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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 @12:21PM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That, and petition your senator and congresscritter to have this poorly written, costly law, fixed to be less poor and less expensive.

      • Petitioning is masturbation. Vote the fuckers out!

        Oh, and good luck

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Chas (5144)

          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.

      • Or better yet start filing DCMA take down notices on there websites. Nothing makes congress act faster that when it effects there campaign.

      • That, and petition your senator and congresscritter to have this poorly written, costly law, fixed to be less poor and less expensive.

        The easiest way to "fix" this law is to remove the takedown provisions altogether.

        Prior to DMCA, a person had to show copyright infringement in court before they could force someone to remove a work. That was a reasonable law that actually worked. People were not inclined to infringe, because the penalties could be fairly severe.

        But as part of the same package, it also used to be that you had to actually CLAIM a copyright in order to enforce it. That's why we have little copyright symbols in our chara

    • That's true for hosting content, but not the DNS issue. There's nothing in DMCA about registrars being required to fuck with domain names in response to someone complaining that the domain references a host that might be hosting alleged infringing material. Registrar coercion isn't in the league of legality (whoa, that's acatchy phrase) as host coercion.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      People spamming DMCA take downs to build opposition to DMCA. Just ask them for specifics, they won't be able to provide any.
    • by Давид Чапел (3032005) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:06PM (#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.

      • As much as I agree with your statements (and would love to see them implemented), is that what the law says?

        Until the law is updated to allow the ISPs to apply common sense to the decision your utopian vision will remain just that.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      Charge for DMCA take down request. Charge 100x for fake/bogus/false ones.

      Not sure why places don't do that, If i was google, I'd charge a $1000 for every false/wrong DMCA notice I got, I'm guessing that will start getting people checking them before sending them.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Pick a nation on the USTR's shitlist and host your stuff there.

      There is another option... host yourself. This takes care of DMCA requests against the hosting provider.

      As for DNS...... DNS registrars and ISPs do not host the content, and there is no DMCA letters they are required to honor in the first place, a court order should be required, so shop around for providers until you find one that tells you they won't turn off your domain or interfere with the internet connectivity to your IP addresses

  • John Smith? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:23PM (#47377275)
    In the case of the "John Smith": When someone sends a DMCA takedown notice, they declare under penalty of perjury that they have copyright on the work that they believe you are infringing upon. (If the are mistaken about the work - the one you published is not the one that they have the copyright for, or they are wrong about the infringing - you have a license, that's fine, but they _must_ have the copyright for _some_ work). So you can take them to court and give them an expensive lesson in copyright law and the DMCA law.
    • Re:John Smith? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:29PM (#47377343)

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

      • by mydn (195771)
        And make money for lawyers all around. Which is the real purpose of this law.
    • Re:John Smith? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by msauve (701917) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:31PM (#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.
      • by taustin (171655)

        That the other guy is living in his car will, no doubt, be a great comfort to me as I'm living in my car.

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

      by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:32PM (#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.

      • Perjury is a felony in the US, carrying potentially serious jail time as a sentence. As such, it's not a civil matter that you need to be involved in; the criminal courts handle this stuff. Just let the courts or states' attorneys know that the guy is engaging in perjury, give them evidence of it, and they'll either take care of it or not. It costs you very little, but potentially costs them quite a bit.

        • by steppin_razor_LA (236684) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:27PM (#47377903) Homepage Journal

          Pretty sure these people haven't spent much time in the courts....

          I was sued for defamation by a company over content that someone else published on their site. I was included in the lawsuit because I provided the owner/operator/content-creator/everything of the other site a web analytics tool I created (before the days of free Google Analytics). This was enough to confuse the courts and put me in the position where best case scenario, I spend $40K+ and I "win" and worst case scenario, I spend $40K and lose the case and face a ridiculous judgment.

          Unless you are an unemployed lawyer with no assets and plenty of free time, the legal system is a big pile of lose-lose.

    • by Tokolosh (1256448)

      ...they declare under penalty of perjury that they have copyright on the work that they believe you are infringing upon.

