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swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
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reply to sandman_1

Re: Astraweb automates DMCA removals

said by sandman_1:

Check this out in that Newsbin thread

quote:
Re: Does Astraweb have its priorities backward?
by Semel » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:06 am

i conducted a test and uploaded fake copyrighted materials. Meaning not really copyrighted but using very similar headers

They were taken down. So, no due process, no reviewing, ...

So there you go folks. No review whatsoever for anything submitted for a take down.

This could be the thing that brings Astraweb down and I don't think stevef realizes it.

Assuming this is all clear cut and dry, I think this is a better case for how flawed the process that is being used to generate the notices is, IE using an indexer to find and send notices based on hits, all automatically.

Being that it looks fairly simple to show the huge flaws in the system being used, this is the type of stuff the Electronic Frontier Foundation loves and possibly can help get clarification on how the process should be done, work with the filers / agents or just flat out expose the abuse if it is so wide spread. Maybe it could facilitate change and clarification in the law in regards to robo-filing? Never know.

As for Astraweb, I can understand why so many are upset but this should be looked at as nothing more than a business decision that they chose to do..and with that in mind, decide how you wish to proceed as a customer; or not.
--
Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts


Frink
Professor
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Scotch Plains, NJ
reply to sandman_1
said by sandman_1:

It is the ease of use sites like NZBMatrix that are hurting everyone. People really need to stop using those sites and learn how to do a raw search.

I have used newzbin do do raw searches, but find there is no difference in the content there versus the nzb'd content. Do you suggest some other alternative / method, or do you think I am just searching incorrectly? Thx.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
said by Frink:

said by sandman_1:

It is the ease of use sites like NZBMatrix that are hurting everyone. People really need to stop using those sites and learn how to do a raw search.

I have used newzbin do do raw searches, but find there is no difference in the content there versus the nzb'd content. Do you suggest some other alternative / method, or do you think I am just searching incorrectly? Thx.

The point that sandman_1 See Profile was making is that now that it's so easy to find stuff on Usenet, Usenet has become a bigger target for DMCA and the like.

Unfortunately, even if every user stopped using nzb indexers, the problem wouldn't just disappear -- the genie is out of the bottle and there's no going back.
--
♬ Music is life ♬

newster

join:2011-09-26
reply to Frink
said by Frink:


I have used newzbin do do raw searches, but find there is no difference in the content there versus the nzb'd content. Do you suggest some other alternative / method, or do you think I am just searching incorrectly? Thx.

NZB index sites pick up only a fraction of usenet binaries. A lot of content is not posted under obvious titles. Sometimes it's abbreviations or scene names. Browse through headers, and you'll see a lot of things that are not very descriptively labeled. Think of it like an Easter egg hunt.

newster

join:2011-09-26
reply to darcilicious
said by darcilicious:


Unfortunately, even if every user stopped using nzb indexers, the problem wouldn't just disappear -- the genie is out of the bottle and there's no going back.

If a usenet server were to renumber article IDs (and thus force users to abandon NZB sites and download headers instead) that would solve the problem right there, would it not?

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
reply to darcilicious

said by darcilicious See Profile

Unfortunately, even if every user stopped using nzb indexers, the problem wouldn't just disappear -- the genie is out of the bottle and there's no going back.

I think it would. I don't think the copyright trolls would browse through raw searches. It would be too cumbersome to that. If that were the case, they would of been doing it a long time before now. It is the easy manual index sites that make it easy for take downs because someone has already done the work for them.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
said by sandman_1:

said by darcilicious See Profile

Unfortunately, even if every user stopped using nzb indexers, the problem wouldn't just disappear -- the genie is out of the bottle and there's no going back.

I think it would. I don't think the copyright trolls would browse through raw searches. It would be too cumbersome to that. If that were the case, they would of been doing it a long time before now. It is the easy manual index sites that make it easy for take downs because someone has already done the work for them.

Or, they could just set up their own indexers; obviously, it's not that hard.
--
♬ Music is life ♬

newster

join:2011-09-26
reply to sandman_1
said by sandman_1:


I don't think the copyright trolls would browse through raw searches. It would be too cumbersome to that.

