TorrentFreak News Article Targeted by Questionable DRM Bypass Complaint * TorrentFreak

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The American Society of Composers has asked Google to remove hundreds of URLs from its search results. The reported pages are accused of “circumventing DRM”, but the anti-piracy organization is casting its net too wide. One of the posted links points to a TorrentFreak article on a DRM circumvention lawsuit.

We at TorrentFreak have written hundreds of articles on questionable takedown notices. Today we find ourselves at the center of another.

Earlier this week, the “American Society of Composers” sent a series of “DRM circumvention” complaints to Google, acting on behalf of the Video Industry Association of America.

These notices are similar to standard DMCA takedowns, but focus on content that violates the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision. And there is another important distinction. Unlike normal takedown notices, there is no option to appeal a wrongful charge.

Irreversible DRM Bypass Removals

Whether or not the site operators agree to the withdrawals, they are generally irreversible. The DMCA does not mandate an opt-out and counter-notification system for these reviews, and Google has previously confirmed that it also does not have a formal appeal process.

This severely disadvantages the targets of these recent notices. This includes TorrentFreak, as one of our news articles was also reported. Not just once, but in four separate withdrawal requests.

dvdfab review

The news article in question covers legal developments in the lawsuit against Blu-Ray ripping software DVDFab, which dates back five years. However, the American Society of Composers sees something else.

“These links provide the workaround to download copyrighted video or audio content bypassing the copyright protection of streaming services, including Netflix, Disney +, HBO, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, Dailymotion, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc. reads takedown notice.

Google takes no action

When we started writing this article, it appeared that the article had indeed been removed from the search results, but on closer inspection it is still listed. Whether we missed it the first time around or Google stepped in is unclear.

Needless to say, we don’t like to see our articles deleted from search engines on the basis of inaccurate claims. Especially when there is no formal appeal process, but luckily no action is required on our part.

Several other “unrelated” URLs have been removed from search results. These include reviews of DVDFab and various sites that show how people can get a free copy or crack the software.

If these sites don’t agree with the takedowns, they can try to contact the copyright holder and ask them to withdraw their claim. However, the “Video Industry Association of America” ​​does not have a presence on the Internet at all.

The same is true for the American Society of Composers. It sounds a lot like the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, better known as ASCAP, but this organization has no connection with the film industry.

At this point, we don’t even know if these organizations exist. This is something the affected sites could flag in the counter notice, if only that was an option.