      IANAL, but my limited understanding is that the original claim is NOT under penalty of perjury. However, if you dispute the takedown, your counterclain IS under penalty of perjury.

      Can someone confirm or correct, please.

      • LMGTFY (Score:5, Informative)

        by jklovanc (1603149) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:12PM (#47377765)

        Read this [vimeo.com]. Yes,the take down notice is under penalty of perjury..

        Filing a DMCA Notice to Remove Copyrighted Content-for Copyright Holders
        If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide us with a written notice containing the following information:

        1. Your name, address, telephone number, and email address (if any).
        2. A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed.
        3. A description of where on the Vimeo Site the material that you claim is infringing may be found, sufficient for VIMEO to locate the material (e.g., the URL).
        4. A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the copyrighted work is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
        5. A statement by you UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that the information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.
        6. Your electronic or physical signature.

        (emphasis mine)

        • by Tokolosh (1256448)

          4. A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the copyrighted work is not authorized by the copyright owner...

          Thanks for this. "Good faith belief" can cover a multitude of sins. The use of copyrighted work does not necessarily have to be authorized by the copyright owner, for instance in the case of "fair use". Nevertheless, it can be subject to a legal takedown. What a messed-up system.

          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            Thanks for this. "Good faith belief" can cover a multitude of sins.

            That covers possible misinterpretation of the law. The courts are there to make the fine decisions. The perjury comes in making a claim of copyright when no copyright exists.

            Nevertheless, it can be subject to a legal takedown. What a messed-up system.

            That is only the first step. The site owner then can make a counter claim and the information goes back up. The copyright holder can then file suit in court and the information comes down again. Do you have a better idea of how to deal with infringing material posted on the web? Sorry but the court system is much too slow to do it on it

            • Re:LMGTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

              by sir-gold (949031) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @10:04PM (#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)

              • by jklovanc (1603149)

                the hosting company actually does some investigating of it's own (which is rare)

                What is your expertise on this? That is so far from the DMCA procedure as to be laughable. The whole reason for DMCA is to take responsability out of the hands of the hosting company. The hosting company never does an investigation. All they do is respond to complaints and counter complaints. If the hosting company opened an investigation they are taking responsibility for finding the voracity of the claims. That would open them up to litigation and any competent lawyer for the hosting company would avoid t

                • Re:LMGTFY (Score:4, Informative)

                  by sir-gold (949031) on Friday July 04, 2014 @02:19AM (#47381857)

                  It's not the greatest example, but here is YouTube's policy on counter-notices (to get content put back up)
                  https://support.google.com/you... [google.com]

                  It basically says, if the DMCA takedown is filed on behalf of one of the major media companies, Google is contractually required to deny all counter-claims. If you want your content re-instated, you have to sue whoever made the DMCA complaint.

                  • by jklovanc (1603149)

                    if the DMCA takedown is filed on behalf of one of the major media companies

                    That is a rather broad interpretation of what is actually said.

                    In exchange for this, some of these music copyright owners require us to handle videos containing their sound recordings and/or musical works in ways that differ from the usual processes on YouTube.

                    Your interpretation assumes that YouTube has contracts with all major media companies and that all contracts have this special handling clause. Where is your evidence of those assumptions?

                    This process is also outside of the DMCA process and does open YouTube up to litigation. This is also completely different than your original scenario of checking with the original complainant. There is nothing the the YouTube policy about investigation. The po

          • Thanks for this. "Good faith belief" can cover a multitude of sins. The use of copyrighted work does not necessarily have to be authorized by the copyright owner, for instance in the case of "fair use".

            The law says what it says. Now if we ignore the fact that "fair use" will be a very rare situation, the law says the copyright holder can ask for the work to be taken down if you are not authorised, and the copyright holder is not required to investigate at this point whether you did something that doesn't require authorisation. "Fair use" = not authorised. "Fair use" can only be used as a defence in court when you are sued for copyright infringement.

        • Well, vimeo has it wrong. Here is the actual text of the applicable part of the law:

          (vi) 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.

          The possible perjury only applies to the statement that the person sending the notice is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. It doesn't apply to any other part of the complaint.

