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rainy

"DMCA Notice" Used to Shut Down Popcorn Time On Github

Emily Hong - Chilling Effects Staff, July 15, 2014
Abstract: On July 11, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has filed an curious "Notice of Infringement" under the DMCA, demanding that Github remove repositories, known as "repos," for the popular open source software PopcornTime. PopcornTime is a Netflix-style media streaming service built on peer-to-peer file sharing; the software, sometimes referred to as "Netflix for Pirates," was built and is maintained by a network of anonymous programmers. Its source code has been hosted on Github, a popular code-sharing and collaboration site used by programmers around the world.
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sunny

International Takedown Notices: Where are they coming from?

July 08, 2014
Abstract: The globalization of the Internet has almost always outpaced the creation of international laws to online behavior. To some extent, this has increased the prominence of globally-operating Internet service providers, like Google and Twitter, as the de facto arbiters of multinational disputes online. The number of takedown notices from international senders reported to ChillingEffects.org has been rising, including requests for removal of online content based on US laws like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
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partly cloudy

The Right to be Forgotten: Already in Need of Reform?

Emily Hong - Chilling Effects Staff, July 07, 2014
Abstract: Google is currently dealing with a backlog of over 50,000 European "Right to be Forgotten" (R2BF) requests, and both privacy and free speech advocates watched raptly as the search engine began acting on such requests late last month. Already media organizations have cried foul for overbroad censorship.
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cloudy

"Ready for Oligarchy" Parody Restored: Zazzle and CafePress Takedown Notices

Thayer Anderson - Chilling Effects Staff, June 27, 2014
Abstract:

Abstract:
Earlier this June, the political action committee (PAC) "Ready for Hillary" issued takedown requests to virtual storefronts Zazzle and CafePress. Ready for Hillary demanded these print-on-demand stores stop offering Dan McCall's "Ready for Oligarchy" sticker design. While Zazzle and CafePress took the design down from their stores, it was restored after intervention from McCall's representative, Paul Alan Levy.


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sunny

Five Things to Note This Week.

Chilling Effects Staff: , June 26, 2014
Abstract: The Chilling Effects Staff shares some of the stories they've been following in this week's news, and why.
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sunny

Twitter Restores Access to Pakistani Notices

Chilling Effects Staff, June 17, 2014
Abstract: Today, June 17th, Twitter has restored access to the tweets and Twitter accounts that it blocked in Pakistan on May 18th, using its Country Withheld Content tool.
Pakistani authorities had requested the removal of the material, claiming that it was "blasphemous" or "unethical".

Twitter issued the following comment about its restoration of the blocked content.

"We always strive to make the best, most informed decisions we can when we're compelled to reactively withhold identified content in specific jurisdictions around the world. On May 18, 2014, we made an initial decision to withhold content in Pakistan based on information provided to us by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Consistent with our longstanding policies we provided notice to all of the affected account holders and published the actioned takedown requests on Chilling Effects to maximize transparency regarding our decision. We have reexamined the requests and, in the absence of additional clarifying information from Pakistani authorities, have determined that restoration of the previously withheld content is warranted. The content is now available again in Pakistan."


You can find the notices in question here on Chilling Effects at these URLs.

http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=1713551
http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=1713552
http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=1713553
http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=1713554
http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=1713555

along with Twitter's other notices, including other CWC notices, at
https://www.chillingeffects.org/twitter

- The Chilling Effects Team
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sunny

Automattic Files For Damages In 512(f) Suit

Emily Hong, Chilling Effects Staff, June 16, 2014
Abstract: TorrentFreak reports yesterday that the blogging platform WordPress is suing for $10,000 in damages over a fraudulent DMCA takedown notice. The notice, issued by an organization called Straight Pride UK, resulted in the illegitimate removal of an article by Oliver Hotham, with whom Straight Pride had quarreled with over an article published on Hotham's WordPress blog. The original DMCA notices sent by Straight Pride UK are available on the Chilling Effects website, as is a PDF of the original 17 USC 512(f)) complaint subsequently filed by Automattic and Hotham.
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rainy

Transparency and the EU's New "Right to Be Forgotten"

Emily Hong, Chilling Effects staff, June 10, 2014
Abstract: As of this month, following a long-awaited ruling from the European Court of Justice in the "Google Spain" case, [Press Release Summary here] EU residents can exercise their "right to be forgotten" ("R2BF") online by requesting the removal of search results via a takedown form similar to the one used to report DMCA or trademark violations. Less than a week after the form went live, the number of requests received had reached almost 50,000. On June 8, The Guardian reported that Google plans to report in some way where results have been removed.
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sunny

Turkish High Court Notices Restoring Twitter Accounts Now Available on CE

Emily Hong - Chilling Effects Staff, June 05, 2014
Abstract: Following their receipt of a takedown notice from a Turkish court that led to Twitter's country-specific withholding of the @keremtan3449 account in Turkey, Twitter has now received a second notice from a higher Turkish court overturning the previous order. Twitter has since restored access to the account, ending their Country Withheld Content action.
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stormy

Twitter Institutes Country Withheld Content Tool In Pakistan for the First Time

Chilling Effects, May 18, 2014
Abstract: Twitter has deployed its Country Withheld Content Tool in Pakistan for the first time.
Chilling Effects' database now contains five requests to Twitter from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, each of which asks for the removal of "blasphemous" or "un-ethical" tweets. The first request is dated May 5th, and the most recent on May 14th.

