice to have the video restored, youtube will typically ignore me and side with MSNBC. Why? Because MSNBC has monetary pow

        • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

          No, that's where the youtube idea falls apart. Youtube doesn't give a shit about you, nor owe you anything. And yet, people keep stupidly using them to publish videos. Any real ISP (i.e. someone who wants to get Yet Another payment from you next month) will pay attention to your counter-notices.

      • Right. Lots of corporations are going to look at my fair use content and think, "Well, it's probably fair use, so let's put our necks on the line for user #3,734,173." Hah! No. Pull first, ask questions later. It's the rational thing for most businesses to do. Maybe you can find a company who will stand up for you, but will they serve your other needs? When the DMCA notice shows up, will they chicken out?

        I like the idea of the takedown provisions, but there are two serious flaws: One there is a ma

  • Chilling Effects? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Misch ( 158807 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @06:40PM (#29890587) Homepage

    I thought this is what Chilling Effects [] was for?

    Or was the EFF unable to push the spotlight idea through the other partners they have for Chilling Effects (Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.)

  • shocking! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @07:09PM (#29890943)

    A list of abusive, lying corporations that includes De Beers on it!

  • Warner Music, being the big pile of hate and control freaks they are, issued DMCA take down notices for videos on there own channel. The Slipknot video of PsychoSocial as the prime example. The local rock station would provide a link to the video, go to the link, and video removed by order of DMCA copyright infringement. As hosted under the Warner Music group channel, almost all the videos they had had the takedown notice. Why not just um, remove the video from the channel? I guess they needed to feed the l
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by roguetrick ( 1147853 )

      If I produced a Slipknot video, I'd DMCA myself too.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )
      I don't know how Content ID works, but it could be that a copyright owner has to have the video in its channel, even if set to private, for the Content ID system to work.
  • ....and this is a waste of time. If these people had any shame we wouldn't be in the position we're in, legitimate customers wouldn't end up out of pocket and with an unusable product etc. etc. This is like trying to shame that obnoxious house mate your friend has that doesn't shower or shave and walks around their apartment naked in mixed company.

  • ...who used their own news wire to send out a pre-emptive takedown notice to basically the entire Internet.

    But Fox is not there?.. How come? Why are they so special? Certainly could've come after all those calling them "Faux", for just one example...

    • Why isn't Fox there? The answer is simple. They don't deal in news, but rather in propaganda. A news organization wants to get some return on the investment of time, effort and money spent gathering and reporting news. Fox deals in propaganda, and doesn't care so much about profit. Fox is all about getting the message out and influencing public opinion. There will always be people willing to throw money at Fox for its consistent backing of a certain, predetermined point of view. They don't want to s

  • by blyloveranger ( 525451 ) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (regnarevolylb)> on Tuesday October 27, 2009 @11:20PM (#29892937)
    Anyone else worried about this turning into an infinite takedown notice loop the brings the whole internet to it's knees, as the corporations send takedown notices to take down the takedown notices which are then put up only to be followed up by more takedown notices for the takedown notices of the takedown notices, which of course will then have to be put... Can anyone stop this madness?
  • Its a crime (felony) to criticize food products in some states (Texas for example). Your basically fucked unless your name is Oprah and you got $1 mill laying around to defend yourself.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern