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posted by martyb on Wednesday March 17 2021, @06:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the still-crazy-world dept.

Adobe Goes After 27-Year Old 'Pirated' Copy of Acrobat Reader 1.0 for MS-DOS * TorrentFreak:

Today, there are many popular PDF readers available but Adobe’s original ‘Acrobat Reader’ is still the go-to software for many. Needless to say, Adobe doesn’t want third-parties to pirate its software, so the company regularly sends out DMCA notices to remove infringing copies.

[...] While this is totally understandable when it comes to newer releases, F-Secure researcher Mikko Hyppönen found out that Adobe’s takedown efforts go far beyond that.

In a recent tweet, Hyppönen mentioned that the software company removed one of his tweets that linked to an old copy of Acrobat Reader for MS-DOS. This software, hosted on WinWorld, came out more than 27-years ago, shortly after the PDF was invented.

The security researcher posted the tweet five years ago and at the time there were no issues. The message was copied a few weeks ago by his own Twitter bot, which reposts all his original tweets five years later.

“They sent a DMCA notice to my bot (@mikko__2016) when it posted that tweet on the tweet’s 5th anniversary. The original tweet is fine,” Hyppönen notes.

While the original tweet is still up, the reposted message was swiftly removed by Twitter. Not just that, the bot’s account was locked as well, which is standard practice nowadays.

Looking more closely at the takedown notice, we see that it was sent by the “brand protection analyst” at Incopro, which is one of Adobe’s anti-piracy partners. It doesn’t provide any further details on the reasons for taking it down, other than an alleged copyright infringement.


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  • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @08:30AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @08:30AM (#1125283)

    Since it has the right, fuck off you whiners!

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  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Wednesday March 17 2021, @10:25AM (7 children)

    by inertnet (4071) on Wednesday March 17 2021, @10:25AM (#1125298) Journal

    Is it really that simple? Does a company retain copyright over software that they have abandoned many years ago? Legally probably yes, but could that be challenged? Not that anybody would ever spend the energy to try that.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @12:07PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @12:07PM (#1125307)
      If you have abandoned it, you have abandoned it. If you don't support it, you should automatically lose the copyright. Three reported bugs not fixed in three months should meet the "three strikes and your out" criterion.

      False claims resulting in false take-downs should risk total loss of copyright

      Does the American legal system rule the world? If so, its time to bring out the gun boats*. We have had enough of imperialism.

      American lawyers asserting claims of jurisdiction in a foreign country should be treated as a declaration of war unless the American government publicly humiliates the offending company and jails a few company officers for risking/inciting war.

      * We have it on good authority that "nuking from high orbit" is the only way to be sure.

      Make America Sweat Again

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @05:40PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @05:40PM (#1125418)

        If you have abandoned it, you have abandoned it. If you don't support it, you should automatically lose the copyright. Three reported bugs not fixed in three months should meet the "three strikes and your out" criterion.

        Oddly enough, copyright is still used for books. So if you find three typos in a text and it's not reprinted in three months it loses copyright?


        I suspect the correct answer is to treat software differently from books...
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18 2021, @02:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18 2021, @02:23AM (#1125639)

          The correct solution is to have a sane expiry date. Lifetime+70 years only really benefits large holding corporations that can expect to still be around 150 years from now. Seven years with a (paid) seven year extension sounds about right to me. That gives plenty of time for the creator to earn a living while also not depriving society of their own culture.

      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Wednesday March 17 2021, @10:34PM

        by Arik (4543) on Wednesday March 17 2021, @10:34PM (#1125574) Journal
        It's funny you're complaining about the US legal system when most of the real insanity of the current copyright system in the US actually entered via the Berne Convention, which the US didn't ratify until 1989, about a century after it started, and after virtually every other nation in the world had already adopted it.
        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by theluggage on Wednesday March 17 2021, @01:14PM

      by theluggage (1797) on Wednesday March 17 2021, @01:14PM (#1125327)

      Is it really that simple? Does a company retain copyright over software that they have abandoned many years ago?

      Yes. There is a time limit, but somehow that keeps getting extended every time it looks like Mickey Mouse is going to enter the public domain... So, in the case of software, anything not written by Ada Lovelace is probably still in copyright.

      That's not the issue here, though: Acrobat Reader was always freely available and ISTR you could even re-distribute it under certain conditions - so it's even plausible that the host was distributing it legally and, if not, it would be hard to argue that Adobe was suffering any significant loss. Even if there was a legal copyright case, it wouldn't be worth the cost (and bad PR) of pursuing. The problem is, the stupid DMCA allows large rights holders to trawl the nets with bots and send automated takedown notices to anything that their Artificial Idiocy system thinks might be infringing, at very little cost, and no realistic risk of penalties for getting it wrong - so no common sense enters into the process. When the recipient of that notice is someone like Tw@tbook, who will receive a truckload of them each day, they're not going to faff around checking it out or appealing each one - the post will just be deleted and, possibly, the account will be blocked for good measure.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by SomeGuy on Wednesday March 17 2021, @01:44PM

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Wednesday March 17 2021, @01:44PM (#1125338)

      Keep in mind that WinWorld is an on-line museum. The goal is to let visitors experience how computing technology used to work, how we got to where we are, why things are the way they are now, and preserving these bits so they are not lost to time.

      Removing content about this is about the same as removing a piece of history.

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Wednesday March 17 2021, @04:47PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 17 2021, @04:47PM (#1125405) Homepage Journal

      In Canada, I understand that you are permitted to make a copy of a copyrighted work if a reasonable effort to obtain a legitimate copy is unsuccessful.
      I don't know just what is meant by "reasonable", nor if the law has changed since I read that.

      -- hendrik

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @12:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17 2021, @12:35PM (#1125314)

    did you not render a <sarcasm>here?</sarcasm>

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by Tork on Wednesday March 17 2021, @06:32PM

    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 17 2021, @06:32PM (#1125440)
    You were aiming for parody, but instead you just announced you don't understand two topics.
    --
    🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