Warner Brothers blames faulty DMCA takedowns on their computers

Warner Brothers blames faulty DMCA takedowns on their computers
After a revelation last week of their abusing the DMCA takedown process, Warner Brothers went into damage control mode on Friday.

Their improper DMCA takedowns, which involved files where Warner didn't own the copyrights, came to light in their case against cyberlocker service Hotfile. As part of the takedown process, the DMCA requires the sender to include:

A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed

If further stipulates the notice must include a statement promising:

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.

Even as they defended their actions, Warner Brothers admitted to relying on automated software to identify infringing content without double checking the results for errors. That software made the kind of mistakes you would expect from amateur programmers:

Warner admits that its records indicate that URLs containing the phrases ?The Box That Changed Britain? and "Cancer Step Outsider of the Box" were requested for takedown.

As ridiculous as Warner Brothers' defense of their DMCA takedown process is, this is much bigger than the Hotfile case. Perhaps more than any other case before it, the Hotfile lawsuit highlights the problem with shifting the burdern for identifying copyright infringement on service providers.

In their filing on Friday, Warner argued their process was not flawed because it was not practical for them to examine every file they believed to be infringing. Yet this is only a fraction of the responsibility they claim is trivial for service providers.

Under the SOPA bill proposed in the US House of Representatives (formerly known as E-PARASITE), service providers would be expected to identify infringement themselves, despite not having the inside knowledge the copyright holder possesses about who owns a work or what uses they have authorized.

Even the copyright holders, with more information than anyone else, can't even figure out for sure which files those are. No wonder they want to pass the buck to somebody else.

Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 14 Nov 2011 10:55
Warner Hotfile E-PARASITE DMCA takedown SOPA
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  • Clam_Up

    Blame the computers and not on the people using their computers. I wonder, would this defense work for Jammie Thomas-Rasset?

    14.11.2011 12:32 #1

  • LordRuss

    Oh, it's not 'practical' for them to check 'every' file for accuracy?

    So now that we have the capability to DNA link a suspect to a crime, we shouldn't run the test because it's not practical? "You know judge, there's just too many steps to the test & we've got better things to do with our time..."

    That aroma I just stepped in sure doesn't smell like love to me.


    14.11.2011 12:57 #2

  • Tristan_2

    On their computers...really,yeah right Warner

    14.11.2011 13:25 #3

  • llongtheD

    Isn't it amazing that the corporations voices, and our heads of governments voices ring at exactly the same tone? They've both developed a keen ability to lie to customers/citizens, and both have the money and power not to be affected.

    I like how convenient they've made it to sue honest people though, well it was your IP address that infringed so... Even though the ip addresses are dynamic and sometimes re-assigned.

    This whole thing boils down to if you owned the gun, even if someone else used it to kill without your knowledge, your convicted of murder. Its ludicrous. Too bad it doesn't work the same way for corporations like Warner bros.

    If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

    14.11.2011 23:02 #4

  • KillerBug

    Originally posted by llongtheD: Too bad it doesn't work the same way for corporations like Warner bros. The real shame is that corporations are considered "persons" and they get all the rights of any other person, but they are excluded from the punishments given to persons. If I were to kill someone by giving them toxic chemicals and telling them it was medicine, I would get a manslaughter or 2nd degree murder charge...Pfizer does this all the time and they get off without punishment. They are even allowed to market drugs known to cause brain damage to children...even when the drugs are meant to do nothing except treat acne or something.

    15.11.2011 05:17 #5

  • phobet

    I find this richly funny! I would bet it's either the bit torrent client or the files they downloaded with those clients that are causing the problems.

    Hehe yep, funny as hell...

    3.3.2012 20:33 #6

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