Warner Brothers abusing DMCA takedown rules

In a court case between Hotfile.com and Hollywood studios, Warner Brothers admitted they sent takedown orders for thousands of files they didn't own or control.

Using an automated takedown tool provided by Hotfile, Warner Brothers used automated software crawlers based on keywords to generate legal takedown orders. The Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA) treats hosting companies as "common carriers" that aren't liable for the contents users put on sites. This comes from the precedents not holding the Post Office for what people mail, or the phone companies liable for what people say when calling. But the flip side is that hosters must remove files when receiving a legal takedown notice from the copyright holder.

Clauses in the DMCA punish those who abuse the takedown process., but they aren't enforced. Perhaps some compensation should be provided for owners of files ordered removed by other copyright holders acting irresponsibly. And these mistakes should temper Warner Brothers' contention that carriers such as YouTube should know what content infringes copyright, since Warner themselves doesn't seem to understand what material they own.

Stupid Warner Brothers

Way to go douchebags.

ounkeo on arstechnica.com

Warner just lost the moral high ground - the court's position is going to be substantially affected by this. Better yet, this is now pure gold for all the other similar cases worldwide, since we can now demonstrate an actual danger of giving the content owners free reign.

Asd on torrentfreak.com

If the IP holder has difficulty discerning infringement from non-infringement, how the heck is Youtube supposed to magically know?

Anonymous Coward on techdirt.com

Greedy Hollywood

Last time I checked the law regarding take down requests, the request had to be in good faith "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" (17 U.S.C. § (512(c)(3)(A)(vi)). But that's just for regular people I suppose.

thepasswordispassword on arstechnica.com

Anyone else notice how these big corporations won't tell the truth until you back them into a corner like a rat? Man, as part of their punishment, all the execs should have to attend ethics seminars weekly for the next five years. At worst, they will be bored to death, at best it will keep them out of their offices and getting into trouble.

Kharma on arstechnica.com

The truth is the industry makes a big deal out of the 1/10 of 1 percent of people who downloaded a movie that might have made the effort to see it in a theater or rent it if no download was available.

foff on torrentfreak.com

As has been mentioned here many times by others and at least twice by me, any studio that opened a site for $10 - $25 a month to stream their entire catalog would instantly drop piracy of their movies and find themselves with millions of subscribers.

Atkray on techdirt.com

Punish DMCA takedown violaters

Actually the DMCA does allow for fines if you call for a takedown and it was done improperly. However, it is a minimal amount from what I remember, for most content owners it amounts to a slap on the wrist so what is there to deter them from issuing mass takedowns.

tenoch on arstechnica.com

In some jurisdictions it's a felony to knowingly file false charges.

Fake on terrentfreak.com

Make Warner pay a minimum of $750 for each file taken down that was not infringing. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Alyssa Blindy on torrentfreak.com

Wonder what would happen if the DMCA regulators actually followed their own rules so that copyright owners who issue takedown notices for the wrong material are punished?

Top 10 Hot Internet of Things Startups
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies