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Site Copies Content and Uses the DMCA to Take Down the Original Articles 241

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the everyone's-favorite-law dept.
First time accepted submitter ios and web coder writes "From the article: 'A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher's career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.' This is extremely worrying. Even though the original story is careful not to make accusations, I will. This sure smells like a 'Reputation Defense' dirty trick."
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Site Copies Content and Uses the DMCA to Take Down the Original Articles

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  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:08PM (#42809977) Homepage

    If this can happen it points to the fact that the entire DMCA process is utterly broken and open to abuse.

    No proof is required on the side of the claimant, but the accused can immediately lose their stuff.

    This is a side effect of a process which was designed by content owners to get stuff taken down with minimal effort and red tape. It has the effect of random idiots being able to take down stuff without any oversight.

    What needs to happen is the content owners need to have some higher burden of proof that they are the copyright holders, and that there's real infringement going on.

    • by Zeromous (668365) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:18PM (#42810139) Homepage

      Sorry, clearly the most important thing is that content producers which actually generate revenue can continue doing so the moment a DMCA request is actioned. Money does not want or have time for your petty notions such as 'proof' or 'oversight'.

      Every moment of delay collecting such lawful claptrap is money out of my (ahem, I mean) content producer's pocket and lost taxes out of your government coffer, Dear congressman/Senator.

      • by mrops (927562) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @02:07PM (#42811749)

        Sounds like Anonymous can have loads of fun with this and point out the ridiculousness of DMCA. Few dozen anonymous activists can create havoc and force congress to think the law again.

        Of fun times.

        • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:16PM (#42813615) Journal
          The problem is that takedown requests are made under penalty of perjury. That means a DA or other state prosecutor must file the charges, not the victim. If you're a large business and you make a false takedown request for profit no prosecutor is going to bother, but if you are a politically inconvenient protestor using the system to demonstrate the flaws you're much more likely to get arrested.
          So we need some Anonymous people from outside US jurisdiction to have fun with this.
    • by cellocgw (617879) <cellocgwNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:24PM (#42810231) Journal

      That was exactly my reaction, too. Let's quit worrying about assholes from trollville.com or HBO DMCA-ing itself.
      What we need, aside from a major overhaul of copyright law, is some laws that make it absolutely illegal to demand file takedowns until after a judgement has been made in a court of law verifying the material is infringing.
      The intersection of US politicians (and judges) who are (a) not completely corrupt and (b) have a clue what software, networks, and copyright are about, is probably zero, so I'm not holdiing my breath here.

      • by jandrese (485)
        We've had some judges slapping down patent trolls and copyright trolls in recent months, so hope is not lost for the system. The DMCA needs to go, but something with judicial oversight might actually work.
      • by Shagg (99693) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:09PM (#42810871)

        The only purpose of the DMCA though is to bypass the courts and due process. Rather than pass another law to make the DMCA process require courts and due process, you'd be better off just getting rid of it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bws111 (1216812)

          Bullshit. The purpose of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA (which is what this is about) is to allow sites to host user-supplied content at all. How many of these sites do you think would exist if every time one of their 'users' put up some copyright infringing material the site had to go defend themself in court?

          DMCA notices do not bypass courts or in any way eliminate 'due process'. You have no 'right' to have your stuff hosted on YouTube, wordpress, or anywhere else. No 'due process' or court is

          • by dbet (1607261)
            You do have a right to freedom of press and that extends to both video and to the internet.
            • by bws111 (1216812) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @02:53PM (#42812383)

              Your freedom of the press buts zero onus on anyone else. You have the right to publish what you want, nobody has the responsibility to give you the means to do so. Or do you think every book publisher, newspaper, magazine, TV station, etc is somehow required to publish everything anyone sends them?

              Oh, and another thing: you are not the only one with the right to freedom of the press. The actual 'press' has the, say it with me, freedom to decide what they will and will not publish.

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        Nobody is required to honor any takedown notices, there is no such law that requires that. Hosts honor takedown notices because it is to their benefit. Therefore, any host who wants to operate in your prefered way is completely free to do so right now. Of course, that means that these hosts will be driven out of business by the inevitable landslide of lawsuits and judgements against them.

        Your proposal means there are basically two choices: a) hosts are always responsible for any copyright infrigement by

        • by shentino (1139071)

          Just require takedowns to be under the same penalty of perjury provisions as counter-notices.

          Alleged victims might think twice about filing a frivolous takedown if they could go to jail for it.