          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            Posting a quote without a reference is questionable at best.

            Second, a statement that the person sending the notice is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner is the most important part. Most bogus take down notices are for copyrights not owned or authorized to be represented by the complaining party or do not exist at all (as in the case of a name). Part of the take down notice is "under penalty of perjury" and part of it isn't. The part of it that is (ownership/representation) has a basis in ver

        • by whoever57 (658626)

          5. A statement by you UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that the information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.

          Except that Vimeo has got it wrong. The law does not say that. Instead it says:

          ââ(vi) 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.

          So the per

        • by taustin (171655)

          Can you name a single case in which someone has been prosecuted, ever, for a bogus takedown notice?

        • by Binestar (28861)

          I am sorry I'm responding late to this, but your list is incorrect with some of the placement of things in the requirements.

          Here is the Law:
          http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/P... [gpo.gov]

          The relevant portion:

          (3) ELEMENTS OF NOTIFICATION
          (A) To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:
          (i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf

    • I thought that perjury was a criminal offense, not a civil one, meaning that one cannot "take them to court" -- you can only report it to the FBI and see if the US Attorney will choose to prosecute. Am I missing something here?

    • by mysidia (191772)

      It does seem to make much more sense for OSPs to charge a reasonable civil compliance fee per DMCA action, in order to receive and process each letter through their legal staff, commesurable with the costs of opening, reading, interpreting, and acting upon the DMCA letter. The safe harbor IS suposed to provide additional protections for the OSP from liability for what their users do without their knowledge; policing distribution of their work is the copyright holder's cost.

      It wouldn't be fair for them

      • Perjury will essentially be impossible to prove, so, they almost might as well have not included the penalty.

        What? That's nonsense. You must claim _under penalty of perjury_ that some work is infringed and you are or represent the copyright holder. There should be nothing easier to prove or disprove.

        • by mysidia (191772)

          You must claim _under penalty of perjury_ that some work is infringed and you are or represent the copyright holder.

          False. Only the second part is required to be under penalty of perjury: the part where you claim that you are or represent the copyright holder of the work alleged to be infringed; the allegation of infringement is not under a penalty of perjury, even if it's obviously bogus.

          If you do commit this perjury; it is not going to be provable by a third party, unless the copyright work you are a

  • Takedown + waiting for a counter notice is not overreacting, it is the appropriate reaction. And of course they have to send your counter notice to the claimant. What are you afraid of? Just write in your counter notice to John Smith "I own the copyright on all the works on my site, and if John Smith thinks he can force me to remove an article about a different person with the same name, I'd like to know what drugs he is taking. "
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A hosting service is there to run a business, not shield you from the legal process, even if it is being misapplied or abused. Their obligation is to follow the terms of the DMCA and that is all.

    Any hosting service that did offer such a protection would need to charge the equivalent of having an attorney on retainer plus enough funds to fight it out, i.e. more than you could afford to pay for such hosting. Even then you wouldn't know if the attorney they hired was any good.

    • by unrtst (777550)

      A hosting service is there to run a business, not shield you from the legal process, even if it is being misapplied or abused. Their obligation is to follow the terms of the DMCA and that is all.

      Any hosting service that did offer such a protection would need to charge the equivalent of having an attorney on retainer plus enough funds to fight it out, i.e. more than you could afford to pay for such hosting. Even then you wouldn't know if the attorney they hired was any good.

      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.

      • Re:None (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:57PM (#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 unrtst (777550)

          Your being overly pessimistic. If lawyers are running it, your agreement with them is almost certainly going to include their own escape clauses and a clear contract that you not violate the law. If you are found to be regularly abusing their services (actually breaking the law), then they'll just shitcan you and charge a big fee for doing so.

          This sort of business would, IMO, attract many, including the original poster, and many legitimate businesses that may not have in house legal teams competent in this

        • 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.

          It's harder in cases where your customer's work contains a portion of someone else's work, and your customer and the copyright owner disagree on whether this use is a fair use.

  • That filters out 99% of the garbage right there. Just look at their web site.