The new notices can be found at these links.

https://www.chillingeffects.org/international/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1738988
https://www.chillingeffects.org/international/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1738987
https://www.chillingeffects.org/international/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1738986
https://www.chillingeffects.org/international/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1738985
https://www.chillingeffects.org/international/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1738984

or generally, along with Twitter's other notices, including other CWC notices, at
https://www.chillingeffects.org/twitter

[UPDATED 2014-06-17: TWITTER RESTORED ACCESS TO ALL OF THESE MATERIALS ON 2014-06-17. SEE HERE]
stormy

MoveOn In Court To Challenge Trademark Cease-and-Desist Order

Naomi Gillens, Chilling Effects Staff, April 01, 2014
Abstract: Advocacy group MoveOn.org is in court defending its use of Louisiana's tourism logo and motto in this billboard criticizing Governor Bobby Jindal's decision not to expand Medicaid.
[UPDATE 2014-04-18: Louisiana Court Rules MoveOn.org Can Use LA Slogan To Criticize Bobby Jindal
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partly cloudy

Turkish Twitter Controversy - Two New Documents

Chilling Effects Staff, March 26, 2014
Abstract: For those of you who are following the ongoing controversy surrounding Twitter in Turkey, Chilling Effects is pleased to be able to host two new documents recently received by Twitter from various aspects of Turkish law enforcement and government.

You can find the documents here and here

Twitter's blog post on the subject is here

[Update 2013-03-26] A Turkish court has issued a temporary injunction on Wednesday ordering access to Twitter restored until it can deliver its full verdict on the ban.
rainy

Nuking a Facebook Page on Bogus Copyright Grounds is Easy [via TorrentFreak]

Andy, TorrentFreak, March 24, 2014
Abstract: "Sending a DMCA complaint to any site is relatively simple, but how easy is it for a giant such as Facebook to be tricked by an imposter into taking a whole page down? According to both victims and perpetrators, it's very easy indeed."

Needless to say, Chilling Effects is interested in providing the raw matierials to examine takedown abuse in the aggregate.
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sunny

Record Label Reaches Settlement With Lessig; Promises To Revamp Abusive DMCA Takedown Policies

Naomi Gilens, Chilling Effects Staff, March 03, 2014
Abstract: Last week, Lawrence Lessig reached a settlement agreement in his lawsuit against Australian record label Liberation Music over the label's wrongful removal of content Lessig posted to YouTube. The settlement is a victory for fair use advocates, and underscores the need for DMCA reform.
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sunny

Researches Using Chilling Effects Data Seek Survey Participants

Chilling Effects Team, February 14, 2014
Abstract: Professors Jennifer Urban and Joe Karaganis, along with a team of researchers, are conducting research on notice and takedown using the Chilling Effects database, and are looking for representatives of Online service providers responsible for takedowns to take a short (15") survey.
The survey is part of a larger project on notice and takedown led by researchers at Columbia University and UC Berkeley.

Their request and a link to the survey are below the jump.

Thanks,

Chilling Effects
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partly cloudy

If A Demand Letter Issues, But No One Receives It, Does It Generate Revenue?

Chilling Effects Team, December 06, 2013
Abstract: Rightsholders sending notices to infringers and demanding payment, or offering a settlement in lieu of a lawsuit is nothing new. In fact, it's a well-established business model. But what if the alleged infringers never received the demands?
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sunny

WordPress Stands Up For Users - Files 512(f) Lawsuits

Chilling Effects Team, November 22, 2013
Abstract: WordPress, the blogging platform, joins two if its users in filing lawsuits under Section 512(f) of the DMCA, the section addressing those who "knowingly materially misrepresent" a case of copyright infringement.
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partly cloudy

Crypto Company Issues DMCA Takedown Against Critics of Its Products

Chilling Effects Team, November 21, 2013
Abstract: As regular visitors may recall, we spent some time this summer investigating notices in our database that referenced trademark claims, but also defamation, or that seemed to be defamation claims cloaked as trademark claims.

Ongoing research in that vein turned up this notice that we have in our database courtesy of the folks at Stack Overflow, who received it from a company called CipherCloud, regarding this material on Stack Exchange.


The Stack Exchange community discussed the notice here, the Hacker News community had a fascinating discussion about it here, and WIRED covered the controversy.

All well worth a look, especially if you're interested in ways in which the DMCA and other takedown request paradigms are affecting online discourse.
partly cloudy

Apple Releases Its First Transparency Report

Chilling Effects Team, November 06, 2013
Abstract: Apple has released its first Transparency Report.
So far it consists solely of Government requests, which is no surprise in the current climate.
Chilling Effects will be following Apple's transparency progress with great interest, and hope they'll move toward submitting all of their requests and take-down notices to Chilling Effects.
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sunny

Chilling Effects Now Testing API-Based Notice Submissions

Chilling Effects Team, October 30, 2013
Abstract: Hello Chilling Effects fans and supporters.
We're updating here with some exciting news.

We are getting very close to launching our new site and database, and are currently testing our new API-based submission of take-down notices.
If your organization would like to join Google, Twitter, YouTube, Kickstarter, Wordpress and others in submitting all of the take-down notices it receives to Chilling Effects, or has been thinking about doing so, this is a great time to get involved!

To get started, please contact us at team@chillingeffects.org and we will provide you with an authentication token.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
The Chilling Effects Team
sunny

American Banking Association Has No Response when Challenged

Chilling Effects Team, October 28, 2013
Abstract: As a brief follow-up to our earlier stories about Greg Thatcher and his website with bank routing numbers, we've heard from Greg and his lawyers with good news.