That's essentially what many of them are doing to Google with automated keyword-based DMCAs. I'm glad that Google is at least fighting back and calling B.S. and publicizing some of these ridiculous copyright claims.

said by sandman_1:


It is the easy manual index sites that make it easy for take downs because someone has already done the work for them.

People who upload NZBs might want to include some fake Message IDs in the NZB. A newsreader will ignore them, but the trolls will be caught submitting false claims, and causing the NSPs to delete valid non-infringing discussions.

I suggest starting with alt.fan.rush-limbaugh, people I wouldn't mind annoying by deleting their posts. :=)


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

1 recommendation

reply to Stem Bolt
well looks like it easy to get past the take downs for now. One movie that was being taken down as fast as it was uploaded all the uploader did was name the file in numbers and put it on the NZB site as the right name. It's still up and downloading fine.

Mind you that won't last forever


90115534
Someone is sabotaging me.Finding out who
Premium
join:2001-06-03
Kenner, LA
said by TOPDAWG:

well looks like it easy to get past the take downs for now. One movie that was being taken down as fast as it was uploaded all the uploader did was name the file in numbers and put it on the NZB site as the right name. It's still up and downloading fine.

Mind you that won't last forever

You bet your bottom dollar it won't last forever! I am ready for the war though!

newster

join:2011-09-26
reply to Stem Bolt
It will be a cat and mouse game from now on. Since the newsgroup terminator is a programmed bot, human intelligence will always find a way to outsmart a machine.

beecue

join:2004-12-28
Beverly Hills, CA
reply to Stem Bolt
The problem is definitely matrix. They make it so easy for dmca takedowns. I can tell you that there is a UFC still up because it's not posted on matrix. I think it's time to go back to irc chans and the bots from their to stop automatically posting to matrix.


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
yep and someone uploaded the the expendables 2 was a funny name and put it on there and now it's gone. The issue is the users are forking dumb they keep posting on where the file is still up.


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
reply to Stem Bolt
dams looks like astraweb has moved to TV shows now. till now only thing I tried to get that was effected was expendables 2. was hoping I would not need a new provider if it was a movie here and there now its getting worse guess I need a back-up.

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
reply to beecue
said by beecue:

The problem is definitely matrix. They make it so easy for dmca takedowns. I can tell you that there is a UFC still up because it's not posted on matrix. I think it's time to go back to irc chans and the bots from their to stop automatically posting to matrix.

Yep and sites like it. It is so easy to sit back and have the pirates do all the work for ya.

IRC is the Morganelli Group's next target »filesharingtalk.com/threads/4525···y-target

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Stem Bolt
I have an idea though it would not be popular with the MAFIAA shills of the world. "Reverse Six Strikes"

Pretty much if an IP owner files six false DMCA takedowns for content that is not actually content or is not actually theirs they are banned forever from filing DMCA takedowns ever on any site or to any ISP.

That would certainly change the tune the moment an MPAA member became unable to ever go after sites with ezmode DMCA bots and actually had to review the content and then file a traditional cease and desist order.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
reply to Stem Bolt
There definitely needs to be consequences for false claims instead of this automatic take down system Astraweb and others have in place. I hope one day there is a court case that just does that so it will put an end to this blatant abuse of the system.

zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
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said by sandman_1:

There definitely needs to be consequences for false claims instead of this automatic take down system Astraweb and others have in place. I hope one day there is a court case that just does that so it will put an end to this blatant abuse of the system.

I doubt that will happen. I'm guessing the sheer volume of takedown notices is why Astraweb opted to go automated. It would probably cost a significant chunk of cash to hire real people to vet the requests. It's probably a business decision to automate the process (to save money). I don't think these operations are big enough to bother going to court?

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111

1 edit

1 recommendation

If Astraweb can't afford a person to check claims, then maybe it is indicative of a bigger problem: Astraweb is hurting financially. Giganews have a DMCA agent that it mentioned by name and registered on the copyright.gov website. I find it odd that they can afford an agent and Astra can't. I mean lets be honest here, these NSPs are in business because of the binaries groups and this should be the cost of doing business period.