    If you don't want personal info it as a business with a business address (po box works) and possibly a lawyer to write up the one copy paste counter notice you will ever need and pay them to deal with the inbound complaints.

    If your just hosting remember your paying what a few bucks a month? DMCA notices are a cost they get shuffled in and out as quickly as possible. If you want them to look at them you need to be a bigger fish or worth there while so at least dedicated server if not a rack or more.

  • As a Canadian, I'm finding the USA's over reach getting more and more excessive, to the point that my next online business will avoid have anything hosted, purchased, programmed, owned or registered in the USA. It's getting to the point that in some circumstances, avoiding selling anything to USA customers saves tonnes of money and time with expensive lawyers... at the cost of 330 Million potential customers... but hey... there's over a 1 billion other internet users out there and growing.

    Solution: Register

    • It's getting to the point that in some circumstances, avoiding selling anything to USA customers saves tonnes of money and time with expensive lawyers... at the cost of 330 Million potential customers... but hey... there's over a 1 billion other internet users out there and growing.

      Among sufficiently affluent English-speaking countries, the United States has a supermajority of potential customers. Into how many languages will you need to translate your product or service to reach the next 330 million potential customers?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    See their CEO's infamous "...and, if left unchecked, a very frightening snake" reply to the UK government making INTERNET SERIOUS legal threats against them.

    They host a lot of "on the right side of the law, but only just" content, they make clear exactly what they ban, and they make clear that as long as their customers are obeying the law, they will defend them at all costs.

    Plus they're cheap and awesome.

    No connection, just a satisfied customer.

  • by MooseTick (895855) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:47PM (#47377533) Homepage

    "Some of these domains are .us TLD, which unfortunately will limit my choice to U.S.-based companies."

    Make a landing page on the .us servers that forwards them to servers elsewhere. Almost no one goes to web sites by name anyway. Forward it for now. Eventually your users will bookmark or remember the new site.

    In reality, you can't not get sued if you put yourself out there. Anyone can sue you for anything. It doesnt' mean they can win, but they can still get the ball rolling. And it doesn't cost that much to sue, so they don't have to have expensive lawyers. And even if you countersued for damages, that doesn't mean they will have the ability to pay.

  • Establish a side-line where you manufacture credible 'DMOA' legalistic take-down threats to -all- users of a hosting service (for you know every "thief doth fear each bush an officer") and, of course, copy the host's office themselves. Hide ye in the vast underbrush of your own making; because, really that's all the DMCA is, is a bully for hire.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @12:53PM (#47377595) Homepage
    The letter of the DMCA law works hard to make sure people who do not react properly to the issuance of a DMCA face rather brutal punishment. This is partly because of the history of infringement on the internet, that major companies like godaddy simply couldnt be reached while other emerging companies barely had offices and just ran local mom-and-pop shops. record labels crafted the DMCA, the incisors of their efforts based on the industries lack of a standard to handle legitimate problems in a timely manner.
    the other reason the punishment is pretty brutal, is because record label recording industry protection rackets and even record labels themselves had been brutalized for almost a decade by declining sales in favour of a far more reasonable distribution method: the internet. Locking down everything from unsigned independent artists with DMCA takedowns as well as fair-use snippets meant the industry could keep its fat foot wedged in the door music and talent with relatively little blowback (its their law after all..) the DMCA, one could argue, is also part of the reason the Youtube music awards were basically an advertisement campaign on behalf of the largest record labels in hollywood as it can be used by, and only by, the industry to take out mafia style hits on published independent content through the much maligned 'frivolous DMCA takedown.' Sure, other groups like the church of scientology have tried this in the past, but only the record industry has emerged without punitive retalliation from online services.

    What I think i can do is offer a hosting solution that has decent tech support for when these takedowns happen. Try Dreamhost.com [dreamhost.com], who actively oppose most draconian legislation against the internet like SOPA and PIPA. Vote with your dollars.
    full disclosure: i used to work for Dreamhost.
  • by ADRA (37398)

    I can't say anything about the rest of your post, but being the 'owner' of your domain, you ARE the target of a DMCA takedown, not the hosting provider since you control the content on your site ultimately. They'll hit the provider first, but eventually get to you, as the lawful owner of the domain, DMCA is about you, not them. If the provider sends along your personal contact information as is probably required for a subpoena (maybe a take-down, but I doubt it) then that's what they'll do.

