BPI takedown notice causes anger

September 2012

Internet, record labels


Commenting on the recent jailing of surfthechannel.com boss Anton Vickerman for four years in the Newcastle Crown Court, the IPKat makes the wise point that there is a degree of symmetry within the two camps which oppose each other in the battle between rights owners and those who campaign for liberalisation of copyright law.  Just as a small number of vindictive and heavy-handed actions by or on behalf of copyright owners forfeit considerable sympathy for the legitimate and reasoned case for copyright protection, and so too do the reckless and arrogant conduct of a few people distract attention from the serious case that is made for reducing that level of protection. A good example of a rather embarrassing own goal by content industries, here by the recorded music industry, was the DCMA takedown notice issued by the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) and Universal against a less than flattering REVIEW of the latest Drake album ‘Take Care’ – asking Google to remove the review and one other from it’s listings. The writer of the About.com review, Henry Adasom, accused Drake’s label Universal of ordering the takedown for ‘copyright infringement’ saying the notice “Makes absolutely no sense. The only UMG property on that page is the artwork, and IT IS fully credited. So what’s the issue here?”. The BPI said they issued notices to remove ‘millions’ of links each year,  that this was an isolated error, and apologised. Google revealed earlier this year that the BPI filed 182,805 takedown requests with the search engine between May 2011 and July 2012, the second highest number after Microsoft. From now on Google say that they will take ‘valid’ copyright takedown notices into account when ranking web pages.

More on the SurfTheChannel.com case on the IPKat here http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/anton-gets-4-years.html and the 1709 blog here http://www.the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/a-very-british-miscarriage-of-justice.html  and the Guardian here http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/aug/19/fact-victory-surfthechannel-decisive-blow?newsfeed=true

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