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Sony Sends DMCA Takedown Notice To GitHub 266

Posted by timothy
from the oh-you-own-what-we-say-you-own dept.
Plombo writes "Sony's war against PS3 hacking continues. On January 27, Sony Computer Entertainment America sent a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub demanding the removal of 6 repositories under the 'circumvention device' clause of the DMCA. All of the repositories in question were related to jailbreaking or homebrew development for the PS3."
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Sony Sends DMCA Takedown Notice To GitHub

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  • Screw their "online assets." The link to the contact list of offices for the law firm responsible is right here. [kilpatricktownsend.com] Sony's corporate contact numbers are here. [sony.com] I suggest that each of their offices should receive a good few calls Monday, letting them know what we think about free speech and about restraining it.

    It takes a lot fewer calls to pull off a denial of service than it takes packets.

  • Re:That was fast (Score:5, Informative)

    by Plombo (1914028) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:30AM (#35046818)
    On the other hand, as a response to Sony's takedown notice, they started posting all of their DMCA takedown notices publicly [github.com]. That's what enabled me to find this information in the first place.
  • Re:All Exploits (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:45AM (#35046898)
    The notice they filed isn't about copyright infringement, so it doesn't matter, that the code is not theirs, nor would it make sense for the code to be theirs. The claim they're making is that those repositories contain circumvention devices. I'd imagine the takedown isn't a big deal at all, as whoever put the code on GitHub has a complete copy of the history on their own machines.
  • Re:All Exploits (Score:2, Informative)

    by buzzsawddog (1980902) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:46AM (#35046902) Journal
    No... Not all exploits deal with copyright material. The DMCA can only be used in cases involving copyright material. "the DMCA focuses largely on the facilitation of infringement through circumvention tools and services primarily designed or produced to circumvent an access or copy control. In other words, the DMCA represents a shift in focus from infringement to the tools of infringers." 17 U.S.C. 1201-1205 V.A.3. It is stated the purpose is "to prevent large-scale piracy of digital content over the Internet" However the DMCA does cover a lot of crap...: 1. it prohibits "circumvent[ing] a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this [copyright] title." 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) 2. it prohibits the manufacture of or trafficking in products or technology designed to circumvent a technological measure that controls access to a copyrighted work. 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(2) 3. it prohibits the manufacture of or trafficking in products or technology designed to circumvent measures that protect a copyright owner's rights under the Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. 1201(b). Also interesting to note: 1. circumvention of access controls, 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1) 2. trafficking in technology primarily designed to facilitate circumvention of access controls, 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(2) An interesting fact is that it does not prevent "the act of circumventing copy controls", only the trafficking of tools that circumvent copy controls.
  • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

    by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:52AM (#35046934) Homepage Journal

    Would this be the same courts that reamed 2600 magazine for LINKING to deCSS code?

  • Re:git clone time (Score:4, Informative)

    by Plombo (1914028) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:56AM (#35046940)
    It's already been done [gitorious.org] for the original repositories; they've been uploaded to Gitorious, which is hosted outside of the US. A remaining problem, though, is that all forks of the repositories were also taken down. Those weren't uploaded to Gitorious, and there were too many of them to count.
  • Re:All Exploits (Score:5, Informative)

    by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:58AM (#35047158)

    It's not a real takedown. It's a normal cease-and-desist letter, and even if it were a real takedown notice, it's only perjury if the person submitting it isn't authorized to act on behalf of the person claiming ownership of a work being infringed. Neither the copyright holder or his lawyer are guilty of perjury if the copyright holder lies to his lawyer (or is mistaken) and thus causes a frivolous takedown notice to be sent.

  • start mirroring. (Score:5, Informative)

    by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @02:01AM (#35047170) Homepage

    all but GaiaManager can be found here:
    http://gitorious.org/ps3free [gitorious.org]

    there's also a story:
    http://www.ps3-hacks.com/2011/01/29/dmcaed-ps3-git-repositories-cloned/ [ps3-hacks.com]

    but the site is a bit... busy right now.

  • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nursie (632944) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:21AM (#35047582)

    It's all gone back up at gitorious anyway, which is based in Norway and harder to fuck with.

  • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

    by shentino (1139071) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @06:22AM (#35047892)

    First of all, Universal WON that DeCSS case, so it's actually unfavorable.

    Second, Sony can file any takedown notice they darn please. All they have to worry about is how much trouble they'll get in if they're caught.

  • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

    by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @07:37AM (#35048148)

    According to the law at issue, the only portion of a DMCA takedown notice that is under penalty of perjury is that the person filing it is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner alleging infringement.

    For a DMCA takedown counter-notice, the poster needs to assert under penalty of perjury that they have a good faith belief that the takedown was a mistake or misidentification. The lack of a requirement that the party issuing the takedown make a similar statement of belief under penalty of perjury is the real bullshit here, as it violated the principle of equal protection under law.

  • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

    by roystgnr (4015) <.roystgnr. .at. .ticam.utexas.edu.> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @07:49AM (#35048170) Homepage

    It's been settled since all that DeCSS stuff that code is protected by the 1st amendment.

    The DeCSS case specifically was "settled" exactly the opposite way [wikipedia.org]. Freedom of speech didn't do jack to help the glider or bnetd authors either.

  • by smallfries (601545) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @11:11AM (#35048874) Homepage

    Actually GitHub can have every chance. What they needed to do in this case was simple enough. Contact the owner of the repository and hand over the responsibility to them. If the owner decides that Sony has acted badly and made an incorrect claim then GitHub is cleared of any legal responsibility and can put the work back online.

    The procedure is explained at Chilling Effects [chillingeffects.org]. Although the DMCA is widely detested, one of the (only?) things that it does get right is that the legal battle is not between Sony and Github. If Github comply then they get to step to one side with any liability.

  • Re:That was fast (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:15PM (#35049396)

    It's not a fraudulent takedown request, it's a trick. It's a letter demanding removal of the code, on the basis that it violates the law (a different clause of the DMCA, the one that bans circumventing copyright protection devices, NOT the clause that allows for rapid takedowns of copyright material that you own).
    Of course, there is no provision for takedown notices under that clause. You simply might (or might not) be breaking the law if you write, distribute etc. such code.
    Sony's letter actually just says "You may be breaking the law, please remove those materials since they are considered illegal". It doesn't have any legal status. However it is designed to look closely like an actual DMCA takedown, so that GitHub will do what people usually do (in fact, usually have to do) when they get DMCA takedowns - remove the content first, ask questions later.
    The clue is in this part

    [6] I have a good faith belief that the circumvention of effective access controls and/or copyright protection measures identified above is not authorized by law;

    A lot of things are 'not authorized by law'. That doesn't make them illegal. At worst, it makes them unlawful. In fact, section 3 says that 'the file-downloads identified below are unlawful".

    DMCA takedowns mention 'clause 512(c)', the paragraph that limits liability if takedowns are respected. This letter says nothing about that paragraph, but only mentions 1201 and 1202, a completely different part of the bill. This is a neat legal trick that GitHub apparently fell for, and is undoubtedly worded very subtly so as not to make any false statements while giving a misleading impression. Whichever lawyer thought of this definitely earned his $750 for that hour.

  • Re:All Exploits (Score:5, Informative)

    by russotto (537200) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @02:04PM (#35049592) Journal

    Uh... it cites the DMCA act and specifically sites the anti-circumvention clause as grounds for removal.

    That's how DMCA takedown notices are made.

    No. A DMCA takedown notice is a specific type of notice which follows the provisions of 17 USC 512. The anti-circumvention provisions are a completely separate part of the DMCA, codified in 17 USC 1201. And the DMCA does not provided a process for filing a takedown notice for circumvention devices.

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