  • NFSN.net (Score:5, Informative)

    by TACD (514008) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:04PM (#47377701) Homepage

    For this (as well as their other policies) I'd recommend NearlyFreeSpeech.net [nearlyfreespeech.net] - they have a DMCA policy page [nearlyfreespeech.net] which clearly lays out the requirements that must be met to anybody intending to make a takedown claim. They're run as a pay-what-you-use host for people who have at least a small amount of knowledge of what they're doing (no cPanel interfaces here!) and from their blog [nearlyfreespeech.net] and general demeanour it's clear that they are a company run by nerds who Do Things Properly.

    I have no doubt that they'd follow the law if issued with a full and proper DMCA notice, but I also have no doubt that they would not give the benefit of the doubt to, or go out of their way to assist somebody filing incomplete or incorrect takedown notices.

    (Full disclosure: While I've hosted my small website with NFSN for a number of years I've never received a DMCA takedown notice and I have no material which is at all likely to generate any.)

    • Re:NFSN.net (Score:5, Informative)

      by TACD (514008) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:16PM (#47377803) Homepage

      Specifically, this post [nearlyfreespeech.net] from their blog illustrates how far NFSN will go to defend their users against anybody (in this case, the UK government) who tries to bully them without proper authority.

      The official lawyers for the UK government are basically saying on official letterhead (even their own filename contains “Letterhead”), “Hey, we heard you’re small. Well, we’re the world’s 6th largest economy, so we can put you out of business with legal bills if you don’t play ball.” Now, it’s not super-unusual to see a lawyer say something menacing about how if they win, you’ll have to pay their legal fees — even though that’s often not true in the US. What’s different here is that they dropped “if we win” and added “we will ruin you.” Stating that if someone doesn’t cooperate, your strategy will be to run up enough legal bills to put them out of business whether you win or not is a little different. It’s the sort of thing you expect to hear from the smarmy thug lawyer for the big bad corporation in a formulaic TV legal drama. We don’t generally see it in the real world from the legal representatives of a developed country.

      Fortunately, they heard wrong. Our excellent legal team is ready, willing, and able to vigorously defend us should the need arise.

      So, the story so far is that we asked to have the proper legal process followed, and the UK’s lawyers threatened to destroy us. Despite this, we are refusing to censor our member’s site. We steadfastly believe we are under no legal obligation to do so, that we will prevail in any US legal action that arises from this matter, and that any attempt by the UK government to spend us into oblivion will fail. More news as it happens.

      • by russotto (537200)

        From the letter to NFSN from the Treasury Solcitor's office:
        "Clearly, the publication of personal contact information in the knowledge (or constructive
        knowledge) that such publication may lead to harassment of others, is illegal. We do not
        wish, however, to cite the relevant law in these circumstances. "
        Is there any clearer way for a lawyer to state "Yeah, we got nothing"?

      • by Dishevel (1105119)
        I love this company of the 6 domains I have 5 of them are currently NFSN.

        the sixth I do not wish to talk about but it will get moved soon.

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:14PM (#47377781) Homepage

    The WTO (World Trade Organization) gave them an exemption from complying with US copyright laws, due to a 10+ year dispute over online gambling:

    http://www.wto.org/english/tra... [wto.org]

    At the DSB meeting on 28 January 2013, Antigua and Barbuda requested the DSB to authorize the suspension of concessions and obligations to the United States in respect of intellectual property rights. Pursuant to the request by Antigua and Barbuda under Article 22.7 of the DSU, the DSB agreed to grant authorization to suspend the application to the United States of concessions or other obligations consistent with the Decision by the Arbitrator.

  • DMCA process? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by satch89450 (186046) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:27PM (#47377905) Homepage

    I used to run the abuse desk at a web hosting company before I moved on to automation control. Our company developed a procedure -- and published it -- to handle takedown notices. First, the notice has to be sent to the contact on record with the copyright office, that's part of the law. That meant it came directly to my desk. Further, the person submitting the notice had to provide some proof of copyright. Finally, the notice author has to demonstrate that the infringement didn't fall under fair use, or some of the other exceptions.

