Friday, April 5, 2013
Copyright Holders Ask Google To Take Down Their Own Takedown Notices
In a bit of copyright irony, companies like NBC Universal and Lionsgate have started targeting Google and the DMCA request clearinghouseChillingEffects.org in their robotically-generated takedown orders simply because the site contains URLs that have been previously taken down. It is, in short, takedowns all the way down.DMCA takedown notices are the quickest and easiest way for copyright holders to have things taken off of the Internet. While some takedown notices result in literal censorship, the ability to pull content off of Google is a boon for copyright holders. However, as each notice is processed, Google posts the request along with pertinent statistics and links. This, as TorrentFreak notes, has essentially created a search engine for piracy where pirate websites can be sussed out with a few keystrokes.
The takedown notices seem to automatically generated so I doubt the rightsholders even know what they’re asking let alone the irony of their requests. The ChillingEffects links are still accessible via Google because, as we well know, they only mention the takedown notices themselves and don’t host the content.
As this process becomes more and more automated, it becomes a stranger and stranger world. Given that many of these systems are robots, it’s a race of robot vs. robot for the takedowns and, sometimes, the robots turn on each other. We, at the very least, live in interesting times.