          • by bws111 (1216812)

            That is already the law. Here is the relevent text (USC 17 section 512):

            (f) Misrepresentations.— Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section—
            (1) that material or activity is infringing, or
            (2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification,
            shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner’s authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

            Part (1) is making a false claim (ie not in good faith), part (2) is making a false counter-notice. Punishment is exactly the same in both cases.

    • It has the effect of software automation being able to take down stuff without any oversight.

      FTFY

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      People in countries outside the jurisdiction of the United States should immediately start issuing as many DMCA notices for *AA works and sites as possible. Flood the system. Let them lost access to their own work using the legal framework they've created. The tail may be long, but the bite still hurts.

      • by BeerCat (685972)

        People in countries outside the jurisdiction of the United States should immediately start issuing as many DMCA notices for *AA works and sites as possible. Flood the system. Let them lost access to their own work using the legal framework they've created. The tail may be long, but the bite still hurts.

        And when we're done, copy that site, and then issue takedown notices for the site that bulk copied all the stuff from the *AA.

        Repeat until we run out of bandwidth

    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:45PM (#42810541) Homepage Journal

      No proof is required on the side of the claimant, but the accused can immediately lose their stuff.

      A few survivors of home invasions have reported that the killers break in and shout, "Police! This is a raid! Get on the floor with your hands behind your back!" or something similar before executing their victims.

      Now there's an example of a hopelessly broken authentication system - that the same government sets up something similar for duplication of text is hardly surprising.

      • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:06PM (#42810833) Journal

        Detroit had a rash of fake cop cars pulling people over and robbing them. At one point they just said if a cop wants to pull you over, drive to a police station.

        So is the penalty for fraudulently making a DMCA claim essentially zero? Atheists on YouTube get harrassed when religious people lie that they own the atheist's videos, then any response requires paperwork saying the atheist's real name and address, which is what some of these angey, murderous people are looking for. No legal penalties for such lies?

        • by mjr167 (2477430) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:51PM (#42811491)
          New Orleans had a rash of real cops pulling people over and robbing them...
        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Detroit had a rash of fake cop cars pulling people over and robbing them. At one point they just said if a cop wants to pull you over, drive to a police station.

          Which is great right up until you get shot for failing to obey the police officer.

          That or you'll probably be charged with resisting arrest and felony evasion. :-P

        • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @02:24PM (#42811999) Homepage Journal

          So is the penalty for fraudulently making a DMCA claim essentially zero? No legal penalties for such lies?

          Who's donating to the re-election campaigns, the MPAA or the Brights?

          Pretending like the government cares about justice or fairness, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, just because our grade school teachers told us some mythical interpretations of history, is what gets us to this situation.

          And pretty much nobody cares. Where are the mass protests against no-knock raids (remember when proper serving of a warrant was required by the Constitution?) What happened to the mobs on the Mall protesting the wars and the USAPATRIOT Act?

          Knowing how the home invaders behave, the only reasonable response by anybody who is informed is to shoot anybody who enters the home making this claim. The odds are probably in your favor. Better to be tried by twelve than carried by six, and all that. And that appears to be the only way for ordinary citizens to change the incentive equation (much to my dismay).

          Similarly, nobody is going to fix DMCA (at least not unless a currency crisis changes everything). If the atheists are being harassed by some religious group via DMCA, the only options available to them at this point are retaliation by the same means or public shaming, if they can pull it off (but who will report the story, the big corporate news that files DMCA takedowns?).

          You have no idea how much I wish this weren't the situation, but take away the thin veneer and this is the way things are.

    • What needs to happen is for people to get their own server. A false DMCA claim is about the easiest (bad) thing to deal with when your stuff is hosted on someone else's server. All you have to do is challenge the claim, and your stuff can go back up.

      Compare that to what happens if there is a server outage and you don't have backups, or if Wordpress just decides they don't like you. In those cases, there is NOTHING you can do. If you want to be safe, have your own server or at a minimum make backups.
    • by houghi (78078)

      Look at it from the positive side. I is a great example what happens if you do not have a due process. Or even the reason that there is a due process is to prevent this.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:04PM (#42810809)

      I suggest a 6 strike policy. 6 misused DMCAs, and you get banned from further requests.

    • by Zorpheus (857617)

      What needs to happen is the content owners need to have some higher burden of proof that they are the copyright holders, and that there's real infringement going on.

      Or a fine for false claims, and a strong punishment for proven false claims.

