Censorship flood: takedown notices to Google increased by 711,887% in four years




By way of perspective, there are ~ 1.2 million lawyers (of all types, passed bar in at least one state, in the United States.)

If it hasn't already gotten to this point already (notably, the paper shows an increase in 'bundling' of multiple, sometimes unrelated, takedown demnds into a single 'notice', which helps mask the speed of the increase, alarming as it is even so), it soon will be the case that providing anything we would historically recognize as even a low-rent version of 'due process' will not only be uneconomic (as it already is, unless you have substantial means or are an EFF test case or something); but as absurdly impractical as having somebody hand-read email to be sure it isn't spam.

It's all still based on theoretically familiar legal principles; but the logistics are such that that is not only false, it's so false as to practically be a category error. "Process", by sheer bulk, if not by any mendacity, is a bot duel, and one with a substantial inbuilt bias.


They are trying to take our porn! Stop them!


I wonder how much longer it will take before every single video on YouTube is gone, and new ones are squelched within an hour?


Let's keep in mind that these are simply take-down notices and not legal actions. Indeed these take-down notices actually prevent litigation (which is where traditional due process really arise) by giving content hosts a safe harbor from litigation. And the affected posters can file counter-notices as well. There's not a huge risk of being outgunned at the take-down stage; ignorance of the counter-notice process is a much greater risk (as the paper acknowledges).


The problem isn't the number of Takendown notices is how unregulated they are. I worked for a while with a company who has sent legitimate notices in a country that has serious piracy problems (big streaming sites posing as real vod services require people to pay for them to use them, mostly cam movies on them), they used people who had great knowledge of the priate world and they only sent notices for legitimate violations.

The problem is you can send a takedown notice for anything and take it down.

You can also send a takedown notice for something you own and have it not taken down. The system is completely broken.


When you consider that something like 1 million videos are uploaded to youtube every day (or is it every minute?), and that a lot of them use someone else's music, then the percentage increase doesn't sound so huge. (I'm not saying I agree with those takedown notices, but I can see how it happens so much.)


Eh, that isn't usefully true: If the host fails to obey the takedown notice, they lose safe harbor, which is tantamount to inviting a lawsuit on very unfavorable terms. The takedown notice may not, strictly, be a 'legal action'; but it compels a takedown on pain of substantial legal exposure.

Similarly, the counter-notice may not be a specifically legal document but (in addition to the fact that counter-notices tend to get process a lot more slowly than notices, making notices a decent DoS attack, filing a counter-notice indicates a willingness to uphold the validity of your original post in court. If you can't do that, you have trouble.) The process is intimately tied to legal processes, even if it usually doesn't go that far, ending in capitulation instead.


Yes it takes you through a whole 2 step process before Youtube warns you to get a lawyer.

Every single PD title I have uploaded to Youtube has had some company try to claim ownership over it.


And that's not even surprising. Automated allegations cost almost nothing to file, and as noted, there's no penalty for abusing the system. Ownership can take months or years to prove - at a bare minimum, it takes a few minutes of human judgement. Doesn't sound like much, until you multiply it by 400 thousand. (Or whatever the actual number is; Torrentfreak seems to have thoroughly mangled the data.)


And if the safe harbor didn't exist in the first place, the legal step would be the first step... and I'm pretty sure this would have a much more chilling effect on speech than the safe harbor system.

And in practice repeat infringers simply upload again at another place instead of following the counter-notice process and enduring the delay. I'm not sure what the problem with making people uphold the validity of their original post is, especially if they have the opportunity to simply let the post stay down but have instead decided to file a counter-notice. If they want to contend their material doesn't infringe, then why not make them prove it?

I have no idea what a PD title is, but I do know that in the absence of the DMCA safe harbor you would be exposed to legal liability from step 0.