Also the type of abuse an automated system could garner could be enormous. Take for example a malicious person spamming DMCA Take Downs on one or several news groups claiming that material is infringing on his copyright. With an automated system, every request, would assume to be correct and thus automatically accepted.

Google gave a few examples on their website of the amount of mistaken claims.

quote:
Here are a few examples of requests that have been submitted through our copyright removals process that were clearly invalid copyright removal requests.

A major U.S. motion picture studio requested removal of the IMDb page for a movie released by the studio, as well as the official trailer posted on a major authorized online media service.
A U.S. reporting organization working on behalf of a major movie studio requested removal of a movie review on a major newspaper website twice.
A driving school in the U.K. requested the removal of a competitor's homepage from Search, on the grounds that the competitor had copied an alphabetized list of cities and regions where instruction was offered.
A content protection organization for motion picture, record and sports programming companies requested the removal of search results that link to copyright removal requests submitted by one of their clients and other URLs that did not host infringing content.
An individual in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to court proceedings referencing her first and last name on the ground that her name was copyrightable.
Multiple individuals in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to blog posts and web forums that associated their names with certain allegations, locations, dates or negative comments.
A company in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to an employee's blog posts about unjust and unfair treatment.
We did not comply with any of these requests.



MATA7

join:2005-05-29
Mississauga, ON
reply to Stem Bolt
i also Cancelled my subscription whit astraweb

St0ry

join:2004-02-16
USA
Cancelled my 96/year subscription. Doesn't end until Dec so I'll wait and see if another deal pops up.

PinkyThePig
Premium
join:2011-05-02
Tempe, AZ
reply to sandman_1
Last I checked Giganews is the only provider that charges an arm and a leg for access. If I charged twice as much as my competitor I'm sure I could afford to hire more people too.

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
Yes Giganews do charge more than the others, thanks for pointing that out. Your assumption is too simplistic, charge more= more money, especially when it doesn't take into consideration the costs of running that business. Giganews may have to charge that much just to keep things running as their costs may be higher than that of Astraweb's. The two may have very similar profit margins when it is all said and done. Also Ferrari, charge a lot for their cars. Let's say compared to Ford, their cars are far more expensive. I think we can all agree on that. Do you think that since Ferrari charges more for their cars, that they make more money than Ford?

Anyway like I said, being in the Usenet business, you should already have DMCA Take Down requests factored in as the cost of doing business. You are in fact in a business that is littered with all kinds of uploaded copyrighted material, let's be honest here and call it what it is.

Automatic DMCA take down request do no one any good. I find it hard to believe that you would support such a system especially when it could be detrimental to the whole Usenet milieu. I gave one good example in my last post of such abuse that could be rendered if a person was engendered to do so.

newster

join:2011-09-26
reply to Stem Bolt
I think it's likely that Astraweb was being threatened, and were afraid to refuse the demand that they automate takedowns.

Since they know or should know that the infringement claims are all computer generated, it would not be unreasonable if they employed a person to check the deletion requests (even if just a cursory glance) before approving them. If money if that tight, they can have an existing support person do it.

A big question is what Paypal and other payment processors will demand, as they're often acting out of fear of being shut down by the US government, like so many others have been in the past that operated on a "no questions asked" policy. Also possible is that Astraweb is weighing the cost of a threatened (probably bluffed) lawsuit, which could easily cost millions of dollars to properly defend in the US court system.

I have no idea what kind of profit margin Astraweb or any other company operates under, and therefore how much money they could spare in their fight for survival. If I could speak Dutch, I'd look up the News-Service lawsuit files to use as a guide. Financial records are always one of the first things on the list of discovery demands in a lawsuit.

Since Astraweb is not even an American company, they might even want to consider splitting the company into multiple separate companies that operate the US and NL servers independently under each of these country's respective laws. (i.e., if feasible, do instant deletions in US, next day deletions in NL)

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
reply to Stem Bolt
It is this Automatic DMCA process that isn't following the guidelines of the DMCA period.