      • by mark-t (151149)
        How strong? Suspension of business license? Imprisonment?
      • Or a fine for false claims, and a strong punishment for proven false claims.

        I'll post this again: Sending a DMCA takedown notice, when you are not the copyright holder or their agent, is a criminal offence. See this site:

        http://targetlaw.com/consequences-of-filing-a-false-dmca-takedown-request [targetlaw.com]

        • by xigxag (167441)

          Ideally, all these cracks in DMCA would cause Congress to repeal the Act, but I don't see that happening. But perhaps at the very least it could be modified to discourage the most blantant abuses. Since foreign companies are somewhat difficult to prosecute in the US, they should be required to deposit an escrow before serving a DMCA request, which would get surrendered to the respondent if the request is found to be without merit. Or perhaps they should be made to file through a US proxy who agrees to ass

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      If this can happen it points to the fact that the entire DMCA process is utterly broken and open to abuse.

      No proof is required on the side of the claimant, but the accused can immediately lose their...

      Oh, lighten up. It's not like we have a system where citizens can be executed without even the least access to due process. Oh... wait.

    • exactly why we need a small army of people doing exactly this to a multitude of sites on a regular basis. It will become abundantly clear that the DMCA take down process is flawed and is doing more harm than good.
    • ...the entire DMCA process is utterly broken and open to abuse.

      Dammit! It is NOT broken! It is designed as a tool of harassment. It is working perfectly...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:11PM (#42810021)

    We really have to start requiring the DMCA takedown notice sources to bring the burden of proof, or this will just become business as usual. Particularly as you don't even have to be resident in the country to abuse the system.

    Alternatively, HUGE fines for incorrect takedowns and use of the perjury provisions for submitting an incorrect takedown notice need to be assessed / used. Actually, in a just world, this would be in addition to requiring burden of proof from the takedown notice source.

    Nothing less than our entire culture is at stake.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      at what point is someone going to create a random site, copy and paste the contents of the RIAA or MPAA homepages onto it and then file DMCA takedowns on the original sites?

      • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:59PM (#42811617)

        It doesn't matter if anyone does that. The RIAA and MPAA homepages aren't hosted by third parties that accept takedown notices.

        And that is how we rather trivially see our way clear of this problem. Are you people forgetting that the WordPress software is open source? You can run it on any Linux machine, with trivial ease. Are you people forgetting that we are all peers on the Internet? By the very nature of the protocol, you CAN NOT be shut down. Host your own content! When a bogus DMCA takedown shows up, laugh at it. Put it up on your site and ridicule it.

        The Pirate Bay has showed us the way. Follow.

        The only thing missing is automated deployment to additional servers to handle the load if a random crappy little blog suddenly starts picking up a lot of hits. So, build that feature in to WordPress. Bittorrent has already demonstrated that people are perfectly willing to give a little of their own bandwidth in exchange for something they value. Free, automated, instant, demand-driven mirroring is something valuable. If the price is having your own connection participate in a service swarm occasionally, people will be fine with that.

        Take control of your own content. "The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." Here's the route. Make this a feature of the Freedom Box [freedomboxfoundation.org].

        • by CodeHxr (2471822)
          This would create a huge paradigm shift. I love it! Merging HTTPS and BitTorrent protocols to host content that can't be removed unless all parties agree (if even then) would really make virtually impossible to do anything once something has been posted. Adding encryption and/or anonymity features couldn't hurt either. For the final touch, post the source code for it on the very protocol it created.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:12PM (#42810045)

    "You DO have a backup, right?"

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      um, missing from their website, where else?
      • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:48PM (#42810599) Homepage Journal

        um, missing from their website, where else?

        Actually, the key here, is that it's not missing from their website. It's missing from Wordpress' website. They don't have a website of their own. If they did, then they (not Wordpress) would have been the one who received the DMCA notice, and the decision to pull or keep the "infringing" article would have been in the hands of someone with actual knowledge of the situation, rather than a frightened fold-by-default middleman.

  • Anti-DMCA activism? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quirkz (1206400) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:12PM (#42810047) Homepage
    Could this also be a case of anti-DMCA activism, where someone is fabricating this scenario just to demonstrate how abusable the system is?

    Of course if it's not, I'm sure this will give some people that kind of idea.
    • by gQuigs (913879)

      Could you even do a fake DMCA take down notice somewhat anonymously? Obviously, those doing this would be commiting perjury.

      DMCA take down notices can be done via email...

      I think that makes the answer a "yes". Great system we have here.

