back to article Pirate stomping by Google et Cie won't work, says expert

Plans developed by search engines that would define how rights-holders engage with them over the removal of links to copyright infringing content seek to introduce new thresholds over notice and takedown standards that EU law does not require, an expert has said. Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft have drawn up a series of " …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. John Robson Silver badge

    But the notice is still issued by a rights holder, not the courts.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton



    2. Blarkon

      So what you are saying is that for every infringing item on a search engine, the person who created the work needs to go to court.

      It costs roughly 10K-20K to pursue one case of someone posting a work through the courts. That's one case. If you have hundreds of copies of your stuff posted online ...

      To put that in perspective, the average advance on a book is between 5-10K and most don't earn their money back. Taking one takedown through court is likely to cost more than most works earn and the only one making a profit is the lawyers. (well that and the advertising company running adds against the pirated content)

      What *is* the problem with someone listed as the copyright holder on the work contacting a search engine and saying "can you remove these links to my work please"?

      (the reality is that people on the search engine end don't want to do the cursory validation of "yes that person seems to be the registered copyright holder of that work")

      There needs to be a way for creators to get this sort of thing remediated without it costing them thousands in legal fees.

      1. Invidious Aardvark


        So what you're saying is that we don't need to worry about the courts adjudicating on matters of law, we can just let companies and/or individuals promise to be truthful when issuing takedowns?

        The search engines do have a point - removing a link is kind of pointless when the content is still out there; I appreciate that removing links from search results makes it harder to find the material, but surely the best way to stop infringement is to remove the material from the offending website altogether? If you just remove the page/site in question, the rights holder is going to be in the same situation again when someone creates a page that links to the offending page, possibly via a URL shortening service so that the search engine doesn't even know that it is referring the to the already expunged page and thus can't automatically not index the page. Remove the source and the problem goes away (until another source pops up).

        The problem with a rights holder contacting a search engine and just saying "this is my work, please remove it" is that the search engine now has to verify identity of the user and that they are indeed the owner of the material in question, otherwise *anyone* can contact the search engine and get pretty much anything removed with no evidence that they are entitled so to do. A court order is a much more reassuring document on which to act when removing items, since ownership and identity have presumably already been proven.

        Finally, your point about court costs, while probably true, is a problem with the legal system and is not limited to the issue being discussed. I'm sure there are lots of scenarios in which the cost of litigation deters people from pursuing a case, this doesn't mean that we should bypass due process.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is the problem with ...

        The problem with someone listed as the copyright holder on the work contacting a search engine and saying "can you remove these links to my work please" is that what happens in practice is that certain companies automatically generate millions of messages to Google, etc, with no easy way to reply to them and contact a human being, claiming that millions of things infringe on their (usually unspecified) rights.

        Copyright holders are not usually registered, and even if they are it's hard to know whether a given file contains material taken from a particular registry entry, and then whether it counts as "fair use", etc, etc.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like the most sensible thing to date, but still the BPI swinging its flaccid wang around pretending to be relevant to anyone but a few shit artists and a lot of fat cats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not to mention they collect lots of cash and then don't pass it on to the artists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Cite sources - Unless you're getting the charitable work they do mixed up with the redistribution of royalties?

    2. Thorne

      Na it's still a complete waste of time. Will Google remove links to other sites which are links to pirated content? What about links to links to links to pirated contant? Change the domain name and suddenly it's all back.

      It's weeks of paperwork to remove one link and half a second to change the domain.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To me, the most salient point is the first sentence:

    The UK internet economy now accounts for over 7.2 per cent of UK GDP and is forecast to

    grow to over 10 per cent by 2015

    And we, those in the industry, are expected to do this in spite of Luddite meddling from the UK parliament and the EU.

    I'd love to be growing my GDP but I'm too busy explaining cookie and fighting off Big Brother 'punish the many because of the few' mechanisms

    annoyed? I'm pissing brimstone

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      No it doesn't - that was shot down by an El'reg story last week

      It was based on a claim that 7.2% of goods were bought over the internet.

      That's like saying Staples contributes 50% of GDP because people's payslips come in envelopes.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    "accountable" for issuing "improper" takedown requests

    But it seems accountable is just that the take down request has to be published.

    So Microsoft will still send take-down requests for OpenOffice but they will be accountable - in that Reddit might get to find out !

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must be reading the article too fast... I keep missing the part where proof of copyright infingement is provided to the ISP for a takedown notice, rather than on a whim.

    Let me read it again to see if I can find it....

  6. JimC

    After all

    Big advertising are the most important people on the face of the planet: we mustn't do anything that will inconvenience them or stop them raking the cash in...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: After all

      You sure that's not Serco?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: After all

        The REAL Road to Serfdom.

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    How about...

    ...we start by making the content matching system actually WORK? Like in order for an organisation (hello Universal, is anybody there!?) to place something on the content match list, they have to swear on perjury (as with DMCA notices) that they are the actual rights holder of the article in question. Penalty for false filing - ALL of their content is removed from the content matching database - that might help them focus on what they actually do and do not own.

    Then fix the system so that if the content match says "it's a match" and you say "no it isn't" and the rights holder says "yes it is", it doesn't fall into some mysterious black hole. Hell, you get more of a say through the boring (costly) legal process.

    As it stands, the setup is fundamentally flawed, and suck-ups to appease Big Media aren't going to fix it unless primary concerns are dealt with - namely who owns what. This is doubly worse when you consider advertising applied to popular things nets income for the false content match instead of the original creator. And, yet, we're supposed to have sympathy and believe that copyright "theft" is a terrible thing? Please... and for starters. There are plenty of others...

  8. Keep Refrigerated


    I do some amatuer photography in my spare time, I blog occasionally, I write silly (unpublished) stories and occasionally upload crappy but original videos to YouTube.

    By that definition I'm a rightsholder and so are trillions like me.

    Why was I left out of the consultation about these proposals?!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021