UPDATE: The ABA finally did respond, with what can only be described as a "sour grapes" letter.
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snowy

Feeling the NSA Chill: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Adam Holland, September 12, 2013
Abstract: In which we discuss notices that may be in some way questionable, and take a closer look at two recent stories in which the NSA and its interests are invoked as the reason for taking material down.
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partly cloudy

Facebook Offers Its First Transparency Report

Chilling Effects Team, August 28, 2013
Abstract: Facebook has offered up its first Transparency Report dealing with government requests for data.
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sunny

There Will Be Snark: DMCA Recipient RE: Bank Routing Numbers Acquires Pro Bono Representation

Adam Holland, August 27, 2013
Abstract: In early July, we wrote about Greg Thatcher, who received a DMCA notice from the American Bankers Association, demanding the takedown of his website offering a searchable database of U.S. bank routing numbers.
There have been new developments in the situation, most notably an amazing letter from Thatcher's new lawyers.
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cloudy

This Post Is No Longer Available Due to…. (Why DMCA Abuse Occurs)

Matt Schruers, http://www.project-disco.org, August 14, 2013
Abstract: [cross-posted from project-disco.org]

Years ago, when the "Hampsterdance" was still the rage and the blink tag was still socially acceptable HTML, I briefly advised a business on their options for responding to a [trademark]sucks.com problem, about which I had done some writing. The client was being tarred by a vocal critic residing at a domain name in the nature of [client's brand]sucks.com, and wanted to know what options were available to respond.
There are a number of lawful, generally IP-based avenues for responding to online-criticism. One such - which no lawyer should ever recommend to a client - is to submit a fraudulent DMCA takedown notice, falsely claiming copyright in the critical content.
I was wary of the client pursuing the available legitimate avenues, however, due to a then-recent incident with Barbra Streisand.
Given that DMCA abuse often fails spectacularly, why does it still occur? There are two possibilities.
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stormy

After On-Air Mishaps, Embarrassed Newscasters Turn to Copyright Law

Kristin Bergman, Digital Media Law Project, August 13, 2013
Abstract: Whether we consider the purpose of copyright to be to protect economic rights or moral rights, copyright is a powerful yet dangerous instrument. Abuse of copyright, particularly using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's takedown notice system, is hardly new; the Chilling Effects database contains ample evidence of efforts to silence legitimate speech.

But this summer, we saw a trend of abusers using copyright to save face and reduce criticism from an unexpected type of copyright holder: news organizations.
[Cross-posted from the DMLP blog -- http://www.dmlp.org/blog]
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partly cloudy

Court-Ordered Removals From Google: Data by Country: Jul-Dec 2012

Maura Youngman, August 12, 2013
Abstract: Like many organizations, Google occasionally receives requests from governments around the world to take down various pieces of content. This is a visualization of the Google Transparency Report's court ordered removal request data by country from July-December 2012. Google made their own map, but it seemed worthwhile to visualize the data in a more compelling way to potentially notice patterns. The map indicates the number of court ordered removal requests by country, as well as the percentage of requests with which Google complied, indicated by country shade.
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partly cloudy

Twitter Releases Updated Transparency Report

Liz Woolery, August 02, 2013
Abstract: On Wednesday, Twitter released an updated version of its Transparency Report with information about the information requests, content-removal requests, and copyright notices the social network received in the first two quarters of 2013. The bi-annual report, which Twitter first published in July 2012, details worldwide requests regarding both U.S. and international accounts and users
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rainy

Court Rejects First Russian ‘SOPA’ Lawsuit, Target Offers Snowden a Job

Andy, TorentFreak, July 31, 2013
Abstract: Following the introduction of a new anti-piracy law yesterday, Russian rightsholders were quick off the mark. A movie company immediately filed a lawsuit against social networking giant vKontakte but it was deemed a failure when the court deciding the company had failed to prove it owned the content.
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thermometer

Tweet by Tweet: How Twitter Handles Government Requests for Information & Content Removal

Liz Woolery, July 26, 2013
Abstract: Twitter's recent decision to disclose account information for the individuals behind a series of anti-Semitic tweets made headlines around the world. But the move also raises questions about how the social network deals with government requests for information and content removal.
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cloudy

Backing Ban on Piracy Site Ads: Online Giants in Collaboration with the White House

Sanna Kulevska, July 22, 2013
Abstract: If you were Google, Microsoft, AOL, or another giant Ad Network and you wanted to place your customers' ads everywhere on the Internet, would the nature of the content on the sites where your ads were running matter - or would you close your eyes and keep things strictly business? This is the big question that the online giants in collaboration with the White House strive try to solve in a newly signed best practices agreement to combat online piracy.
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thermometer

First Amendment Center Releases “State of the First Amendment 2013” Survey Results

Liz Woolery, July 18, 2013
Abstract: Last week the First Amendment Center released the results of its annual "State of the First Amendment" survey. The Center has conducted the survey each year since 1997 with the goal of determining "public knowledge and opinion about the First Amendment and related issues."
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stormy

Twitter Turns Over Account Names Behind Anti-Semitic Tweets

Liz Woolery, July 16, 2013
Abstract: Following a long and increasingly expensive legal battle, on Friday Twitter agreed to turn over the account names behind a series of anti-Semitic tweets. The tweets at issue used the hashtag #UnBonJuif ("A Good Jew") alongside anti-Semitic and anti-Israel tweets from multiple account holders last fall.
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thermometer

Twitter-country takedown notices: developments in France and Germany

Maria Serena Ciaburri, July 15, 2013
Abstract: On January 26, 2012, Twitter announced on its blog the "country withheld content" function: the possibility to withhold a single tweet in a specific country.
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thermometer

Using the Chilling Effects Database for Research: Trademark Infringement Claims as Censorship