A PD title is one that is in the Public Domain. This means that noone owns the copyright, and anyone who claims to do so is committing fraud. PD titles may be freely shared, sold, and distributed, as long as you are not claiming to be the creator of the work, which is still plagiarism. It should be noted, though, that works can be in the public domain in some places but still under copyright in others.


Better 3 Strike Law:

My idea is to change the law so 3 bogus takedown notices from any group and that group can no longer issue takedown notices. 3 strikes is fair right? (ironically most these groups have lobbied the hell out of many countries political systems to implement 3 strike laws against infringers.)

Then google/youtube, and all sites that host content under the unsafe harbor, should honeypot the hell out of their services. Post tons of public domain videos and works under accounts controlled by them, and if they receive 3 bogus take down notices from any one party then they can simply ignore all future requests from those copyright trolls. Problem solved in the style of the people who have created the problem. smile


Very few things are in the public domain unless they are really old, or are fairly old and lacked proper copyright notices at the time first published. I suspect that these things you think are in the public domain really aren't. If @rider could give some examples of public domain works that have been taken down it might help.

Plagiarism isn't illegal. You can plagiarise to your heart's content without fear of it being removed via takedown notices so long as it isn't copyright.


Not everything in the public domain had to escape the clutches of ever extending copyrights due to sheer amount of time.

Quite a lot is intentionally put into the public domain, heard of the CC (Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/)? Also, quite a lot of other content is never copyrighted in the first place, hence is de facto part of the public domain after a short period of time. Not to mention the huge volume of works that are from other countries prior to copyright laws in their countries or that altogether predate copyright law.

I suspect that they are. If he is saying that they are public domain then chances are he knows what actually is public domain and got it from one of those sources.

You must have missed this BB article:

youtube has tools that make this sort of abuse of the system very easy to do. Many original content creator have months worth of their profits stolen and have no recourse for getting their money back. In their case it isn't even public domain works, it is their own personal original work.

@bwv812 I realize from your umpteen pro-copyright, pro-dcma, anti-piracy posts that you have a strong opinion on these issues in favor of the corporations, but please try and understand other peoples points before dismissing them.


Hey, I read that piece. The problem is that it doesn't appear that the person in that story was using works in the public domain. Instead, it appears that he was claiming that his use of copyrighted material was fair use. As I said in that thread, fair use is an affirmative defence to copyright infringement, and that if you are asserting fair use you are acknowledging you have actually copied something.

People say lots of things without knowing what exactly they are. I mean, you've made unsubstantiated claims that a number of commercial DVDs don't have any DRM at all, despite being "quite familiar" with them, and then claimed that these DVDs don't need to be ripped. I don't think that asking for a quick example is asking to much when there is potential confusion of issues.

Sure. But it seems unlikely that CC-licensed works are being tagged as infringing someone's copyright, and that's why examples of these supposed public domain works would help understand what's going on.

You don't have to do anything in order for copyright to apply. These very words are copyright (and BB's TOS expressly addresses this copyright issue), even without me doing anything to copyright them. Copyright is only lost if the author abandons copyright, which is rather more difficult than it sounds.

I understand the point he is making, but I'm sure if it actually applies, which is why I have asked for an example. And the reason I asked for an example is because the claims often don't seem to coincide with the reality, such as in the earlier link you post to where DMCA claims are being made and the defence is fair use, not lack of copyright.

Furthermore, being pro-copyright isn't being pro-corporate, though you may want to tar me with that brush. There are lots of examples here on BB where corporations have infringed on copyright (such as tchochke designs being ripped off, cutout maps being copied, etc., etc.). Indeed, I think the more meaningful and honest distinction is that while I may be pro-copyright (or at least in favour of some cort of copyright regime, even if not precisely the one we currently have), you are anti-corporate. Anti-corporatism is a meaningful and legitimate stance, but it doesn't always lead itself to a coherent perspective on copyright.

And I understand from your umpteen posts on copyright that you don't like how corporations use it, but please try to understand my points before dismissing them.


