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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is That One Guy with a comment about Universal Music Group sending a takedown over footage of the moon:

Amazing how many of these cases could and would be stopped cold if there was any sort of penalty for making bogus copyright claims…

In second place, it’s That One Guy again, this time responding to the takedowns sent by the fake “U.S. Copyright Office” and specifically to a commenter who said they think the vast majority of takedown notices are legitimate:

And you would not just be wrong in thinking so but very wrong, as the article from the first link noted the overwhelming number of DMCA claims Google receives are for sites that were not listed in Google search and therefore would not have appeared in it and are therefore bogus, to the tune of less than 1% of DMCA claims filed being valid.

Here’s the relevant quote from that previous article:

A significant portion of the recent increases in DMCA submission volumes for Google Search stem from notices that appear to be duplicative, unnecessary, or mistaken. As we explained at the San Francisco Roundtable, a substantial number of takedown requests submitted to Google are for URLs that have never been in our search index, and therefore could never have appeared in our search results. For example, in January 2017, the most prolific submitter submitted notices that Google honored for 16,457,433 URLs. But on further inspection, 16,450,129 (99.97%) of those URLs were not in our search index in the first place. Nor is this problem limited to one submitter: in total, 99.95% of all URLs processed from our Trusted Copyright Removal Program in January 2017 were not in our index.

And another one explaining one of the reasons the number is so bloody high:

Nor is the large number of takedown requests to Google a good proxy even for the volume of infringing material available on the Internet. Many of these submissions appear to be generated by merely scrambling the words in a search query and appending that to a URL, so that each query makes a different URL that nonetheless leads to the same page of results.

Unless Google is a complete exception as far as the ratio of bogus to legitimate claims go or things have vastly improved since that article was written(and given there is still effectively no penalty for bogus DMCA claims I doubt it) I’d say it’s a very safe assumption that very nearly all DMCA claims are bogus with the legitimate ones in the very, very tiny minority.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more comment on that post, this time from an anonymous commenter responding to the claim that automated, speculative takedown notices are totally legitimate:

The DMCA requires that the person sending a Section 512 takedown notice has a good faith belief that the material listed in the notice is infringing. How can a non-existent “speculative” URL possibly be infringing, and how could anyone have a good faith belief that something that doesn’t exist infringes anything?

Anyone who sends such a notice is blatantly and willfully abusing the process.

Next, it’s another anonymous commenter with a point about the DOJ’s selective prosecution designed to maximize the punishment of Black Lives Matter protestors:

And the reason for those protests is…… persecution by the authorities.

Over on the funny side, both our winners also come in response to the moon takedown debacle. In first place, it’s an anonymous commenter responding to the obvious point that UMG does not hold a copyright on the moon:

Well, who does, then? Someone’s gotta own it, right? Otherwise, what incentive would there be to gravitationally capture celestial bodies?

In second place, it’s Bloof with one of many riffs on the subject that appeared in the comments:

When the moon hits your eye and you post it online, that’s infringement!
Since we’ve claimed it you see, you can’t use it for free, that’s infringement!

And since that subject was indeed so riffable, we’ve got two more for the editor’s choice. First, it’s David with a suggestion:

Going full circle

We need Pink Floyd to take down the Federal Reserve because of violating their copyright on “Money”.

Though UMG will then strike back because it’s on “The Dark Side of the Moon”.

The lunatics are in my hall.

And finally, it’s Rico R. with a movie quote:

Incorrect Star Wars quote

“That’s no moon. It’s copyright infringement!”

— Star Wars: The Copyright Empire Strikes Back

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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