Microsoft Accidentally Issues DMCA Takedowns for U.S. Gov't, Google, Itself
October 8, 2012 1:42 PM
comment(s) - last by
Seemingly incompetent contractors lead to bizarre DMCA notices on Microsoft's behalf
In a fit of sloth, Microsoft Corp. (
) has become among the companies to outsource/automate its
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
(DMCA) [PDF] (see
of the U.S. Code) takedown request process. Unfortunately, its partners' codes appear to be badly broken and posting a whole host of
For those unfamiliar, the DMCA gives an apparatus where companies can send requests to search engine firms like Google Inc. (
), demanding they remove certain search results that
are believed to contain "stolen" intellectual property
. By blacklisting sites, companies can stop users from finding them and (in theory) halt the spread of the "stolen" work.
Such requests are
1/3rd of takedown requests are
not valid copyright claims
and the three fifths target a competitor's webpage.
But in Microsoft's case the abuse appears to be accidental.
In fact Microsoft's third-party DMCA takedown contractor
, asked Google to remove "bing.com" from its search results
. Microsoft's contractor also asked Google
to take down its own homepage, on Microsoft's behalf.
In a testimonial on its homepage Marketly quotes Microsoft as pleased with its performance, quoting, "Marketly has engineered solutions that address today’s anti-piracy challenges, producing quantifiable results for Microsoft. We are pleased with Marketly’s responsiveness. They have been very easy to work with. – Online Piracy Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation..."
Thanks to another partner --
, a "digital agency... founded by experts from the world of radio, television and internet" -- Microsoft also became
the only party
request the takedown
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Department of Health
Microsoft wants to take down the U.S. government -- or at least some of its webpages.
[Image Source: Microsoft]
Microsoft was one of only two copyright owners to
try to take down
U.S. National Institutes of Health
webpage, as well.
Those takedowns were among the high profile targets of a July 27, 2012 takedown request list on Google's clearinghouse of takedown information and
by chillingeffects.org – a collaboration between the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and various law school professors. Among other high profile targets of Microsoft's/leakid's July scattershot include a number of news sites, such as
, CBS Corp. (
, Time Warner Inc.'s (
The Huffington Post
Leakid has tried, on Microsoft's behalf,
to take down
Microsoft and DMCA cat have a lot in common. [Image Source: Error Access Denied]
Microsoft's contractors have sent out
nearly 5 million takedown requests
to Google alone, so it's easy to note how such sloppy errors could occur, though you'd think the partners could be a bit smarter with their filtering.
Sadly Microsoft is not alone in its display of DMCA insanity. Just ask
convicted tax evader
Gary Quintinsky who
tried to take down
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
's homepage. That said, Microsoft and its "cronies" appear to be leading the way in bogus takedown requests.
Google [Transparency Report]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
10/8/2012 7:24:42 PM
Indeed, there needs to be something to limit and deter false claims without restricting justice to the rich.
For example; There are many amature photographers who have had images 'stolen' for commercial use. If a bond were required I couldn't afford to cover (tens of)thousands of £/$ to protect one of my images being used.
10/8/2012 7:37:37 PM
How about a fix processing fee per request say 1$. That would probably trim down the request considerably.
10/8/2012 7:54:47 PM
What if the rules were tiered. Bigger business must pay the bond whereas small businesses might not need to pay anything. And there would need to be other rules to protect the little people.
10/8/2012 10:41:43 PM
Then big businesses would hire small businesses to send their DMCA takedown requests for them. And if it became forbidden to send a DMCA request for someone else, then they'd sublicense the IP to a small business for a fixed amount of time.
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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