Maria Serena Ciaburri, Sanna Kulevska, Liz Woolery, July 09, 2013
Abstract: One of the things we at Chilling Effects are interested in exploring is using our huge database of DMCA take-down notices and cease-and-desist letters for research. With over a million notices in the databases, we have a wealth of information about chilled internet speech over the past 12 years. Both academics and lawyers have used the database for research purposes in the past, and we are hoping to find more uses for the data.
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stormy

Who Owns the Right to Your Face? – Websites Cash In on Internet Mugshots

Sanna Kulevska, July 08, 2013
Abstract: As a newly born and fast expanded pay-to-delete industry grows, the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse database has recently received an increasing number of take-down notices from various individuals who want mugshots of them taken down from the Internet.
What are the legal challenges complainants face when trying to delete pictures from a time in their lives they would prefer to forget, especially when these pictures have become the currency in a morally obnoxious, but currently legal extortion business?
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thermometer

Timelines: NSA & Law Enforcement Requests for Internet and Phone User Information

Liz Woolery, July 05, 2013
Abstract: Two timelines depict the growth of the NSA's PRISM program, as well as other notable events in which law enforcement officials have requested telephone and internet users' data from 2000 to 2013. Also shown are milestones in the Chilling Effects project's history.
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stormy

How Europe reacted to the PRISM scandal

Maria Serena Ciaburri, July 03, 2013
Abstract: With the aim of observing the climate online we already presented the PRISM case in a previous blogpost . Now that are passed more than two weeks after the revelation about PRISM and now that Obama has all eyes on his nation, we want to collect foreign thoughts and European opinions to go deepen and provide a wider perspective of this case.
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snowy

American Bankers Association Claims Copyright in 9-Digit numbers

Adam Holland, July 01, 2013
Abstract: An individual whose website is offering a searchable list of American banks' routing numbers receives a DMCA notice from the American Bankers' Association, claiming copyright in those numbers.
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partly cloudy

Encryption and Anonymity Services May Draw NSA Attention

Liz Woolery, June 25, 2013
Abstract: A secret government memo reveals that use of encryption or anonymity services may permit the NSA to retain user communications.
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lightning

The Future of Your Past: A Right to be Forgotten Online?

Sanna Kulevska, June 24, 2013
Abstract: “Since the beginning of time, for us humans, forgetting has been the norm and remembering the exception”. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, professor of Internet governance at the Oxford Internet Institute, discusses in his book Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, the fact that the rapid development of the Internet and new technology has reversed this thinking, and we are now facing the opposite: “Our pasts are becoming etched like a tattoo into our digital skins”. Who owns your personal data in cyberspace? And which are the greatest challenges we are facing when discussing the globalization of the rules on the Internet, with different approaches to a “right to be forgotten” in the EU and the USA?


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partly cloudy

Scientologists Vs. GoDaddy: Controlling Online Parodies

Chilling Effects Team, June 19, 2013
Abstract: The Church of Scientology gets GoDaddy to take down an obvious parody site, but the EFF is on the case.
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stormy

It's June, 2013: Is Big Brother Watching You?

Maria Serena Ciaburri, June 17, 2013
Abstract: On June 6, 2013 The Guardian and The Washington Post published some top secret documents belonging to the NSA (National Security Agency) about the relationship between the US government and some of the most famous tech companies like Facebook, Google, AOL, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo.
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snowy

A Sick Crime?

Sanna Kulevska, June 17, 2013
Abstract: A big test of the limits of international cooperation is reaching a climax as the global community tries to combat the emerging war against counterfeit pharmaceuticals. What are the greatest challenges and dangers the consumers and the businesses are facing in the fast growing and potentially lethal fake trade of poison pills?


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sunny

Chilling Effects Announces 2013 Summer Interns

The Chilling Effects Team, June 14, 2013
Abstract: The Chilling Effects Team is excited to announce that we will have three interns working on the Chilling Effects Team this summer. In addition to a great deal of energy and talent, each of them brings something unique to the project, and we look forward to their contributions.
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stormy

'Secret' Email Accounts Raise More Questions, Concerns About Government Transparency

Liz Woolery, June 14, 2013
Abstract: An investigation by the Associated Press has uncovered the practice of secret government email accounts. As more details emerge, the AP’s findings raise important questions regarding transparency and the Freedom of Information Act.
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rainy

Possibly The First Serious 512(f) Ruling in D. Mass

Adam Holland, May 13, 2013
Abstract: A Massachusetts court is hearing a case triggered by a DMCA takedown notice in which the sender admitted that they new the recipient had a fair use claim.
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stormy

How to Fight Revenge Porn

Woodrow Hartzog, The Atlantic, May 10, 2013
Abstract: Chilling Effects regularly receives notices wherein people are seeking the removal, either from search engines or from hosting sites, of pornographic images of themselves that have "escaped" to the larger Internet. From time to time the images are even being disseminated by others on purpose, with malicious intent.
Given the ease with which digital technology and the Internet allow material to be copied, shared and stored, this is a challenging problem, to say the least.
This article from The Atlantic takes a look at one way in which to do it.
http://www.withoutmyconsent.org/ takes another approach.
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What We're Reading

Chilling Effects, May 06, 2013
Abstract: Here at Chilling Effects, we try to stay abreast of what’s going on in the world of takedown notices, copyright law, and related technology. So much is changing, and so rapidly, that it can sometimes be a real challenge. We’ll link to news stories we found especially interesting in our “News Feed” which you can find to the right of the home page.

That being said, there have been so many recently, on so m any important issues, that we wanted to call your attention to them en masse. Please consider this the cream off the top of what we’re reading on the web recently.
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partly cloudy

When the Government comes Knocking, Who Has Your Back?

