Recall what happened in 2011 and winter of 2012 for one moment. The United States wanted to pass two different acts called the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP. These acts aimed to grant the ability for companies to block sites that host illegal content. Of course, the legislation was so broad that companies and even the government can basically abuse it and request the Internet Service Provider to completely block a website for using copyrighted content, even if it covered under Fair Use under Copyright law for review or literary criticism.
If these two acts were to pass, it would allow companies to censor your content and limit your free speech. This means that you are not allowed to say anything bad about them because they can simply use these powers to take down your site. Of course, these two legislations never passed congress due to pubic outcry.
Shortly after, ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) came along, which is another treaty like SOPA and ACTA. It basically did the same thing, but is a lot worse since it is now worldwide. Just like the previously two failed pieces of legislation, ACTA died in a fire after public outcry.
Now, I am faced with another dilemma. It seems that the media industry is not happy with how the war on piracy is going on that they are resorting to other tactics, namely DMCA claims to Google. You might be wondering why I am writing this post. While I condone piracy, some of my posts became collateral damage as they DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) claimed some of them. In other words, they got removed for the search results, basically censoring my opinion about the show, which I am fighting against.
Just a few days back, I have checked my Google Search Console and realized that there is a strange message. Apparently, they have one of my posts for The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls on the list of DMCA claims that contains a list of sites that linked to illegal downloads. Of course, I knew that Daisuki is behind it since they hired a company to handle the takedown notices. (Update: See the end of the post)
I wondering to myself, why the heck they put my link to my post on a DMCA claim since my post does not provide links or any methods of seeing the show? While I don’t know the real reason behind it, this is a big slap in the face, especially for the fact that I spent my hard-earned cash to import the Blu-rays aside from buying the games and CDs. This is a great way to screw over your fan base.
On the other hand, I do see implications with these false positives from these DMCA requests. I understand that they want to remove search results to illegal fansubs and streams. I agree that they have the right to do that. However, they do not have the right to file false DMCA claims since that is considered illegal and the person who sent the takedown notice can potentially get sued for it.
What Daisuki is basically doing is censoring my opinion for a show that I enjoy, which of course hurts them in the end since it is free advertisement. Of course, I’m not the only one that is dealing with these false DMCA claims from these copyright trolls, disgruntled creators that cannot take criticism and Content ID abuses. Youtubers like Angry Joe dealt with this issue, especially with Nintendo claiming his videos. Of course, other personalities like TotalBiscuit talked about false DMCA claims numerous times and of course Nintendo’s draconian Youtube Policy.
In short, I am furious by their decision and I have submitted counter notices to Google for the two separate claims and contacted Daisuki about the issue stating that I sent a DMCA counter notice to Google and that false DMCA claims are considered illegal under 17 U.S.C. 512(f) and that they could be held liable for damages if they do not reverse it.
If you get into this problem, you should not only file a counter notice with Google provided in the message, but also with the company that DMCA claimed your content and have the search result to your post removed by them. In the counter notice, you should state that your post is just a review or literary criticism, which is Fair Use under Copyright Law and provide contact information (or just use this template). Once they received it, they are forced to comply or face potential litigation. That is if they do not send a counter notice back. Most importantly, you should register your site with Google Search Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Webmaster tools to make sure your search results are not mistakenly taken down.
Aside from that, I am waiting for a response from them and hopefully they will understand that they made a mistake and restore the search results for my posts. If not, I might have to get some help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to resolve this. To me, I do not think it will get to this as most companies will own up to their mistake and drop the claim.
With that, what are your thoughts about collateral damage with anime licensing and streaming sites mistakenly taking down posts from legitimate anime blogs that host no illegal content? Do you think that falsely DMCA claiming legitimate anime reviews will hurt them in the end? Feel free to discuss.
Update: Just before I put the Streisand effect on full blast, I finally got a response back and they are going to sort it out. Obviously it was a mistake and I thank them for acknowledging that they will be fixing that mistake. I guess complaining about it is a good thing to get them to notice this mistake as my site is the only false positive on the list. Still, I will keep this post up just for those who might get into this issue.