    • by stephanruby (542433) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:40PM (#42810485)

      Could this also be a case of anti-DMCA activism, where someone is fabricating this scenario just to demonstrate how abusable the system is?

      No, it's an Indian medical researcher who hired a reputation management company [dukechronicle.com] to downplay the fact that he was thrown out of Duke for lying on his resume and falsifying cancer research results. [bizjournals.com]

      Of course if it's not, I'm sure this will give some people that kind of idea.

      There is no need for activism in that area. Using a DMCA request for trying to take down content that affects your reputation is a very common tactic. Most of the time, it doesn't do anything because the content is posted by back up after a little while.

      In this case however, the reputation management company was smart enough to post duplicated content first. This means that the primary content may be dinged automatically by the google bot as a plagiarizer if it thinks the content was posted in India first, and so the google ranking of that content may be permanently affected as a result. Hopefully, the google bot is smart enough to figure out what truly happened.

      Either way, because of the Streisand effect, I wouldn't want to be that Anil Potti [wikipedia.org] right now.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Could this also be a case of anti-DMCA activism

      Probably not -- it's like political satire, it's not like you won't get free examples to work with.

      You don't need to try very hard to find examples of the DMCA process being horribly broken.

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:13PM (#42810061)

    This is absurd. It clearly looks like the Reputation Firm hired by this guy works with some nameless organization in India. For WordPress to honor this DMCA take down request blindly makes me more reluctant to ever use them. Sure I see blog posts hosted by them all the time but seriously why would a reputable organization (if you can call WordPress that) would remove the content without first checking with the blog owners or verifying the claims, then they are truly the bad guys here.

    Is this something where the wayback machine [archive.org] could help?

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:17PM (#42810133) Homepage

      Sure I see blog posts hosted by them all the time but seriously why would a reputable organization (if you can call WordPress that) would remove the content without first checking with the blog owners or verifying the claims, then they are truly the bad guys here.

      Because that's how they keep from getting sued themselves.

      If they take down on request, they keep their safe harbour. If they ask for details or proof, they can become more involved than they'd like.

      The system is set up to favor the claimants, with no consideration for any burden of proof other than "because I said so". Because the lobbyists who paid for this law wanted it that way.

      But it completely goes outside of most legal things like due process and judicial oversight -- guilty until proven innocent.

      • by HexaByte (817350)

        The system is set up to favor the claimants, with no consideration for any burden of proof other than "because I said so". Because the lobbyists who paid for this law wanted it that way.

        Well then, we should give them what they asked for and flood the system with such requests. One sure way to change a law is to show it's supporters how easily it can be turned against them.

    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:32PM (#42810381) Homepage Journal

      For WordPress to honor this DMCA take down request blindly makes me more reluctant to ever use them.

      This is standard operating procedure for every major website right now. Doing due diligence can land you in legal trouble with the DMCA. The industry wrote the law, why would they add a concept of checks and balances? That's something the congress would have to do, but that's not going to happen when the industry is there reminding them about how expensive elections are and now easy it is for a few major news outlets to pump up some other candidate to oust you in the primary. Many won't even need a reminder because that's how they got the seat in the first place.

      • by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:54PM (#42810681)

        I think you missed the point in the topic header "say it isn't so!" I realize that this is the case but again, the DMCA law is written to either remove or disable the content. That's what it says BTW, remove or disable. The latter for those ISPs/website operators who take a bit of time to at least give the content owners a chance to wrangle over the information or indeed take a quick look and say "hey, this takedown notice is BS." It's also worded specifically that if they don't act they may lose their liability protection under the DMCA. So yes, "ohh scary things will happen with lawyers. We may even get *gasp* another letter if we don't act in 5 minutes."

        My point is that now this kind of case comes up, where we have a Researcher who is now going back trying to erase embarrassing things about himself via proxy and now you have hoards of folks in the third world ready to send DMCA letters to just let him do that. The DMCA is shameful, written by the entertainment industry. It's a travesty that laws passed (or lack thereof in the 112th congress) nowadays are just rubber stamped by legislators as "their own." There should be a DMCA for plagiarism of laws or at least "do you own work" should be the mantra rather than this endless supply of industry focused legislation that seems to be more and more prevalent in DC and in State Legislatures.