The supposed copyright owner of the material in question, is suppose to swear under penalty of Perjury that the take down request is accurate, true, and relevant. The take down request is then submitted to the servers designated DMCA agent to handle such a request (In this case, no one). No one is checking the validity of the claim.

Companies can file a counter notice if they believe the request is in error, notifying the originator of the take down request. If the request is indeed false, then the server operator has to put the material that was taken down back up.

newster

join:2011-09-26
It's a widespread misconception that the "under penalty of perjury" standard applies to the accuracy of the claim. It does not. It only applies to whether the person is authorized to make the copyright claim.

Here's the text, from 17 U.S.C. 512 from »www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512


(3) Elements of notification.

(A) To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:

( .......... )

(v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.


sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
No there are penalties for mistaken claims. Also in your quote, "A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury", tells it all right there. If the information is NOT accurate to begin with, then the copyright holder or authorized proxy to issue one in their behalf can be held liable.

(v) refers to not filing the claim in good faith but to the fact that the claim, filed by the holder, is believed to be an unauthorized use of the his or her's copyright.

(vi) refers to that the claim is to be accurate and that the party is indeed authorized to act on the copyright owners behalf.

But don't believe me, per the DMCA itself:

quote:
In order to protect against the possibility of erroneous or fraudulent
notifications, certain safeguards are built into section 512

quote:
Penalties are provided for knowing material misrepresentations in either a
notice or a counter notice. Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that
material is infringing, or that it was removed or blocked through mistake or misidentification, is liable for any resulting damages (including costs and attorneys fees) incurred
by the alleged infringer, the copyright owner or its licensee, or the service provider.


Safe guards were put in place to prevent abuse especially the part where it says,

quote:
Under the notice and takedown procedure, a copyright
owner submits a notification under penalty of perjury, including a list of specified
elements, to the service providers designated agent.


In other words, an Agent checks the validity of the claim and could, if the submission was error, file a counter notice.

Like I said, with these automatic DMCA take downs, they are not following the guidelines set forth in section 512 C.

ramakowski

join:2007-02-17
reply to darcilicious
said by darcilicious:

said by sandman_1:

said by darcilicious See Profile

Unfortunately, even if every user stopped using nzb indexers, the problem wouldn't just disappear -- the genie is out of the bottle and there's no going back.

I think it would. I don't think the copyright trolls would browse through raw searches. It would be too cumbersome to that. If that were the case, they would of been doing it a long time before now. It is the easy manual index sites that make it easy for take downs because someone has already done the work for them.

Or, they could just set up their own indexers; obviously, it's not that hard.

Outlook Express is all one needs. Any decent Email client can download watch and filter headers, and there are several Newsgroup readers that do the same. Monitoring Prees and using bots to identify posts also takes labor out of the process. It's not hard to filter "HDTV", and they're all copyrighted.
Someone mentioned numerical post and file titles, they're already vanishing, and that's not only from popular groups.
The old ways will survive, but if they're going to remain, nzb users will have to learn to read and write.

JazzJRabbit

join:2003-09-27
Wheaton, IL
reply to Stem Bolt
Yeah... I'm with Astraweb on their $11 monthly plan. I've been noticing more and more content DMCA'ed, and not just some obscure stuff, but really mainstream one. Usually it's pulled within an hour of getting posted, so that's a good indication that they do it automatically without human review. Good thing that I didn't buy into $96/year plan like I wanted to, so at least I have an option to switch at the end of the month.

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
People need to send a message to these providers that do these auto take downs. Stevef (Astraweb rep from Newsbin forums) said Astraweb can't afford to hire someone to review the DMCA take down requests. If money is indeed that tight, then maybe Astraweb have more problems than they are willing to tell us. They are one of the biggest NSPs out there and do just about as much as Giganews and XSNews in total traffic through their servers, third place I think. So it is obvious that they do a lot of business and have lots of subscribers. Also they are a tier 1 providers and no one resells through them like the others. They are no small beans is what I am getting at.

Anyway if these NSPs like Astraweb continue on this course, and it will get worse if they do, they will see subscribers leaving en masse. Unless something is done to placate the subscribers, I can see some NSPs going out of business. The bigger you are the harder you fall as they say.