EFF.org, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 01, 2013
Abstract: [Chilling Effects is especially interested in Criteria #2]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Second Annual Report on
Online Service Providers’ Privacy and Transparency Practices Regarding Government Access to User Data

"When you use the Internet, you entrust your online conversations, thoughts, experiences,locations, photos, and more to companies like Google, AT&T and Facebook. But what happens when the government demands that these companies to hand over your private information? Will the company stand with you? Will it tell you that the government is looking for your data so that you can take steps to protect yourself?
The Electronic Frontier Foundation examined the policies of 18 major Internet companies"
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partly cloudy

Is The DMCA Broken?

Adam Holland, April 25, 2013
Abstract: Or is it at least wearing out? We think so.
We look at some recent events that suggest copyright law is so far behind reality that it's time for a new one. Some fairly highly placed people agree.
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partly cloudy

In The Long History Of Specious DMCA Claims, This Is Definitely One Of Them

Tim Cushing, TechDirt, April 18, 2013
Abstract: We'd like to call your attention to a great article by Tim Cushing at TechDirt that both illustrates the importance and usefulness of Chilling Effects and also demonstrates the consequences of the increasingly automated and streamlined DMCA takedown process.
When it's easy, it's also easy to abuse.
Please click through and read, and consider what research you might be able to do with our database.
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partly cloudy

Obsessed With Google, Copyright Holders Ignore The Actual Pirated Content

Ernesto, TorrentFreak, April 16, 2013
Abstract: A fascinating article from TorrentFreak, examining why content rightsholders spend all their efforts going after Google, rather than the actual host of allegedly infringing content.
"Over the past month Google removed more than 125,000 kat.ph URLs from its search index. KickassTorrents on the other hand received only 2,536 DMCA requests in the same period. In total Google received 1,344,885 takedown requests for KickassTorrents URLs while the site itself was asked to take down “only” 278,864."
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partly cloudy

One Of These Things Is not Like The Other...

Adam Holland, April 15, 2013
Abstract: Conflicting reports on the current state and activities of the copyright-dependent industry call certain assumptions in to question.
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stormy

It's DMCA Notices All The Way Down

Adam Holland, April 11, 2013
Abstract: In which requests to Google to remove links include a link to a takedown notice already sent, possibly triggering an infinitely recursive series.
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rainy

Encana Corp. Demands Removal of Unflattering Recording of Company Conference Call

Adam Holland, February 27, 2013
Abstract: A Canadian reporter posted an unflattering audio clip of a big company's conference call onto a US website. The company filed a DMCA notice with the host to get it removed, asserting copyright in the recording. So far, the host, Chirbit has left the clip up, asserting that it is a fair use.
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snowy

Controversial "Six Strikes" Enforcement Regime Likely Begins in the U.S. Today

Adam Holland, February 25, 2013
Abstract: As regular Chilling Effects visitors and reader know, the controversial “Six strikes” copyright enforcement regime likely rolls out in the U.S. today. Prepare to be “educated” and maybe throttled, but never disconnected.
Not that you’d know about the roll-out from ISPs, of course, who have been playing this very close to the vest. And not that anyone knows for sure what the penalties will be.
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sunny

Further Developments In the Retraction Watch Takedown/Censorship Case

Adam Holland, February 22, 2013
Abstract: Retraction Watch's Anil Potti posts are back up, but the situation remains very strange.
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rainy

Germans Unable to Watch Dashboard Cam Videos of Chelyabinsk Meteor

Adam Holland, February 20, 2013
Abstract: Did you see the videos of the Russian meteor explosion?
The videos breaking YouTube's view records?

If you live in Germany, maybe you couldn't.

It turns out that most, if not all, of the videos of the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk recently, all of which were captured on the ubiquitous Russian dashboard cameras, are blocked in Germany.
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rainy

DMCA Takedown Notice Extravaganza!

Adam Holland, February 07, 2013
Abstract: It has been a wild week or so in the DMCA takedown world.
Chilling Effects discusses a variety of recent stories.
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thermometer

Google Announces Changes to Transparency Report, Adds Law Enforcement Request Details

Adam Holland, January 25, 2013
Abstract: Google has updated their Transparency Report yet again, this time to include a wealth of new data on requests from law enforcement, broken down by the type of request”
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snowy

French Court Orders Twitter to Disclose User Identities.

Adam Holland, January 24, 2013
Abstract: In the latest installment of an on-going controversy, a French court orders Twitter to disclose the names of the users responsible for anti-Semitic tweets.
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snowy

Takedown of the Week: YouTube and Lionsgate Films Continue to Ban Paradigmatic Example of Fair Use

Adam Holland, January 10, 2013
Abstract: Jonathan McIntosh’s celebrated remix, Buffy vs. Edward has been a classic example of a fair use for years. Nevertheless, at the end of 2012, it was blocked from YouTube due to a copyright claim from Lionsgate Films. Despite McIntosh’s best efforts to make the parties aware of the facts, and of the video’s clearly fair use of the material in question, the video remains down.
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stormy

On Censoring Twitter

Adam Holland, January 07, 2013
Abstract: We examine Jason Farago's recent paean to government censorship of certain types of speech, as well as his suggestion that Twitter get on board with censorship too; along with Glenn Greenwald's reply.
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partly cloudy

On Censoring Twitter

Adam Holland, January 07, 2013
Abstract: We examine Jason Farago's recent paean to government censorship of certain types of speech, as well as his suggestion that Twitter get on board with censorship too; along with Glenn Greenwald's reply.
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snowy

Victoria's Secret Uses DMCA To Suppress Public Criticism of their Products

Adam Holland, December 19, 2012
Abstract: Victoria's Secret responds to culture-jamming activists and critics with a DMCA-based shutdown of their entire web presence.

