Google yesterday sued a group of people accused of weaponizing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get competitors’ websites removed from search results. Over the past few years, the foreign defendants “created at least 65 Google accounts so they could submit thousands of fraudulent notices of copyright infringement against more than 117,000 third-party website URLs,” said Google’s lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • @MotoAsh
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    1897 months ago

    Wait, Google cares about DMCA abuse!? Someone tell them about YouTube.

    • @Evilcoleslaw
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      687 months ago

      Most of the YouTube issues aren’t DMCA claims but their own Content ID horseshit where there’s automated matching, zero policing of catalogs and associated rights, and seemingly zero recourse for misrepresentations.

      I’m friends with a YouTuber (with just under 1M subs) who has licensed music for his intro/outro. Other people have taken that music and created remixes, then uploaded those remixes to rights management companies with access to the Content ID system. They then flag the original work automatically, which allows them to divert monetization from the YouTuber. It doesn’t go into escrow pending dispute resolution. The claiming company just gets to steal the money and keep it no matter what the ultimate result is. On top of that the initial appeal/dispute process is decided by the claiming party instead of someone neutral like YouTube themselves. It’s usually a huge hassle to resolve. My friend has lost thousands of dollars through this.

      • @Makeitstop
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        577 months ago

        The automatic diverting of money to the copyright troll is the part that gets me. That really ought to open YouTube up for liability just as much if not more so than hosting copyright violating material. Copyright trolls should be facing fraud charges and systems that reward them should be under intense legal scrutiny.

        Sadly, that’s not how it works and even if there was enough interest to organize and lobby for a positive change, there’d still be zero chance of congress anything useful in the foreseeable future.

      • Mossy Feathers (They/Them)
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        217 months ago

        Personally, if we’re talking thousands then I’d be considering lawyering up. I know that’s a dangerous game to play with YouTube, but damn dude, that’s a lot of money.

        • @Evilcoleslaw
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          197 months ago

          My friend was actually a lawyer himself previous to going full time on YouTube. He talked about it once, but suing YouTube/Google itself for it is something he wasn’t prepared to do. It’s daunting enough to litigate against someone only moderately bigger than you, suing one of the largest corporations in the world wasn’t something he was eager to do. One of the rights companies maybe, but there have been a couple dozen of those for him alone. It would be like whack-a-mole.

    • AnonTwo
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      377 months ago

      The trick is to make it so their product isn’t reliable enough to use. Then they care.

      • @ElectroNeutrino
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        187 months ago

        Unless it’s themselves making it less reliable to push more ads.

      • @[email protected]
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        47 months ago

        But they are doing that themselves already. I think they care because handling takedowns creates work for them and because they may be taking down search results that generate them ad revenue.

    • @CharlesMangione
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      117 months ago

      It started to affect someone’s bottom line.

  • The Pantser
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    587 months ago

    Can they stop the shit dmca takedowns on YouTube too?

    • @Makeitstop
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      277 months ago

      While they could, that is also a different situation. YouTube copyright claims are generally done through YouTube’s own system, not through the actual DMCA process. That system is designed first and foremost to prevent YouTube from getting sued. It’s rigged in favor of the people claiming copyright because those are the ones doing the suing. Any attempt to fix it increases the chances of a lawsuit.

      These trolls messing with Google are making actual DMCA claims, which is a formal legal process and opens the claimant up to potential liability. False claims are perjury. And by affecting Google search results on a large enough scale, they are hurting Google’s business. Those sites getting taken down abelong to current or potenti customers.

      • @Evilcoleslaw
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        7 months ago

        Not only are false DMCA claims perjury charges, iirc they’re also a civil claim of their own and have statutory damages and nearly automatic recovery of legal fees on winning the case. Still a high bar though because you must prove they knowingly misrepresented the facts.

