Friday, October 04, 2019 by Tim Webb
Over the weekend I received a notice from Google that a DMCA Removal was issued against discchord.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a legal mechanism allowing for the immediate removal of any copyrighted material from the Internet. Its broad-reaching power has been abused frequently in the past two decades. Its abuses began almost immediately after it was signed into law, with Adobe arresting security researcher Dmitry Sklyarov. It has been abused by Volkswagen to hide their emissions test cheating. According to Google, 94% of the DMCA requests it receives are fraudulent. Here is one more for the shit pile.
The Internet is far too large to police manually. While Google acknowledges that the DMCA requests are bogus they still automatically de-list anything they get a take-down request for. A provision of the DMCA is that they become liable if they don't immediately act on a DMCA request. So we get a policy of shooting first, and determining guilt later. It was up to me to begin the process of figuring out who issued the DMCA, why, and then filing a formal legal declaration that I own the rights to the content on my site.
Back in April Ave Mcree reported that Unison Audio issued a copyright strike against his YouTube channel. This was a direct attempt to to silence a video which allegedly documented a scam Unison Audio were running. I was fairly appalled by that and its chilling implications, so I said, Fuck Unison Audio.
The geniuses at Unison Audio figured that the appropriate resolution was to just press that DMCA button a few more times to silence anyone who reported on them DMCAing Ave McCree. So they did. discchord was among 6 other sites targeted by this DMCA abuse.
The largest site on that hitlist is CDM. I spoke with editor Peter Kirn and asked for his thoughts on the situation:
"You just did the thing we said you were doing in order to stop us saying you did that thing you just did."
Now we're in an asinine game of cat and mouse where they're silencing journalists, and then silencing the journalists that report on them silencing journalists. This is a foolish course of action on their part. Journalists tend to get pretty pissed off when they see other journalists being silenced.