We’re trying something new here at Chilling Effects today. We are going to take an in-depth look at a particular take-down notice, one that is especially interesting or newsworthy, or both, and try to tease out and examine all of its implications, policy, cultural and otherwise. We plan to do this on a regular basis, and hope it will become a regular feature of the site. So without further ado, "The Takedown Of The Week".


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partly cloudy

Huge Volume Increases and Updates to Google Transparency Report

Adam Holland, December 13, 2012
Abstract: Google updates their Transparency Report, and reveals that the volume of notices they receive has increased exponentially.
Not only is there a lot more data, there is new granular information about it, and it's now possible to download it.
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partly cloudy

Shamed by Mugshot Sites, Arrestees Try Novel Lawsuit

David Kravets, WIRED Online, December 12, 2012
Abstract: Individuals whose mugshots have been published on mugshot aggregation websites are trying a new way of getting those images taken down, one rooted in the right of publicity.
Chilling Effects actually sees quite a lot of takedown requests that have to do with these mugshot sites. Most often they are requests having to do with removing content from them, or to stop linking to them, but occasionally they are transparent attempts to draw even greater scrutiny to the mugshots in question.
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snowy

Ferrari Overreaches As it Tries to Control Design Publicity

Adam Holland, Jalopnik, December 12, 2012
Abstract: Ferrari, seeking to control its designs and how they are publicized, takes down not just an unauthorized image of a modded Ferrari, but the entire website on which the image was hosted.
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rainy

Recent DMCA Shenanigans Means More Visitors for Us

Adam Holland, December 04, 2012
Abstract: Hello, Chilling Effects visitors, and a special welcome to those of you coming here, perhaps for the first time, from this article at TorrentFreak.

If you've been trying to use the site today and have noticed that it is a bit slow, please note that we received a surge in traffic after the above mentioned article, which contains various links to Chilling Effects, was published, and our servers are doing their best to cope with the load.

That being said, if we have to have a problem, this is the kind we want to have, because this is what Chilling Effects is all about, bringing DMCA requests like this out into the public eye where they can be scrutinized.
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rainy

Google Found Liable In Australian Court for Initial Refusal To Remove Links

Adam Holland, November 28, 2012
Abstract: In what has been described as a "landmark" ruling, an Australian court has found Google, Inc. liable for defamation, specifically libel, for not removing links from its search engine when asked to.
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snowy

American Sculptor Issues Takedown Notice to Wikipedia

Adam Holland, November 21, 2012
Abstract: American sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (now deceased) have issued a DMCA takedown notice to Wikipedia, concerning 59 photographs of examples of their work.
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partly cloudy

Twitter Announces New Policy On Copyright Complaints

Adam Holland, November 05, 2012
Abstract: On Friday November 2, in a Tweet, Twitter announced a new policy regarding how it would handle tweets regarding which it received a copyright complaint.
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cloudy

Twitter Receives Another Request from France To Block Content and Access

October 26, 2012
Abstract: Following close on the heels of its first ever geo-specific blockage in Germany last week, Twitter has recently received a request from the French Jewish Students Union-- L’Union des Etudiants Juifs de France (UEJF)-- as well as from J’accuse !... - action internationale pour la justice (AIPJ), to suppress any content tagged with the hashtag "#unjuifmort" and to render access to Twitter impossible for those responsible including both the creator of the tag and the founder of the movement.

To wit: "Mes clientes vous demandent en conséquence officiellement par la présente, et au besoin vous mettent en demeure d'agir promptement pour supprimer ces contenus manifestement illicites ou d'en rendre promptement l'accès impossible."

This request from France comes only a week after Twitter had removed a large quantity of tweets with a different anti-Semitic hashtag, also at the request of the UEJF.

More details on the most recent takedown request can be found in the notice itself.

Chilling Effects will post more information as it becomes available.
rainy

Another French Request To Twitter Re: Anti-Semitic Content

Adam Holland, Chilling Effects, October 26, 2012
Abstract: UPDATED 11/02/12

Following close on the heels of its first ever geo-specific blockage in Germany last week, Twitter has recently received a request from the French Jewish Students Union- L’Union des Etudiants Juifs de France (UEJF), as well as from J’accuse !... - action internationale pour la justice (AIPJ) to suppress any content tagged with the hashtag "#unjuifmort" and to render access to Twitter impossible for those responsible including both the creator of the tag and the founder of the movement.

To wit: "Mes clientes vous demandent en conséquence officiellement par la présente, et au besoin vous mettent en demeure d'agir promptement pour supprimer ces contenus manifestement illicites ou d'en rendre promptement l'accès impossible."

More details can be found in the notice itself.

Chilling Effects will post more information as it becomes available.
UPDATED 11/02/12
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sunny

Chilling Effects Announces Partnership with Behance

Chilling Effects Team, October 22, 2012
Abstract: Chilling Effects is pleased to be able to announce a new partnership with Behance.
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partly cloudy

In Precedent-Setting Move, Twitter Blocks Tweets On Country-Specific Basis

Adam Holland, October 19, 2012
Abstract: For the first time since they announced their ability to do so in January of 2012, Twitter has blocked access to a Twitter user's tweets on a country-specific basis.
As of Thursday October 18, 2012, Twitter users in Germany will not be able to view the tweets from the far right-wing organization "Besseres Hannover".
Twitter's move to block Besseres Hannover comes at the request of the German government, who forced the group to disband, and sought, among other goals, the complete closure of all of the group's social media accounts.
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sunny

Google engineers policing governments trying to police Internet

Melissa Harris, Chicago Tribune, October 19, 2012
Abstract: Brian Fitzpatrick is a veteran Google Chicago engineer who majored in Latin but has become an expert in government censorship of the Internet.

