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Starz Doesn’t Like News About Leaked TV-Shows, Takes Down TorrentFreak Tweet (torrentfreak.com)
124 points by J253 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

It seems to be that the repercussions of filing frivolous DMCA takedown notices isn't sufficient. Proof: there's too many instances of abuses like this. What's more, the existing legislation doesn't compensate the real victims- those who posted the content. In short, the law is designed for a different time.

Simple, minimal changes are what's needed. Raise the cost of filing invalid DMCAs to a level high enough that companies like Starz are deterred from doing so. And share the compensation with the content creators who are affected, not just the platforms that receive the invalid notices.

I don't think we'll ever be able to get rid of the darned things, so we might as well push for DMCAs to at least be closer to fair.

Require it to reserve the money for each DMCA takedown request. The amount is equivalent of fair compensation if the request was borgus.

Ignoring for a second the difficulties in calculating "fair compensation," that would mean that small creators would need HUGE pots to file a DMCA against larger entities (since damages could be fair higher if you're mistaken against big/powerful/etc entities), and conversely it would still be super cheap to take down obscure creators.

In effect this would double down on the existing power imbalance, and allow large entities to continue their abuse practices almost unabated (except against one another).

> allow large entities to continue their abuse practices almost unabated

They can do that anyway. If I file a legit DMCA notice against a large corporation, they can simply file a counternotice. At that point, it's up to me to sue the large corporation and the instant it actually becomes a lawsuit, anyone without a large pot of cash to burn doesn't really have much of a chance regardless of the legitimacy of it.

Except, as it stands today, the system is extremely ripe for abuse by people who can file claims almost without consequence.

There are countless examples of YouTube creators losing monetization for frivolous claims, but as the system stands, its guilty before proven innocent, especially for smaller creators....

YouTube's take-down system has nothing to do with the DMCA. While you can file a DMCA against YouTube, the biggest problems have been a result of YT's own take-down/copyright/strike system that is of their own creation (and has no legal punishment for abuse, since it isn't built on the legal system at all).

DMCA abuse does occur. But YouTube is the exception, rather than the rule, since they're largely not DMCA.

Sure, the current system sucks. But that's not an argument against the proposed solution being also bad.

The entity whose content took down by a DMCA takedown notice counter request the amount of fair compensation which the sender must obliged to reserve it to the court.

I don't know the English law term of 供託.

Streisand effect all the way.

Everyone (Venn diagram: people who pirate TV shows AND people who watch the specific series) will rush to their torrent-provider-of-choice and get downloading.

Well played! They should also download this material and find the leak and dust up their contracts and call their lawyers. Any other snap decision just makes them look like a spoined kid that dropped their ice-cream.

We live in a world where journalism coverage on television shows being torrented are being taken down by corporations abusing laws put in place by decrepit legislators who don't fully comprehend new technology.

This cyberpunk timeline kind of sucks.

We've been living in this world since Metallica vs. Napster.

They also had the EFF tweet about the takedown taken down.

Will they take down this post too?

As the EFF reports: "Starz has no right to silence TorrentFreak’s news article or block links to it. The article reports that there are people on the Internet infringing copyright, but that is a far cry from being an infringement itself"

Serious question: could a hypothetical content host add a clause in their ToS stating that frivolous DMCA takedown notices incur a "processing fee" of $XXXXX? Or, DMCA notices that have been filed as a result of using a non-UI automated tool constitute a violation of ToS and also incur a fee? Asking for a friend.

I wouldn’t do that because then the big players could add a “processing fee” of some large number that keeps the little people from fighting them

Isn't there supposed to be an avenue of punishment for knowingly submitting false dmca claims?

Only if the target wants to pursue a lawsuit, which is obviously very costly. There is no built-in protection and I’ve never seen our government pursue abuse of the DMCA.

It’s a grey area, too. The penalties if I remember only apply for knowingly sending fraudulent takedowns. But these people are likely sending what they believe are valid reports and they will argue as such.

The DMCA was made for copyright holders so they could do whatever they want within that grey area. They have total control to remove content on the web without any real due process or judicial review.

What I read in this (or some other) account is that Twitter is the only party that can sue over a false DMCA claim, which they probably won't do.

I really would like to see a party have to pay a processing fee for DMCA claims.

I’ve never heard that. Just because the content is hosted on Twitter does not mean it’s up to Twitter. It’s up to the target of the complaint to pursue a lawsuit against the complaining party. I’m not a lawyer but I dealt with this a lot as a service provider. We simply had to follow the law and take the content down or else we would be held liable.

The system we had before — the court system — required processing fees simply by the process of filing lawsuits. The DMCA was specifically made so copyright holders can send them in high volume without any review by a judge. They don’t want to be slowed down. That law is working exactly as they intended, even though I strongly disagree with it.

I don't think this has anything to do with Twitter. They got a DMCA notice, so they're legally obligated to remove the content unless TorrentFreak sends a counter-notice.

They actually are not so required. This is often thought to be true but is very wrong.

The only thing that happens if they say no is that they may be held liable later if the content is found to be infringing. So in a case like this, which is nonsense, they could just say "no" without any fear because nobody is going to find it infringing in court.

(This will likely surprise people or generate snarky responses, but oh well) Back when we had code.google.com, the DMCA team at Google used to spend a tremendous amount of energy and time evaluating requests to understand whether they were reasonable/made sense, because code.google.com got a lot of baseless requests to remove content.

Google said no to a large number of baseless removals.

Twitter could do the same here.

(in practice i assume the volume becomes completely overwhelming at some point)

It’s semantics really. Yes, Twitter can stick their neck out and ignore it, but it almost never happens. The end result is that Twitter understandably doesn’t want to have their legal team review every single DMCA request for validity.

The law is clearly broken but service providers like Twitter are caught in the middle.

As someone that had to deal with these reports, and we were tiny, the volume is insane. I cannot imagine the number of complaints Twitter receives.

"The end result is that Twitter understandably doesn’t want to have their legal team review every single DMCA request for validity."

I mean, humans are still involved in the process almost everywhere anyway, so it's not like they save a tremendous amount of overhead to flag weird ones.

"The law is clearly broken but service providers like Twitter are caught in the middle."

Sure, that i'm not gonna argue with

Sure, but the article doesn't seem to argue that this complaint was so obviously frivolous that Twitter should have ignored it. (It doesn't really complain about Twitter at all, only Starz.)

Why would twitter ignore something that benefits its advertisers?

Now they have a convenient excuse for what they did.

There is simply no business case here for disputing claims. Even if (and that is a big if when talking copyright law) the claim is invalid, why should the platform risk it?

As you said yourself, Google had a DCMA team...

"As you said yourself, Google had a DCMA team..."

They still do, and they still push back, fwiw :)

Oh sorry, didn't mean to imply they got rid of it, english is not my native tongue. Sure, Google does, but would a smaller company be able to have a dedicated team for this? Success would pay in goodwill and sadly the currency exchange for that is pretty bad right now.

I didn't know Twitter dealt with DCMA abuse as well; I've always seen reports about YouTube or Google receiving bogus claims.

It's almost certainly covered by Fair Use on news reporting. Regardless, I'm sure TF would be happy to pay any multiple of the actual zero cost damages that Starz suffered as a direct result of their reporting.

Torrentfreak should pay Starz for using a frame from their unreleased work.

That's not how fair use works. They used a single frame to authenticate the veracity of the claim.

That s how it works in EU now

Enforcement of copyright (if you agree such a thing should even exist) should be an entirely civil matter.

There shouldn't be any special protections for the 'platform.' They host the content, they should be liable. This would prevent the consolidation of the internet into the first place.

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