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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the Is-a-digital-millennium-1024-years? dept.

Fluffeh writes:

A new paper published in the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology shows that the number of DMCA notices received by Google increased 711,887 percent in four years. The increase can be credited to a few copyright holders and industry groups such as the RIAA, who started an avalanche of takedown requests after the SOPA and PIPA bills died in Congress.

New research by Stanford Law School's Daniel Seng reveals that online services such as Google and Twitter have seen a surge in takedown requests in recent years. In fact, drawing on data from ChillingEffects.org, Seng finds that the number of DMCA notices processed by Google increased 711,887 percent in four years, from 62 in 2008 to 441,370 in 2012.

The most active copyright holders up until 2012 were the RIAA, Froytal and Microsoft, each listing more than five million notices. Seng's paper doesn't include the most recent data, but Google's Transparency Report shows that these numbers more than doubled again in 2013.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:48PM (#21492)

    I really think that someone (maybe google since they have a shitload of cash) should challenge in court wether automated takedown requests are valid and or legal.
    We all know that a lot of false positives are among these requests and seems to contradict both the letter and spirit of the law.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by enharmonix on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:18PM

      by enharmonix (1891) <enharmonix+soylentnews@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:18PM (#21508)

      I really think that someone (maybe google since they have a shitload of cash) should challenge in court wether automated takedown requests are valid and or legal.

      I agree with the cash thing but not the courts. Why fight the spirit of the law for years when you have the option to change the letter in a couple of months?
       
      I really can't decide how to react to the inevitable outcome, though. Buying votes to eliminate a bad law is kind of like killing puppies to feed starving orphans.

      • (Score: 1) by DECbot on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:55PM

        by DECbot (832) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:55PM (#21533) Journal

        Buying votes to eliminate a bad law is kind of like killing puppies to feed starving orphans.

        What's the problem? You're just using your money for the good of the public.

        Oh... wait, I see what you're saying now. But if you serve old dog to the orphans, the meat will be tough.

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:06PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:06PM (#21541)

          starving orphans > puppies
          I don't really see any problems with this? Can someone explain why it would be bad to feed the orphans?

          • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:38PM

            by Lagg (105) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @03:38PM (#21562) Homepage Journal
            This is what we in the field call an analogy. It wouldn't be, but you'd rather give them golden corn or something first and then resort to killing one animal to feed another next if that proves impossible. Same thing here. I don't know if I agree with it necessarily, google is just sitting on their asses lately and giving these parasites tools to harass people. They pretend it's out of their control but something tells me that's a lie, being that they're fucking google. So personally I'd rather see them drop the money in court and at least put in the minimal effort since this is getting ridiculous. I have a tiny little youtube channel that has gotten hit by copyright matches 5 times now since I started my project. I naturally challenge each one since the author of the program using the music gives explicit license, but sometimes they reject the dispute and at that point google basically says: "You can appeal this rejection but if the challenging party also rejects the appeal you will lose your account". A bit one sided right? Nothing like giving parasites the power of judge, jury and executioner.

            Long story short: Why shouldn't google get off their lazy asses and do something about it. The only way they can justify helping this trash harass their users is because they get kickbacks.
            --
            http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by enharmonix on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:05PM

    by enharmonix (1891) <enharmonix+soylentnews@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:05PM (#21500)

    ...because Google has lots of money and coincidentally some lobbyists too and for completely unrelated and entirely benevolent reasons, Congress listens to Google. Now we've just got to wait for them to discuss it. Once they do that, there's a good chance Capitol Hill will finally acknowledge what colossal abuse of consumer rights the DMCA actually is and how it's in the public interest to repeal it.

    Would you look at that? I didn't know it was possible to both optimistic and cynical at the same time. This must be that ambivalence thing I've heard so much about.

    • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:23PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:23PM (#21510)

      Welcome to a New World Citizen. You will enjoy being miserable /s

      It may be possible that a way to fix this is to begin to incur a cost for every Takedown notice that is incorrect. This way Google may still have to perform the request, but could now add that the "victim" could challenge through Google to prove the infringement. If it turns out to be in error, Google charges the requester. THe other option is to start charging for every take down submitted (working that into law). I would consider that to be quite the dampener on automated notices.

      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:23PM

        by edIII (791) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:23PM (#21808)

        Yeah, and why the hell not charge for it?

        If you think about it for a second gubbermint charges administrative fees everywhere .

        For something like a DMCA takedown request it can easily be argued in court that Google can't automate something like that yet. A human being is required to review the content and make a sophisticated determination on fair use and whether or not it's the same material.