Two years ago his team of five engineers, all working in Chicago, began tallying and helping publish the number and types of government requests Google receives to remove content from its products or turn over information about users.

Thanks to this team, we now know that online censorship comes from dictatorships and democracies alike.
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partly cloudy

EFF Urges Judge To Rule for the Mother Of The "Let's Go Crazy" Dancing Baby

Adi Kamdar, EFF, EFF Press release, October 11, 2012
Abstract: San Jose, CA - On Tuesday, October 16, at 3 p.m., the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will urge a federal judge in San Jose, California to rule that Universal Music Corp. violated the law when it sent YouTube a takedown demand over a home movie of a toddler dancing to a Prince song.
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sunny

YouTube Upgrades its Takedown Challenge Procedure for ContentID-Triggered Video Removal

Adam Holland, Chilling Effects, October 04, 2012
Abstract: Until quite recently, ContentID, YouTube’s internal monitoring software to detect material that (theoretically) infringed copyrights, had little or no appeals process. This was frustrating for many YouTube users, leading some to stop using YouTube altogether and others to write long and thoughtful "Dear YouTube" letters, in hopes of creating positive change.
But yesterday, YouTube users everywhere were given at least some reason to celebrate. Whether it was the gradual accumulation of user complaints, or the egg on the face of the recent takedown of the Democratic National Convention’s livestream, and the takedown of public domain NASA footage, YouTube announced fairly substantial revisions to their Content ID policy, specifically with respect to posters challenging takedown of material.
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stormy

Robots Mistakenly Take Down Livestreams

Adam Holland, September 18, 2012
Abstract: There has been a recent flurry of incidents where automatic software monitors have blocked access to live streaming video feeds on the grounds of copyright infringement. We take a closer look, and discuss the implications.
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partly cloudy

The RIA of Japan Suggests ISPs Could Avoid Liability by Monitoring Users' Downloads

"enigmax", TorrentFreak, June 24, 2012
Abstract: Several music rights groups including the Recording Industry Association of Japan say they have developed a system capable of automatically detecting unauthorized music uploads before they even hit the Internet. In order to do that though, Internet service providers are being asked to integrate the system into their networks. . . .
The system is being promoted as a benefit to ISPs, in the sense that once installed (and licensed at a cost of around $600 per month) they can potentially avoid being held liable for copyright infringements carried out by their customers.
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thermometer

Takedown Complaints in the Android Marketplace

Wendy Seltzer, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 03, 2011
Abstract: Earlier this year, Google began sending to Chilling Effects the requests it received for takedown from the Android Marketplace. Since this represents a new source of data, we take a look at the first month's input, February 2011.
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cloudy

Repeat Senders

Wendy Seltzer, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, December 15, 2010
Abstract: In the last year, Chilling Effects saw more than 12,000 cease-and-desist notices reported. Over the next few weeks and into 2011, we will be doing preliminary analysis of patterns in those notices. We are also preparing the data to be more easily usable by other researchers.

In this post, I look at repeat senders -- individuals and entities who send frequent DMCA takedown notices.
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stormy

iPhone Jailbreaking and the DMCA

Sinny Thai, University of San Francisco Internet + Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, December 15, 2010
Abstract: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was originally enacted to prohibit “circumvention” of digital rights management and “other technical protection measures” used to protect and control access to copyrighted works. The DMCA has since cast a wide net to protect copyrighted material even when the use of the copyright materials arguably may be permissible under fair use guidelines.
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snowy

The Value of a "-book": Facebook v. Teachbook

University of San Francisco Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, December 15, 2010
Abstract: On August 18, 2010 Facebook, Inc., better known as Facebook.com, one of the world’s most popular Internet websites, filed a federal lawsuit against Teachbook.com LLC alleging trademark infringement due to the use of Teachbook.com’s “-book” suffix in its registered domain name. This will be a case of first impression in the Northern District of California, and will test the ability of wholly online services to trademark otherwise generic portions of their domain name.
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sunny

Better to Switch Than Fight?

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, September 03, 2010
Abstract: The New York Times today (page B1) is reporting that "more than one-third of the two billion views of YouTube videos with ads each week are ... uploaded without the copyright owner's permission but left up by the owner's choice." The content owners are choosing to not request that the posted material be taken down because YouTube splits the ad revenue with them. The Times notes that "[h]undreds of these [content] partners make more than $100,000 per year."
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sunny

A New DMCA Exemption for Security Research

Blake Ellis Reid, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, August 06, 2010
Abstract: By now, most readers have probably heard about the six newly minted exemptions to the anti-circumvention measures of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), announced last week by the Librarian of Congress. For the uninitiated, Ars Technica and David Abrams of Chilling Effects have excellent overviews of the exemptions, which provide much-needed legal cover for a variety of activities including jailbreaking and unlocking cell phones, decrypting DVDs for non-commercial remixes, and several others.