    • Mossy Feathers (They/Them)
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      47 months ago

      Nah, they don’t lose any money that way. They only potentially lose money when stuff gets taken down; when false DMCAs are submitted on YouTube videos, the videos usually stay up, the money just gets sent to a scammer instead of the YouTuber.

  • Dave
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    477 months ago

    DMCA is such a shitty law. But companies like Google choose the safe route and believe every DMCA claim without first using humans to investigate them (because that will cost more money), and this is the result.

    I pity the independent creators and makers who get fake DMCA takedowns all the time while Google does nothing to protect them.

    If Google really wants to save themselves from this kind of trouble, maybe spend some lobbying money to get DMCA repealed.

    • @[email protected]
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      197 months ago

      DMCA is such a shitty law. But companies like Google choose the safe route and believe every DMCA claim without first using humans to investigate them (because that will cost more money), and this is the result.

      Isn’t that because Google would be liable if they ignored DMCA claims and a judge found in favor of the claimant?

      • @[email protected]
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        227 months ago

        Only if they’re wrong, but yea. The risk vs reward is massively against the favor of standing up for a defendant

      • Dave
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        17 months ago

        Yeah, it’s all about incentives. Google’s behavior is what the law incentivizes.

  • @NeoNachtwaechter
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    357 months ago

    Google makes it too easy to create fraudulent DMCA claims. Now they want to keep up their own laziness, and therefore they even go to court.

    We are living in crazy times…

  • Kerrigor
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    277 months ago

    The DMCA is one of the worst things to happen to the internet. But go figure, old people with zero understanding created the law.

  • @IphtashuFitz
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    257 months ago

    DMCA == guilty until proven innocent

    And good luck proving your innocence to the automated systems that Google uses to respond to DMCA requests…

  • @Treczoks
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    217 months ago

    If the only would do so on YouTube.

  • Piecemakers
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    167 months ago

    NGL, this bullshit is rampant in the 3D printing space, with fake accounts declaring infringement on IP they don’t own (much less do the claims even mention anything remotely relevant to the allegedly infringed IP), and it frankly comes down to a deep-seated flaw in cost-cutting automation processes. Specifically, if the monitoring systems in place weren’t 99.99% trigger-happy bots and 0.01% exploited human labor, maybe this wouldn’t be a fucking issue… But, that would take Google, et al, deciding that profit wasn’t THE reason for existing. 🖕🏽

  • @ZhaoYadang
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    167 months ago

    You can’t weaponize a law that was always intended to be a weapon.

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    87 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    Google yesterday sued a group of people accused of weaponizing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get competitors’ websites removed from search results.

    “To date, Defendants’ scheme has forced Google to investigate and respond to fraudulent takedown requests targeting more than 117,000 third-party website URLs, as well as takedown requests targeting more than half a million additional third-party URLs that are likely fraudulent based on preliminary investigation,” the lawsuit said.

    But the lawsuit helps show how easy it is for fraudsters to game Google’s system for responding to DMCA notices.

    The defendants provided fake names in their takedown requests and “falsely purported to represent large companies (e.g., Amazon, Twitter, NBC News), sports teams (e.g., Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Lakers, San Diego Padres), prominent individuals (e.g., Elon Musk, Taylor Swift, LeVar Burton, Kanye West), and famous bands (e.g., Blink 182),” the Google lawsuit said.

    For example, “Defendants falsely claimed to represent Elon Musk, alleging infringement of a t-shirt with a logo with the text ‘Pharmacy Technician,’” the lawsuit said.

    “Defendants signed and submitted their thousands of fraudulent takedown requests containing false information under penalty of perjury,” Google said.


    The original article contains 642 words, the summary contains 188 words. Saved 71%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • @CurlyMoustache
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    47 months ago

    DMCA do stand for Don’t Make the Cearch engine Angry

  • @[email protected]
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    37 months ago

    Google sucks, fuck em. I have 34,858 Microsoft accounts that I use to submit DMCA claims to MS to remove Google products from Bing results.