Creative Commons content unjustly removed in anti-piracy sweep

A German anti-piracy group received criticism after mistakenly ordering videos protected under a Creative Commons license to be taken down during a recent pirated video takedown sweep.

Copyright holders and anti-piracy groups continue to attack peer-to-peer, streaming, and illegally hosted material that is shared over the Internet.  This story has been even more popular in Germany and Europe, as there has been a recent power struggle between copyright groups and governments against ISPs and subscribers.

Creative Commons content unjustly removed in anti-piracy sweep

Videos from filmmaker Alexander Lehmann and freelance writer Mario Sixtus were removed from video sharing site Vimeo — after GVU sent notices and takedown threats to Vimeo for around one month, according to TorrentFreak.

Ironically, Sixtus is a journalist that specializes in Internet and network issues, so learning his videos were removed could make for good future video blogging.  A total of five videos were removed under the sloppy work of GVU and the company it works with to identify copyrighted videos.

GVU works with OpSec Security, a software company that uses custom automated software that is supposedly able to identify pirated videos being played online.  OpSec mistakenly identified videos that were non-infringing because GVU’s clients didn’t hold rights to the video — and their software automatically sent Vimeo take-down requests.

OpSec said the problem was due to “a bug in the calibration module” that lead to the mistake, though TorrentFreak spoke with an unnamed expert that said OpSec’s reasoning isn’t plausible.  All scanned content should either get identified as copyrighted or non-copyrighted material — there is no way scanning videos can produce these types of issues.

Copyright groups are in such a rush to try and combat piracy as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, which leads to sloppy take-down requests like this one.  The RIAA and other U.S. copyright groups have mistakenly sent John Doe lawsuits to grandparents that didn’t use the Internet, deceased people, and houses that were unoccupied.

Perhaps “automated” take-down notices should simply be against the law?