        In the original issue here, WordPress which is almost synonymous for blogging took down damaging articles about proven research fraud. This is valuable and embarrassing information to subject and represents a distinct departure vs. printed news. So now if I post some code on a site, that shows an example on how to do something, I can have some nameless guy from India call my ISP and say that it's his and my stuff will disappear? Yeah deep down I knew that was a possibility (especially if I don't pay my ISP bill) but again, WordPress should have merely disabled the content, contact the owner and said "you have 7 days to let us know why we shouldn't delete your content/disable your site." That's allowable under the DMCA and it shows that the host of the content is trying to be reasonable to all parties involved.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The actual article is a bit sketchy on details - the *real* standard procedure is not 'blind takedown' -
        because blind takedown can land you in trouble on the 'defendant' side as well if not done
        correctly, and the host can end up being sued by the customer - instead,

        Usually SOP for DMCAS goes like this*:

        1) Recieve takedown request
        2) Notify party of recieved takedown request, wait some time period for counter-claim (usually 2 business days or similar)
        3) if no counter claim submitted by the customer within tim

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:19PM (#42810149)
    What reputation? This guy is living in more denial than the GOP if he thinks his reputation is positive. This is like throwing a bucket of water after the house has already burned down, the embers have cooled and been cleared away and there's a McDonalds built where it used to be.
  • US Presence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luthair (847766) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:23PM (#42810217)

    To me this indicates that DMCA claims need to have some sort of US presence; the only disincentive for abuse of the DMCA is the potential for lawsuits for invalid claims, if the claimant doesn't have a US presence then they're entirely free from reprisal. Leo Laporte has frequently mentioned that foreign companies spuriously claim copyright on his Youtube videos in order to run ads on his content.

    Perhaps DMCA ought to even require registering for copyright as a minimum for filing take down notices.

  • by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:24PM (#42810241) Homepage Journal

    I understand the need for something like the DMCA takedown process On the other hand there needs to be some level of balance such that filing a false DMCA takedown request has an appropriate consequence to whoever files such a fraudulent action. I'm thinking along the line of capital punishment for both whoever makes the faslse claim as well as their legal team and anyone else substantially involved. It would make people think twice about filing a false takedown.

    Cheers,
    Dave

    • by jandrese (485)
      You don't need capital punishment, just make the punishment in line with what the RIAA demands per CD worth of shared music. A few ten million dollar fines will probably slow down the false claims in a hurry.
    • On the other hand there needs to be some level of balance such that filing a false DMCA takedown request has an appropriate consequence to whoever files such a fraudulent action

      There is. You can sue them for damages + legal costs (IANAL And have not actually READ the DMCA so YMMV).

    • by dcollins (135727)

      The fact that DMCA requests must be honored from India, which is obviously outside the jurisdiction of any possible penalty, means that even the "everyone you know dies" sanction would fail to make a difference here.

  • by polyp2000 (444682) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:28PM (#42810301) Homepage Journal

    Come on ... surely thats not a real name .

  • May we burn her? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheAngryMob (49125) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:34PM (#42810401) Homepage

    "She's a witch...I mean copyright violator!"

    Different century, same methodology.

  • by Glass Goldfish (1492293) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:40PM (#42810483)
    While this is certainly outrageous behavior, could this lead to the demise of the DMCA? If this practice becomes common, you can certainly see court challenges against the DMCA in the future. If the DMCA can be portrayed as taking away original speech, that would be a direct violation of the freedom of speech in the United States. All it would take is a court to determine that it does not sufficiently safeguard the First Amendment and it could be struck down. It could be re-written, but it wouldn't be as easy to mass issue takedown notices. While I do acknowledge that there is a corporate mindset in the American judiciary, the First Amendment is a very explicit right and this would be an infringement on the property rights of the original creators.
  • Abolish the DMCA (Score:5, Informative)

    by slacka (713188) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:41PM (#42810499)

    This is another good example of abusive DMCA take down requests circumventing due process. RIAA and MPAA abuse the law to suppress our creativity
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk862BbjWx4 [youtube.com]
      and are destroying our cultural heritage.
    http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2001/11/48625?currentPage=all [wired.com]
    To top it off, their outdated business model unfairly reimburses the artists for their hard work.
    http://www.salon.com/2000/06/14/love_7/ [salon.com]
    Copyright needs to be reformed. Some changes that I'd like to see are:

      * Abolish the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
      * Intellectual property should be taxed like real property. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-weaver20feb20,0,1675278.story [latimes.com] It is an asset with a value, right? If you no longer make enough to pay your taxes on it, it goes to the state.
      * Copyrights are supposed to be an incentive to create. One that lasts unto your grandchildren are a dis-incentive, because not only are you not creating any more once you are dead, neither are your descendants. Copyright should last half a working lifetime (20 years), so that you have to get off your ass and make new stuff.
      * Someone who makes copies without permission should pay a fine, but it should be at the regular royalty rate for the item x copies made. So upload a song, it's iTunes price x number of downloads, with perhaps a factor of 3 penalty to discourage doing it, not $150,000 per copy.

