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DMCA

  1. 1.5 Million Educational Blogs Taken Down Over Single DMCA Notice From Textbook Publisher

    Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, violation notices are no joke. Well, okay, the system they're involved in is a joke, but receiving a DMCA notice can be rough going for web hosting firms. Depending on the sender's tenacity, even one of these notices can spell doom and gloom. It's for this reason that those on the receiving end are quick to respond to the things. This, often as not, results in a knee-jerk reaction. One shining example was how the textbook publisher Pearson managed to get exactly 1,451,943 educational blogs taken down over a single DMCA notice last week.

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  2. Pirates Beware: Google Takedown Requests Up 1,137% Since 2011

    It's not a good time to be in the business of helping internet pirates. According to a new report, Google has seen a dramatic rise in DMCA takedown requests in recent months. How high, you ask? Requests have doubled in the last few weeks, and spiked an unbelievable 1,137 percent year-over-year. According to the report, Google received requests to take down 1.5 million URLs per week last month. In July 2011, they were asked to take down an average of 131,577 each week.

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  3. American Library Association Comes Out Against CISPA; Why They Are Heroes

    While there was a big outcry against SOPA that included protest from many well-known Internet giants like Wikipedia and Reddit, the backlash against CISPA hasn't had quite as many champions. Some sites that came out against SOPA, like Facebook, are actually pro-CISPA for very self-interested but logical reasons. Along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), whose opposition to the bill is frankly no surprise, the American Library Association (ALA) has also come out against CISPA, and in doing so have suddenly become my heroes. Here's why.

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  4. Piracy Is Not Theft But Unwarranted Takedowns Are

    Who ever would have thought that one of the most relevant issues to copyright infringement and piracy in the 21st century would be something as seemingly insignificant as a semantic distinction? Yet, here we are. Granted, "copyright infringement" is an unweildy term, and "piracy" is one that can feel overly broad, but "theft" -- in almost any digital context -- is flat-out inaccurate and, frankly, misleading. Many people, myself included, will get dragged into arguments all the time for saying "piracy is not theft" and having it misconstrued as some kind of value statement. It isn't; it's a statement of fact. But beyond all that, there's another reality of digital media sharing, consumption, and control that is woefully ignored: Piracy is literally not theft, but the unwarranted takedown of non-infringing material is.

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  5. Viacom’s Billion Dollar Lawsuit Against YouTube Goes Forward, Threatening DMCA’s Few Useful Qualities

    Way back in 2007, Viacom filled a billion dollar suit against YouTube claiming that YouTube was purposefully turning a blind eye to copyright infringing content in order to boost the site's popularity. The suit didn't last long however, and soon a court threw the case out based on the fact that YouTube, by cooperating with DMCA takedown requests and removing allegedly infringing content, fell under the DMCA's "Safe Harbor" protection, rendering the site protected from lawsuits so long as they were clearly trying to keep things under control. Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals has reversed that decision, and YouTube is back in the hotseat, apparently for not trying hard enough, which is utterly ridiculous. In fact, they're already trying too hard.

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  6. The Real Reason We Don’t Need SOPA or PIPA: We Already Have Broken Copyright Law, DMCA

    Now don't get me wrong, there are awful, awful aspects to both SOPA and PIPA. The prospect of DNS blocking is egregious censorship. The prospect of cutting off funds and ad revenue to "infringers" without due process is egregious. Even without those provisions, though, we still don't need or want SOPA or PIPA. Why? Because we already have dangerously broken copyright law: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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  7. Universal Casually Mentions Takedown Agreement With YouTube That Is Not Limited To Copyright Infringement [UPDATED]

    The latest development in the Universal-MegaUpload battle is almost as unexpected as it is troubling, and suggests that YouTube probably isn't the neutral party you thought it was. In order to protect the Mega Song and get it back up on YouTube where it could stay unmolested, MegaUpload filed a restraining order against Universal that would keep them from messing with the video until they could provide proof of infringement, thereby validating the DMCA taked0wn request. In a bizarre twist, Universal has said that won't be necessary: The takedown was not a DMCA affair but rather the result of a private contract between Universal and YouTube, the critera of which are not limited to mere copyright infringement. Say what?

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  8. Universal Has Episode of Tech News Today Pulled From YouTube, Continues To Flip Out Over MegaUpload Song

    Getting videos pulled from YouTube seems to be all the rage these days. First we had Viacom pull the trailer for The Last of Us for absurd reasons, and now Universal is following suit by having an episode of Tech News Today pulled from YouTube for the sole reason that the episode covered the MegaUpload song debacle. The episode in question contained two clips of the song -- only one of which was played with the accompanying audio -- during a discussion of the impending lawsuit between MegaUpload and Universal. Apparently, those short clips felt like salt in the wound to Universal, who had the episode pulled immediately and successfully, despite the lovely little thing we like to call "fair use."

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  9. Warner Bros. Admits to Sending Bogus Takedown Requests to HotFile

    I understand that everyone is protective of material to which they hold the copyright. I understand that it's important that they have control over it, but some recent shenanigans involving Warner Bros. have shown, yet again, the fissures in a system that errs on the side of taking things down at a moment's notice. It seems that Warner Bros. has fessed up to filing all kinds of takedown requests at HotFiles regarding material they had no kind of actual copyright claim to, including some open source software.

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  10. Prankster Uses Bogus DMCA Notices to Take Down Bieber's YouTube Channel

    Just like I predicted on several occasions, YouTube's over-the-top, self-defensive copyright policy has been purposefully abused on a large scale in order to trick YouTube into haphazardly removing videos it had no business being worried about. A currently unknown person registered with the username iLCreation, hopped on YouTube and claimed copyright to each and every Justin Beiber music video. What do you think YouTube did? Took the copyright notifications of an exceedingly famous artist's every video 100% seriously and shut down Beiber's entire Vevo channel without asking for any sort of proof of the claims. As if that weren't enough, a similar attack affected Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars. It makes sense that YouTube enacts their policy this way in order to protect themselves, but this really lays bare how ridiculously extreme that policy is. If the process hadn't been automated and they had given even one second's thought to the situation, you'd think they might come to the conclusion that "Hey, about 5 pop superstars are participating in copyright infringement against one dude and he just noticed and thought to do something about it now, all at once? Hey, wait a minute...." Except that YouTube's all-complaints-are-true, automated copyright policy kept them from arriving at that second sentence.

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