        I've had literally tens of thousands of videos flagged on a platform I developed by YouTube. If their automation is flagging me for music that I had the client purchase the specific licensing for, you can bet your butt that 700,000 of those DMCA takedown requests are bull.

        How does a $25 processing fee sound? Pretty reasonable. Covers salaries and operational costs and doesn't represent a barrier to entry to any of those starving artists the copyright laws were designed to protect ?

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:29PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:29PM (#21608)

      It's sad, but the only way you seem to be able to have your rights respected is to have them align with the interests of a large company. Luckily Google needs some openness and net neutrality for their business model to work well.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by me on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:18PM

    by me (1944) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:18PM (#21506)

    The DMCA was signed into law on 28 Oct 1998.

    To compare the 1998 figure of 62 notices to the 2012 figure to derive the 700,000% figure is completely misleading.

    And probably done deliberately, as it makes for inflammatory copy.

    • (Score: 1) by kef on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:25PM

      by kef (1211) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:25PM (#21511) Homepage

      It's for the last 4 years, not since 1998.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by me on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:27PM

        by me (1944) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:27PM (#21516)

        Yep, your right. My mistake. Still pretty useless way of presenting the data.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by enharmonix on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:29PM

      by enharmonix (1891) <enharmonix+soylentnews@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:29PM (#21518)

      I would argue a 700,000% increase is pretty staggering even when it's spaced out over 16 years. However, notices received by "Google increased 711,887 percent in four years" (emphasis mine). They were comparing the 2008 figure to the 2012 figure to derive the 700,000%. It's actually more disturbing when you realize they saw that kind of increase starting with a number that was probably several orders of magnitude larger than 62.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:22PM (#22127)

      By dividing the 2012 figure by the 2008 figure we reveal 7118 recent notices for each historic one; the math in the article is sound; which figures they cherry picked is the real mislead.

      Unfortunately, I can still remember 2008.. in user content based games like Secondlife, DMCAs were being flung around like candy at a Christmas parade.

      What the article actually reveals is that Google was 700,000% more responsive to DCMAs and the users of this service responded in suit.

  • (Score: 2) by Rune of Doom on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:52PM

    by Rune of Doom (1392) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:52PM (#21594)

    In practice, you can send as many fraudulent and abusive DMCA notices as you want with no repercussions. Among other things, the copyright extortionists are using DMCA notices are part of their intimidation and threat tactics.

    This is just one more example of how the Rule of Law in the United States (and the global economic community, if megacorps have their way) is not just failing, but being corrupted and destroyed. It's as though Gandalf had become the Ringlord; as Tolkien wrote in Letters, "Thus while Sauron manipulated evil, he left "good" clearly distinguishable from it. Gandalf would have made good detestable and seem evil."

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:58PM (#21597)

      Technically submitting a fraudulent DMCA is perjury IIRC, however I don't think that anyone have ever been tried on those grounds.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by MrGuy on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:14PM

        by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @05:14PM (#21604)

        Only sorta kinda.

        Yes, there is an "under penalty of perjury" piece of a takedown notice. But it's not about the infringement.

        The ONLY thing you have to swear to is that the person submitting the request is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright holder (i.e. you're not filing notices for someone ELSE'S copyright).

        There's no "under penalty of perjury" required regarding the infringement. All that's required is a statement that they have a "good faith belief" that the material is used in an unauthorized way. There's no "under penalty of perjury" regarding this.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA_takedown_notice# Notice_from_copyright_owner [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by physicsmajor on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:27PM

        by physicsmajor (1471) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:27PM (#21691)
        You're right, a fraudulent DMCA notice is in fact perjury. That is, if it's actually an official DMCA notice...

        But that's not what is going on here. Google and most other large companies which host user-uploaded materials do not require an official, legal, DMCA notice. What they've done instead is willfully provided private means for MAFIAA-like organizations to flag content they believe is infringing. The MAFIAA log on to a private portal and can spam links all day long "flagging" content they don't like.

        These flags are done privately, outside the eye of the law. They get things removed just as fast, but skirt the "protections" built into the DMCA while the MAFIAA goons laugh all the way to the bank.

        Any time Google likes, they could discontinue this system and force all takedown notices to be submitted publicly in the eye of the US legal system, exposing the submitters to actual perjury counter-suits. This is the correct decision. That they have not chosen to do so should go a long way toward informing you which side such organizations - including Google - actually favor in truth.
  • (Score: 2) by WizardFusion on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:47AM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:47AM (#21999) Journal

    I have said in the past, that any time a request comes in that references the requesters own work, Google should just say "Sod it" and block it. For example (http://torrentfreak.com/microsoft-wants-google-to -censor-its-wikipedia-page-130927/)

    There are quite a few of these, and each time Google catches them and says no. I would say, tough luck.