    I then investigated the claim, and if I felt there was reasonable cause for the claim I would take down the site and notify the allegedly infringing customer of the notice and our analysis. The customer could then deal with the copyright owner and then the two parties would let us know how it's resolved. Or the customer could remove the infringing material (they still had access to the data even when the site was shut off), let me know, then if I was satisfied that the infringement was removed I'd turn the site back on, and let the complaining party know what had been done.

    There was the case of a person whose site sold knock-off watches. The original manufacturer took exception to the pictures on the site, claiming trademark infringement (which was pretty obvious). The customer took the pictures off. Case solved.

    Then there was the customer who posted MP3s of music. That was a no-brainer. We terminated him for violation of the acceptable use policy.

    There were some trolls, too. One customer had material under copyright, but the customer's use of the material fell under fair use. The troll could not demonstrate how the infringement went beyond fair use. He threatened to sue. Our lawyers took that threat and ran with it -- replied with a threat to counter-sue.

    So different companies have DMCA policies and procedures. It helps to look what they have in place.

  • by netsavior (627338) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:32PM (#47377965)
    Uzi Nissan, of Nissan computer [nissan.com] fame has been paying the price for years for daring to be born with a name that was later copyrighted.

    For the record, they use a hosting provider called SourceDNS, or so the internets claim... (though I cannot find such a provider). If Nissan.com computer is still up, your theotherjohnsmith.totallynotmelgibson.disneyisthenameofadifferentcompany.biz.info is totally safe
    • Uzi Nissan, of Nissan computer [nissan.com] fame has been paying the price for years for daring to be born with a name that was later copyrighted.

      That case must be about the most stupid use of lawyers that I've heard of. If you follow the link, you will see that neither Uzi Nissan nor the Nissan car company can make proper use of the www.nissan.com domain. I'd bet that Nissan's lawyers very proudly reported that they won a court case - which is totally pointless, because their goal should have been to get the use of the domain name.

      Had Nissan not sent lawyers but someone with intelligence, then they would be able to use the name, and Uzi Nissan wo

  • Most seem to over-react and require an official counter-response

    That's because the law requires them to do this. They must either take down the content, or you must provide an official counter-response. There is no 3rd-option of saying "This request is bogus, ignore it" even if it actually is bogus.

    • Nope; this is the "safe harbor" provision. If the hosting site follows DMCA procedure, they have no legal liability. They can deviate, such as throwing away a DMCA notice, but at that point they assume some legal liability. They can judge that a copyright suit would clearly fail, but there's the risk that (a) the owner of the copyright referenced in the notice will sue anyway, costing them some money, and (b) a court finds that there is infringement. There's also the cost of actually looking at DMCA re

  • Run your websites from your own machines. Don't depend on others.

  • Though at a higher cost and depending on your location, you may able to get sufficient coercivity to simply facilitate your own hosting.

    Setting up your own Linux-based web server is quite easy for the technically inclined.

    Then you are free to respond to bullshit DMCA requests with, "are you prepared to commit perjury by filling a false and dubious DMCA claim?"

  • Host the sites yourself. CPUs and bandwidth has never been cheaper.

  • Host it e.g. in Switzerland.
    I work at a Swiss hosting company - few corporate entities from the US go as far as getting a court-order from a Swiss judge (which we require before we do anything).
    We get tons of bogus "Hi, I work for .... , we represent this-and-that large company and so-and-so infringes on our client's copyright etc." emails.
    We all tell them to come back when they've got a court-order signed by a Swiss judge. Registered mail.
    But of course, unless you also live in Switzerland, the lawyers
  • I have found dreamhost.com to be particularly level-headed when dealing with DMCA-based bullshit. And yes, my opinion is based on a series of experiences with DMCA-trolls.
  • Find yourself a good Seedbox out of the country.
  • simple as that ... because why the heck should anyone in country X care about a DMCA request?

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