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Piracy Google The Courts Entertainment

Google Says Almost Every Recent 'Trusted' DMCA Notices Were Bogus (torrentfreak.com) 83

Reader AmiMoJo writes: In comments submitted to a U.S. Copyright Office consultation, Google has given the DMCA a vote of support, despite widespread abuse. Noting that the law allows for innovation and agreements with content creators, Google says that 99.95% of URLs it was asked to take down last month didn't even exist in its search indexes. "For example, in January 2017, the most prolific submitter submitted notices that Google honored for 16,457,433 URLs. But on further inspection, 16,450,129 (99.97%) of those URLs were not in our search index in the first place."
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Google Says Almost Every Recent 'Trusted' DMCA Notices Were Bogus

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday February 23, 2017 @02:44PM (#53919039)

    Why should I check my demands, just carpet bomb them with everything and whatever hits is fine by me.

    How about this: Whatever the punishment for not following through with a rightful demand should be meted out for every bogus one made in bad faith.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Got hit with a bogus violation years ago.

      A law firm sent out official looking paperwork en masse, to podunk regional ISPs claiming zomg copyright infringement from various IPs.

      Turns out, the law firm was unaffiliated with the rights holder of the songs in question (from an artist I've literally never heard); indeed, the law firm was not even an actual law firm. They did have a nice seedy looking form where you could pay $100 to make your violation just magically go away, however.

      My ISP wasn't interested in

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Legally defined bad faith is hard to prove. We would need some metric, like number or proportion of bogus requests where bad faith is legally presumed. Of course, if a reasonable person hearing/viewing the target of the takedown knows it isn't the complainant's property, that too should be presumed to be bad faith..

      • When 99+ percent of your claims are bogus, it's pretty much a given that you're not acting on good faith.

        Just leave the bad faith out if it bothers you. You make a bogus claim, you pay.

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Sure, to you and me it's a given. But it needs to be written into law so we don't get bizarro decisions in court.

          • That's why our judges get some leeway when it comes to interpreting laws. Else you get people who search for loopholes and get away with it.

    • That's probably why Google is publicizing this. To point out that the DMCA badly needs a disincentive for filing false takedown claims. If only 0.05% of claims are even factually correct (not even considering if they're legally valid), that's a huge problem with the law.
  • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Thursday February 23, 2017 @02:46PM (#53919043)

    Google should tweak their algorithm to block takedown requesters who are spamming google with generic requests.

    • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday February 23, 2017 @02:59PM (#53919143)

      IF Bogus_Takedown > 0
          SET Require_Review = True
          SET Charge_Fee = True

      When their DMCA takedown request processing rate drops from millions per month to a few per day and comes with a bill for the reviewer's time, maybe they'll smarten up.

      • by nobuddy ( 952985 )

        Even easier.
        Require studios to register for automated submission.
        Studio abuses system- kick them out and require manual submission via snail mail.

        Studio will either stop abusing, or be stoppped from abusing. Win-win

  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday February 23, 2017 @02:46PM (#53919045)

    DMCA takedown requests for non-existent URLs, especially at a 99.97% invalid rate, should be evidence that the requestor is not properly verifying their DMCA claims and should:

    A) Lose their right to continue to submit 'trusted' DMCA takedown requests

    B) Be charged under the DMCA for filing false claims.

    But we know that will never happen.

  • by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Thursday February 23, 2017 @02:48PM (#53919067)

    If notices had to be signed as accurate by an officer of the company that sent them under threat of perjury, and if it was possible for someone who was affected by a bogus notice to then start the wheels on a process that would see said officer of the company end up doing a few days in jail for that perjury I would think we'd see bogus notices drop to near zero.

    But of course that would only happen in a world where the lawmakers actually cared about doing what was right, not what their donors wanted.

    • All patent applications are signed under penalty of perjury. However, the US Patent and Trademark office disbanded its enforcement department in 1974. So, you can perjure yourself on a patent application with impunity.

      Unless it's testimony in a criminal case, or the perjury trap in front of a grand jury, or something they want to prosecute like lying on your tax form, the Federal government is in general lassiez faire about perjury, or even encouraging of it with their reluctance to prosecute, especially pe

      • Exactly my point. I knew they were technically already perjury but it doesn't mean anything if it is never enforced.

  • When you (Google) detect that a medium- or high-volume submitter has "obvious flaws" in more than a very small percentage of its submissions, suspend their "trusted sender" status until the flaws are fixed.

    Ditto if more than a small percentage of a medium- or high-volume submitter's requests get overturned or "overturned by default" by an un-challenged counter-notice.

    For low-volume submitters, the "kick out" threshold would need to be much higher, something like "5 bad submissions out of the last 10 or 10 b

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Thursday February 23, 2017 @03:27PM (#53919363) Homepage

    When I RTFA, it seems like there are 100s of millions of DCMA requests going out each year - 35 million in the "latter half of September 2016"?

    Even if "detection" (I don't know how good their detection process is if 99%+ of the claims are not found by Google) filing costs came out to a dollar per then I would think the cost to the industry would be $250+ million.

    Looking at Warner Music revenues (the first company I could think of: https://www.statista.com/stati... [statista.com]), I would think that the cost of filing all these claims amounts to around 5% or so of total revenue.

    Two things came to mind thinking about this:
    1. The music company accountants should be going apeshit over the cost of this program and the damage to the company's bottom line.
    2. There's a whole bunch of money to be made creating an application for generating DCMA demands that reduces the number of DCMA requests (and the total cost of the requests) by 10x or more.

    • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Thursday February 23, 2017 @03:57PM (#53919607)

      You grossly overestimate the cost per notice. To the rights holder the cost is basically zero. the automated system that google set up gets automated complaints generated by an automated system at the company submitting the complaints. There was a one time setup fee for developing the system, and it can run indefinitely in a closet somewhere unmonitored for decades.

      Do you really think there'd be this many takedown requests if if cost actual money to process them?

      • You grossly overestimate the cost per notice. To the rights holder the cost is basically zero.

        Well, the copyright holder first has to determine whether the content is actually infr-- (snicker, choke, guffaw)

        Sorry, I just couldn't get that whole sentence out while keeping a straight face.

        • Well, the copyright holder first has to determine whether the content is actually infr-- (snicker, choke, guffaw)

          No, the copyright owner has to check that the content would be infringing if it was the content that they think it is. For example if there are two songs with the same title, and you own the rights to one of them, it is not illegal to send a notice for a song with that title - as long as you own the one that you think it is, even if you're wrong.

  • The most prolific submitter needs to be banned from the Internet forever.
  • Someone charges by the numbers for those take down notices. Someone at the media conglomerates got fleeced.

  • The question I have is: what makes a notice "bogus"? It could mean at least any of the following: the URL never returned any useful content (returns a 404 or similar); the URL used to return content, but does not currently; the domain is not responding; the URL is not indexed by Google; the URL returns content, but none that contains a whiff of the copyrighted material; or other possibilities.

    If the only thing "bogus" is that the URL is not indexed by Google (but does impermissibly contain copyrighted

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