Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Mega Conspiracy

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  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Or, as Corin Dann would have it, “Rick Sherpa”.

    Well, he did look like he was tensing for something...

    </coat_hat>

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to nzlemming,

    They are alleged to not have taken down material when advised under the DMCA that it was present, but only to have removed the reported links to the material, while leaving it and unreported links in place so that infringement could still continue. This, if proven, would be a breach of the 'safe harbour' provisions.

    I've seen that reported too, but it seems insane. If I make a DMCA claim to something of mine on YouTube will they remove all copies of that same item (even perhaps some that have been modified slightly?) - no. They remove the items specifically mentioned, which is all they should be required to.

    In the case of a service like MegaUpload which may possibly use de-duplication techniques to reduce storage requriements they still should not be required to remove all copies of a given file. For example, what if Kayne West, an authorised person, has uploaded a copy of one of his songs to share with reviewers etc. If another copy of the same file is reported then it shouldn't also impact his legitimate copy.

    I can't see any situation where they would be required to remove any more than specifically what they were notified of. As I understand it they had automated removal systems for publishers, I believe Universal were able to automatically remove 5,000 links a day, for example.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and here's the Kimble Goes to Monaco documentary everyone's talking about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sacha,

    Seizure of assets and shutting down of business operations, though? Shouldn’t that require more proof than “Hollywood said so”?

    So, when someone says "those are drugs", the police should wait until after trial before seizing the wads of cash when they raid a drug house? And the drug-sellers should be able to continue selling their drugs until tests are back and confirmed by a court that those were indeed illegal drugs?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    I can’t see any situation where they would be required to remove any more than specifically what they were notified of. As I understand it they had automated removal systems for publishers, I believe Universal were able to automatically remove 5,000 links a day, for example.

    Dylan, you know as well as I do that a link is not the content, though. The DMCA requires that the content be removed on notification of infringement, not that a link to the content be removed. The allegations are that MU was removing only links, not the infringing content, thus they knowingly allowed infringing content to be hosted because they didn't remove it.
    If I remove an HTML file which contains a link to a copyrighted MP3, I haven't removed the infringing material unless I also delete the MP3.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I’ll point out that any extradition will not be because of the copyright issue. The Extradition Act 1999, s4(2), does not allow extradition for an offence where the maximum penalty for that offence under NZ law is less than 12 months, and s198(4)(b) of the Copyright Act 1994 provides for a maximum penalty for criminal copyright infringement (being infringement for commercial gain) of three months.

    Why would you assume that the charge couldn't be under s 131, with a maximum of 5 years?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It is interesting that people are using the implementation details of MegaUpload's processes as a defence. Surely the onus should be on MegaUpload to implement their service in a legal way, not on everyone else to work around their design flaws?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    NBR has had Jock Anderson down at what has clearly been a chaotic morning in court.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    In the case of a service like MegaUpload which may possibly use de-duplication techniques to reduce storage requriements they still should not be required to remove all copies of a given file.

    Well, it's reported that they were using up to 25 petabytes of storage in Virginia alone, so I think they weren't de-duping. Also, I believe that their 'safe harbour' relies on them not knowing what was there until advised by content owners - if they were posting multiple links to a file, they would have to know what it was.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Why would you assume that the charge couldn't be under s 131, with a maximum of 5 years?

    Yes, I was thinking that's the relevant section.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Also, I believe that their ‘safe harbour’ relies on them not knowing what was there until advised by content owners – if they were posting multiple links to a file,

    This is what intrigues me. Does anyone really believe YouTube management has no idea it's hosting potentially infringing content until explicitly advised by the owners?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Dylan, you know as well as I do that a link is not the content, though. The DMCA requires that the content be removed on notification of infringement, not that a link to the content be removed. The allegations are that MU was removing only links, not the infringing content, thus they knowingly allowed infringing content to be hosted because they didn’t remove it.

    If I remove an HTML file which contains a link to a copyrighted MP3, I haven’t removed the infringing material unless I also delete the MP3.

    It's all rather unclear. If a given file is accessed by a specific URL only (which is how MU works generally) then removing or deactivating that link is effectively removing it. Similarly if your video on YouTube is removed for a DMCA complaint they don't delete the media, they just disable access to it. In fact I believe it would be a breech of the DMCA for MegaUpload to DELETE the media based on a notice - there is an allowance for users to appeal the notices.