    If you feel the same way, you can make a difference by donating to the EFF
    https://supporters.eff.org/donate [eff.org]
    or at least signing this petition urging reform.
    http://www.fightforthefuture.org/fixcopyright [fightforthefuture.org]

    "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
    -Abraham Lincoln

    • by mbone (558574)

      I would agree with all of this, with one minor tweak :

      If you no longer make enough to pay your taxes on it, it goes to the state.

      No, it should return to the actual owners, the people - i.e., it should enter the public domain.

  • Blow Back (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:46PM (#42810561)

    The Streisand Effect is starting to kick in.

    Frankly, "reputation management" firms seem to be slime of the lowest form.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:56PM (#42810701) Homepage

    "Reputation defense" on Wikipedia has become an issue. Here's a wash cycle [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia, carried out on behalf of Michael Milken, one of the notorious financial crooks of the 1980s. [nytimes.com] ("Biggest fraud case in the history of the securities industry." back in 1990.) He has a self-admitted paid editor on Wikipedia editing his article to make him look good.

  • by mbone (558574) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:59PM (#42810765)

    DMCA Denial of Service, that is.

  • Let's see if any judge and group of peers can look at date/time references in logs and/or pages and make any sense of that simple concept at all. :)

  • by PPH (736903)

    If Aaron Swartz would have been a bit quicker, things could have turned out differently for JSTOR.

  • You have a no cost, remote way to claim ownership of something for some amount of time and profit from it and the only "undo" available to your victims involves a lengthy process which itself is only initiated after they've noticed that one of the things they created at some point in their careers which was somewhere on the net has had a DCMA takedown notice applied to it.

    It's a scammer's paradise, the moreso since this is India which, with a billion people, we can say with utter confidence that even if

  • by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:25PM (#42811075) Journal
    This covered in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

    One of the major selling point of that wholly remarkable travel book, the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, apart from its relative cheapness and the fact that it has the words Don't Panic written in large friendly letters on its cover, is its compendious and occasionally accurate glossary. The statistics relating to the geo-social nature of the Universe, for instance, are deftly set out between pages nine hundred and thirty-eight thousand and twenty-four and nine hundred and thirty-eight thousand and twenty-six; and the simplistic style in which they are written is partly explained by the fact that the editors, having to meet a publishing deadline, copied the information off the back of a packet of breakfast cereal, hastily embroidering it with a few footnoted in order to avoid prosecution under the incomprehensibly tortuous Galactic Copyright laws.

    It is interesting to note that a later and wilier editor sent the book backwards in time through a temporal warp, and then successfully sued the breakfast cereal company for infringement of the same laws.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:31PM (#42811177)

    I nearly learned the hard way years back that whenever you host a site anywhere, you need to make sure you have local backups. In my case, it was a web host who was "struck by a worm" that took their servers down for a week. The fix to the worm was: 1) reboot server, 2) apply patch, 3) reboot again. So a week+ to fix their servers seemed fishy to me. I was lucky and managed to access the SQL servers and get a local backup. Others weren't so lucky when the company just vanished a couple of weeks later.

    I now have a few self-hosted WordPress sites. Of course, even these aren't immune to this kind of attack. If the reputation management company stole my content and tried to knock my post offline, my host could go in and delete my site. Of course, if they did, I'd just restore my backup and my post would be back online. (I'd then leave that host, of course.)

  • 6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

    Serious question. I thought that this part of the DMCA takedown notice exists precisely to prevent abuse. Why haven't I *EVER* heard of it being enforced?

    • by erroneus (253617)

      It was never intended to be enforced. And to find perjury, "due process" must occur which is not something anyone behind the DMCA had in mind when it was snuck through.

  • Not a dirty trick (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:44PM (#42811385) Homepage

    This is yet another example of why the DMCA is ***BAD LAW***

    A law should not be capable of victimizing others. The DMCA, through mistake or malice can and often is used in ways which harm people.

    Let's not focus on who is doing it. There will always be many thousands out there who are willing to take advantage of bad law. Take down one and two more will spring up. It's the law which is the problem. It's time it was repealed.

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