Actually it was his original compositions, no copyrighted material involved. Did you read the link i posted? He says exactly that.

Yep, about 8% of commercial dvds are not css encrypted, i have a criterion disc sitting on the shelf next to me that isn't. I can transcode it straight from the vobs on the disc, no ripping required. Just verified that was the case. Don't use an example of being right as proof that i'm wrong, that is just silly.

Except that is incorrect and they are and this conversation about this exact issue is taking place all over the internet. There have been a number of articles about exactly this happening. Even content using music from youtube's copyright free library has been tagged. Just because you don't follow the news on these events doesn't mean you can assume them away.

Good one. At least you have a sense of humor, that is good to know.

I'm not anti-business, but i most certainly am against the special privileges afforded corporations and the harm that many of them have done to everything from our freedoms to the environment to our health with no repercussions. delineated, informed, opinion, no assumptions necessary.

More importantly, I don't believe in the very recent modern invention of IP and copyright. Every golden age in history has been preceded with the open sharing of work. Every great invention is built off the backs of many that came before it. Every artist is inspired by the artists that came before them. If the modern copyright system supported artists instead of hurting them, if it encouraged innovation instead of stifling it, i'd be for it. The world benefits tremendously when information is shared openly and freely. I believe in the commons and what serves the greater good over. The idea that locking everything down was the only way that we could create financial incentive for innovation was childish and grossly mistaken and has hurt innovation and will only continue to do so more and more. It hurts the creators rather then help them. It helps the people profiting from these laws of which a very very small percent are the creators themselves.


I do. Which is why i address not dismiss. I never assume you points away, or assume you are wrong until you prove otherwise, i make a counter point which shows both understanding and presents a different opinion. An approach I recommend to all trying to encourage discourse and the broadening of perspectives. Some of my best conversations on these threads are with people i disagree with when they present points in new ways I hadn't considered.


No, it doesn't say exactly that, actually. The BB piece was based on the torrentfreak piece I linked to. Here's the key quote from torrentfreak: "The main issue is that automated bots don’t (or rather can’t) understand fair use..."

Look at the "I'm not pissed" video. For one thing, I'm pretty sure he didn't personally take all of the video footage being used in the video, so there's a multitude of copyright issues there. Second, even if we look only at the music, the very title of the song calls it a "Cheryl Cole spoof." Spoofs—be they satires or parody—involve copyright violations, even if they are "original compositions" (though they're really not that original if they're spoofing something else, which is why they violate copyright). While parodies may be able to use the "fair use" affirmative defence to that copyright violation, satires do not. Which is to say that both satires and parody involve copyright violations, but only if the work is a true/legal parody is that copyright violation excused.

What's the Criterion title, and where are you getting this 8% stat from? I asked about this in the previous thread while specifically mentioning Criterion, and you declined to answer. Also note that CCS is not the only form of DRM or copy control that appears on DVDs, as things like region coding and Macrovision may also be there.

Dude, you did the same thing last time. Claimed how I must be ignoring all this news, then when I asked for evidence you posted 5 links that resolved down to four links about one good (and recent) paper and a link to a horrible piece of analysis of incomplete data.

Also, note that I wasn't assuming anything. I was asking for an example.

Except you assume that I don't follow the news, you assume the unspecified "news" you're talking about says exactly what you think it does, you assume that this guy really is having public domain information pulled and that it is inappropriate to ask him about for an example of this content, and you assume that Dan Bull's allegedly infringing videos are 100% "original compositions" (though not even the BB piece says this).

The idea of IP is hardly new. I mean, it's obviously in the US constitution, and there are trade secrets that have been successfully protected for centuries.


You have no clue what a PD title is but you are commenting on copyright?


Never heard it called a PD title, but if you have a problem with the substance of anything I've posted I'll be glad to talk about it.

On the other hand, I take it you're not actually going to give examples of these allegedly public domain titles you've uploaded?