On DMCA False Flagging

Jan. 17, 2022

Anyone with a keyboard can easily send off a DMCA takedown request to anyone, though should it be done in error, and given that the receiver should care enough, it could result in legal actions. However, that’s a what-if that rarely comes to realization. In the countless cases of large corporations sending a false takedown request to, for example, a search provider, requesting de-indexing of the alleged infringing content, it will not have any sort of negative repercussions for the false flagger; only resulting in problems and potentially massive financial losses for the affected sites.

While one of the primary reasons for the utter lack of blowback for the flagger is, of course, their massive resources they’ve got behind them; there’s also the skewed way of the law and lack of president sat by courts prior. For those on the receiving end of these cases blatant misuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, there’s a severe lack of equally easy and effective counter measures. Sending a counter-notice back will only, at the best average case scenario, merely result in the reinstatement of the search result. However, that’s time and visitor traction, and long-term monetary loss that will never come back. The sending party will have lost nothing extra with their mass-takedown request – “oops, sorry ‘bout that” – and the affected party will have to expend a large amount of resources to have the case fought in court; likely only to no avail.

Looking at cases like FAK{2}U taking a grand hypocritical stance against alleged copyright offenses; Colombian Pictures sending out blatantly false takedown requests; Web “Dumbfuck” Sheriff who went after anyone or anything that happened to have 2:22 in the URL; and Toei(diots)? Animation, who apparently doesn’t know what reviews or fair-use are; it’s quite clear that many of these companies don’t give a damn about verifying their claims, and sometimes even does so with malicious intent.

Now, there’s also plenty of cases where the offender’s utter incompetency also ends up effecting themselves, as with Too(nope)?mics’ DMCA shotgun-tactics ends up targeting themselves; brain-less anti-piracy firms who tries to take down localhost addresses; and the list of ineptitude goes on and on.

Companies like Soyny, et al loves to bang on the drum of how piracy affects artists and how it’s the worst thing ever, but equally don’t give a crap about how their anti-piracy tactics affects everyone else. As such, if there were any sort of equality in the eyes of the law, the blatant misuse of the tools the law affords these kinds of companies should be a criminal offense deserving of equally harsh punishments which the copyright offenses themselves carries.