    Now if we presume that MegaUpload, like many file-lockers, has a de-duplication system in place that identifies where multiple 'files' contain the same content and stores them only once, then you could assume that if 8 people have uploaded "Super Awesome Movie[EZTV].avi" then the file will be stored once, but have effectively 8 links to that content. If one is subject to DMCA complaint then only that one should be removed as the legal status of the other 7 duplicates is unknown and without a complaint it would be inappropriate for MegaUpload to remove or disable access to those copies.

    Until some detail is available about what that allegation actually means I can't see a way in which it is obviously a failure to follow the requirements of the DMCA for the purposes of Safe Harbour

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    LOL, the video of him driving real fast is great. His evil laugh was perfect "mhhehehe Dr Evil iz alvays getting avay vis it. hehmmeheh".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8587 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If you're trying to share files you personally own on FileSonic you're now officially shit out of luck.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Remove* the association between the ID and the media and the link containing the ID will no longer work. (The page will display whatever message it is programmed to in that instance.)

    Thanks, Robert, but my question is, how is that *not* considered removing access to content?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Because there are still other, functional, links to that content.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Because there are still other, functional, links to that content.

    Ok, cool. I just had no idea that you could *choose* which links to your page work and which don't.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    I think it goes something like this:

    your post is currently at http://publicaddress.net/system/topic/3346/?i=50#post246560.
    now imagine that someone decides your post is infringing.
    they complain to Russell.
    instead of Russell deleting your comment, or some of the words in it, Russell makes it so http://publicaddress.net/system/topic/3346/?i=50#post246560 doesn't go there.
    go to http://publicaddress.net/system/topic/3346/?i=50, however, and it's still there.

    alternatively:

    imagine the youtube video at http://bit.ly/aFg4gr is alleged to be infringing.
    someone complains to youtube, which makes it so that http://bit.ly/aFg4gr doesn't work, but still does.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Also, I believe that their ‘safe harbour’ relies on them not knowing what was there until advised by content owners – if they were posting multiple links to a file,

    This is what intrigues me. Does anyone really believe YouTube management has no idea it’s hosting potentially infringing content until explicitly advised by the owners?

    “Knowing there is infringing content” and “Knowing what it is” are different things. IIRC there are reports that the Feds have messages between Megaupload employees discussing in detail the particular content uploaded by new premium members. I obviously don’t know if this is true; and if true, I don’t know if it’s legally sufficient (the obvious question, how would Megaupload employees know that the uploader doesn’t have the legal authority to distribute Game_Of_Thrones_s1_complete_1080p.rar?), but it would be one step more dubious than simply vaguely knowing that there’s probably infringing content somewhere.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Why would you assume that the charge couldn’t be under s 131, with a maximum of 5 years?

    Ah, bugger, I'd missed that section. I thought I'd seen all the bits on criminal infringement, too.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This is what intrigues me. Does anyone really believe YouTube management has no idea it’s hosting potentially infringing content until explicitly advised by the owners?

    They will know, statistically, that there is content on their system that is infringing. They’re not required by the DMCA to do anything about it until advised.

    edited

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to James Butler,

    IIRC there are reports that the Feds have messages between Megaupload employees discussing in detail the particular content uploaded by new premium members.

    The email segments are included in the indictment.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    one issue has been oddly absent: what about the customers, paying or otherwise, who use the site for its ostensible purpose -- as an online locker for files they own or are permitted to copy?

    In theory it should be the same as when you have personal property in a vehicle that has been impounded, you provide evidence of ownership and it is released to you ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    If a given file is accessed by a specific URL only (which is how MU works generally) then removing or deactivating that link is effectively removing it.

    Nope. The content is still there and it’s the content that infringes. The DMCA requires you to remove the infringing content, not just access to it. Potentially, you’d make it worse for yourself if you didn’t, as you would then be, as owner of the server, personally infringing the copyright of the content owner and thus personally liable.

    As to why YouTube keeps the content alive but inaccessible (unless you have awesome Tube-fu), they have an appeal period in which you can challenge a DMCA takedown. It’s relatively easy to reinstate a reserved URL but trying to recreate a specific URL in a system that dynamically assigns random IDs to new uploads? Fuggedaboutit.

    EDIT: (Okay, it can be done but on an effort vs. result calculation, lots harder)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I imagine other cyberlockers will follow suit until they see which way the shit falls.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

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