Of particular interest to folks in the security community is the exemption granted for security research on video game digital rights management (DRM) systems, stemming from both realized and potential security holes in systems like Safedisc and SecuROM.
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partly cloudy

Fight For Your Right For Fair Use

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, July 27, 2010
Abstract: The Library of Congress has released a list of six circumstances in which circumvention of copyright access controls will not be a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In addition to limited exceptions for security testing of video games and dealing with obsolete hardware dongles, these include "jailbreaking" an iPhone to run user software, circumventing restrictions on connecting a used mobile phone to an alternate wireless network, removing CSS protection from a DVD to extract small portions for the purpose of criticism or comment and enabling read-aloud access to electronic books where there is no other way to get similar functionality.
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thermometer

ThinkGeek : Officially our best-ever cease and desist

ThinkGeek, June 21, 2010
Abstract: ThinkGeek describes its "best-ever cease and desist letter" recently received for its April Fools' product Canned Unicorn Meat:

"The very special but also very real letter is from the National Pork Board, who claims we're infringing on the slogan "The Other White Meat," a slogan they're apparently thinking about phasing out anyways."

The New York Times blogs it as Unicorns. They’re Not the Other White Meat.

What a meaty issue!
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sunny

East Coast Enlightenment - Protect the Innocent

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, May 21, 2010
Abstract: A recent ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, applicable to residents of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont, appears to recognize the "innocent infringer" defense for copyright infringement of sound recordings. This runs counter to decisions of two other circuit courts which effectively read this defense out of the law for music infringement. In addition, the decision defines a record album as a single "work" to which only a single statutory penalty applies, rather than holding that each song on the album is a separate work, thus reducing the risk of ruinous penalties for innocent infringement.
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sunny

East Coast Enlightenment - Protect the Innocent

David Abrams, May 21, 2010
Abstract: A recent ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, applicable to residents of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont, appears to recognize the "innocent infringer" defense for copyright infringement of sound recordings. This runs counter to decisions of two other circuit courts which effectively read this defense out of the law for music infringement. In addition, the decision defines a record album as a single "work" to which only a single statutory penalty applies, rather than holding that each song on the album is a separate work, thus reducing the risk of ruinous penalties for innocent infringement.
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stormy

The IFPI's Takedown Campaign: By the Numbers

Blake Ellis Reid, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, May 16, 2010
Abstract: In the time it takes you to read this article, at least one URL may have disappeared from Blogger as a result of a takedown notice from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. While the IFPI's takedown of several high-profile music blogs has raised eyebrows over the past several months, an analysis of the Chilling Effects notice archive reveals that IFPI's campaign is much larger in scope than previously understood, likely facilitated by automated infringement detection tools.
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sunny

Fight the [Automated] Powers That Be

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, April 27, 2010
Abstract: Google has clarified the procedure for disputing automated YouTube takedowns. By checking a box in the dispute form to indicate you believe your use of the copyrighted material is protected by fair use or is allowed for some other reason, YouTube will reinstate the video and the copyright holder will have to follow the formal DMCA takedown procedure if he or she believes you are mistaken.
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stormy

More Chilling than the DMCA - Automated Takedowns

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 17, 2010
Abstract: A federal statute, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), allows copyright holders to have material they allege infringes their copyright removed by a poster's Internet Service Provider or web host without a court order or benefit of the adversarial process. Nevertheless, the DMCA takedown procedure is governed by federal law and it gives the poster at least some protection against abusive takedown notices. YouTube has installed automated software that allows copyright holders to choose to block any video uploaded by a user that contains their copyrighted content, even when the use of that content would be legal under current law. This has resulted in videos being blocked that contain music by bands playing their own songs and presentations by legal scholars discussing copyright law. The problem with this type of extra-legal automated copyright blocking is that the poster has no legal rights to get his or her content reinstated. YouTube is a private company and can choose what it wants to allow and what it wants to block on its site with no recourse available to the poster other than relying on the good graces of the company to do the right thing.
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cloudy

Twelve Years Under the DMCA at the Electronic Frontier Foundation

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 12, 2010
Abstract: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) describes multiple instances in which the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have been used to stifle legitimate speech rather than stop pirates.
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cloudy

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Court Order. We've Got the DMCA.

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 11, 2010
Abstract: Last month, MySpace sent a DMCA takedown notice to Scribd to remove a document summarizing recommendations on rebuilding a portion of the MySpace website, alleging a copyright violation. Although originally intended to stop Internet piracy of creative works such as music and video, this is another example of the takedown provisions of the DMCA being used to avoid the time and expense of obtaining a court order to remove documents that, while possibly sensitive or embarrassing, do not themselves have commercial value.
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partly cloudy

YouTube Takes Down then Reinstates Video by Artist Using His Own Song

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 09, 2010
Abstract: Assemblage 23 (A23) frontman Tom Shear reports that YouTube removed the first video in his band’s planned video diary of their American tour at the request of Warner Music Group. The irony in the takedown is that the video included only A23’s own song and its purpose was to promote the band’s US tour and its new album. YouTube has since reinstated the video.
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snowy

Careful What You Download - What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

David Abrams, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, March 05, 2010
Abstract: A second federal appeals court has now eviscerated the “innocent infringer” defense for copyright infringement, this time for residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The court concluded that, as long as a copyright notice appears on a physical CD somewhere, anyone who illegally downloads that music from the Internet is subject to the higher $750 statutory minimum damages; even if that person believed he or she had permission to download the material. In 2005, a different appeals court made a similar ruling affecting residents of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
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stormy

Careful What You Download - What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

David Abrams, March 05, 2010
Abstract: A second federal appeals court has now eviscerated the “innocent infringer” defense for copyright infringement, this time for residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The court concluded that, as long as a copyright notice appears on a physical CD somewhere, anyone who illegally downloads that music from the Internet is subject to the higher $750 statutory minimum damages; even if that person believed he or she had permission to download the material. In 2005, a different appeals court made a similar ruling affecting residents of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
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