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Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests? 148

Posted by timothy
from the let's-all-just-reflect-for-a-moment-first dept.
tobiasly (524456) writes I run a few websites which are occasionally the target of bogus DMCA takedown requests. Even a cursory look at these requests would reveal that the content these requests try to have removed are not even eligible for copyright (for example, someone named "John Smith" decides he wants to have every instance of his name removed from the internet, so he claims he has a copyright on "John Smith", and the comment section of my website has that name somewhere.) I'm guessing most webmasters of sites with significant traffic face this problem, but I'm having difficulty finding information on domain registrars' and hosting providers' DMCA response policies. Most seem to over-react and require an official counter-response. I'm worried I'll miss one of these someday and find that my entire domain was suspended as a result. Both my domain registrar and hosting provider have forwarded these notices in the past. I'm also worried that they're forwarding my response (including personal details) to the original complainant. Which domain registrars and hosting providers have you found who handle these complaints in a reasonable manner, and filter out the ones that are obviously bogus? Which ones have a clearly stated policy regarding these requests, and respect the site owner's privacy? Some of these domains are .us TLD, which unfortunately will limit my choice to U.S.-based companies.
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Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:21AM (#47377265)

    You don't get to pick and choose on a spectrum of "obeying the law." The DMCA is so poorly written that even a little hesitation or restraint causes a business to lose its liability protection under the "red flag" tests.

    Pick a nation on the USTR's shitlist [wikipedia.org] and host your stuff there.

  • Re:John Smith? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:29AM (#47377343)

    And give yourself an expensive lesson in why it makes no sense to give expensive lessons.

  • Re:John Smith? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:31AM (#47377351)
    " you can take them to court and give them an expensive lesson in copyright law and the DMCA law."

    Sure, expensive for both parties.
  • Re:John Smith? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:32AM (#47377363) Homepage
    You are kidding right? Are you that foolish?

    Court is expensive. Worse, often the 'John Smith" guy is a lawyer, working for a client, both of whom are located outside the USA. So even when you win, you get nothing.

    Basically your strategy is to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get absolutely nothing done.

  • by Chas (5144) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:49AM (#47377559) Homepage Journal

    Voting is masturbation with 10 grit sandpaper and a belt sander.

    Shoot the fuckers and make sure the next bastard put in his place is appropriately scared for his life.

  • Re:None (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:57AM (#47377641)

    That's actually a pretty good business idea, especially for the thousands of hosting companies that are struggling (or already died) because of the big names taking over the game. Not all of them could do it, but someone could, especially if, within their small ranks of coworkers, partners, and investors, they already know a small legal team that is up for making some extra money. Heck, a law firm could buy up a couple small hosting providers and turn it into just such a thing.

    Except if you become known as the hosting provider that fights for its customers, guess which customers you'll end up attracting?

    Yes, you'll get those actually hosting copyrighted material that don't belong to them!

    It's one thing to fight for what is legitimately your copyrighted content. But quite another when you're hosting other people's copyrighted material, to whom your customer may not have a distribution agreement with.

    And unfortunately, the latter will ruin it for everyone else.

  • by Давид Чапел (3032005) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:06PM (#47377715)

    You don't get to pick and choose on a spectrum of "obeying the law." The DMCA is so poorly written that even a little hesitation or restraint causes a business to lose its liability protection under the "red flag" tests.

    To preserve its safe harbor protection an ISP must take material down whenever it receives a DMCA notice. They DMCA notice also relieves the ISP from potential liability to the owner of the site taken down.

    But what should the ISP do if it receives a piece of paper with the words "DMCA Notice" at the top but it does not contain all of the legally required information? Take the site down anyway? Then they could be liable to the site owner. What if some of the answers are not just hard to believe, but actually nonsensical? What if it is signed "Mickey Mouse"? Or what about this requirement:

    ''(ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site."

    What if the complainant wrote "The copyright protected work is my name, John Jones." That is a nonsense answer. It is not much different than writing "Not telling!" or "Get lost!" in the space. I would say that the ISP should send the request back with a note that it is not a legally valid DMCA notice. The ISP is not expected to verify that the information provided is true, but they should verify that all of the required information is present.

  • Re:LMGTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sir-gold (949031) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:04PM (#47381137)

    That is only the first step. The site owner then can make a counter claim and the information goes back up.

    What really happens is that the site owner makes a counterclaim, the hosting company goes to the DMCA complainer and asks "are you sure this is your copyright?", the complainer autoreplies with a "yes", and the hosting company respond back to the site owner "sorry, we verified the complaint, your content stays down unless you sue in court"

    The only time that content goes back up is when either the DMCA complainer says "oops, we made a mistake", or the hosting company actually does some investigating of it's own (which is rare)

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