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This officially makes sony the source of half the takedowns we've rec…

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commit 5476ab2ffe18a286a1476293276c3149c0c2d50d 1 parent 8a82a3e
@tekkub tekkub authored
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+To Whom It May Concern:
+I, the undersigned, state under penalty of perjury that:
+SCEA has recently learned that the content at the above referenced URLs (hereinafter, “Listed URLs”) is hosted by GitHub, and the links distribute material that violates copyright laws, and/or contributes to and induces copyright infringement.
+I have a good faith basis that the web content at the Listed URLs is an infringement of SCEA’s rights under copyright law, including but not limited to the DMCA, and that the infringing content is authorized by neither SCEA, its agent, nor the law.
+I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner, or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
+In addition to the violations discussed above, the material at this URL violates trade secret laws, and therefore constitutes a violation of Section 8(A) of Github's Terms of Service which prohibits individuals from using Github "for any illegal or unauthorized purpose."
+SCEA requests that GitHub Inc. immediately take down the content located at <> and <> as well as any linking or related URLs, and promptly disclose to SCEA the identities and contact information corresponding to the account owners and/or users of your hosting services who posted the content identified herein.
+Finally, the information in this notice is accurate. If you have any questions, please contact me at the above email address or phone number listed below.
+Sr. Paralegal<br>
+Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC<br>
+Legal & Business Affairs<br>
+Foster City, CA 94404-2175

15 comments on commit 5476ab2


I see you've redacted some details in the notice to [private]. Why on earth would you provide such a courtesy to someone issuing you a takedown notice? Justice would be better served if we knew the identities of those wielding the DMCA in this fashion.


It's standard practice to remove personal information from these (it's in our DMCA terms as well).


I agree that it's standard practice & in your DMCA terms, I'm just asking why that is so? Are you complying with a legal requirement?

I'm surprised that you'd extend the courtesy of anonymity to someone using legal channels to shut down projects, unless you were forced to do so.


I understand your concern, but I think you're viewing it through the lens that all DMCA requests are malicious. Even if that were the case (which I don't think it always is), it's fairly irresponsible as a company to go out of our way to antagonize. Being respectful is not a bad thing.


@duncan-bayne; DMCAs are sometimes completely legitimate and warranted.


Indeed, DMCA takedowns are sometimes legit; I've used one in the past to force a dodgy 'file download site' to remove my software from their archives.

But I don't see how justice is served by providing anonymity to the person issuing the takedown request. Especially when (as pointed out on HN) the person issuing the request is demanding the identity of GitHub users.


How is this anonymous? "Sony" and "SCEA" are plastered all over it. We only remove the name and contact details of the legal council, because that info is not needed by the general public. We do provide it to the user targeted by the takedown if they request it.

This is fairly common practice when sites publish takedowns. Check, you will find they redact the exact same info.


"But I don't see how justice is served by providing anonymity to the person issuing the takedown request."

Yup, if it's not illegal to embarrass them, make sure to out them so we always know who is responsible for this garbage.


the person issuing the request is demanding the identity of GitHub users.

The DMCA does allow for the plaintiff to demand such information via a subpoena. A takedown notice, however, is not a subpoena.


There are perfectly legitimate reasons to issue a DMCA takedown. What's your favorite Open Source License? If someone completely violated your license, copied all your code, changed the license to their favorite, but changed all the attributions to themselves, what recourse do you have? The DMCA protects your rights, too.

[Edit: tweaked example to violate permissive licenses like MIT and BSD too.]


@laughinghan: Bad example for fans of the MIT license or fans (like myself) of the 3-clause BSD license. A better example is the DiabloMiner takedown from just last week. Perfectly legitimate use of the DMCA there. Unfortunately, it's one of the few.


@jwjm: There is asymmetry here. One one hand, there is an individual being accused in a public forum of breaking the law. On the other hand, the individual doing the accusing - because it is an individual, a senior paralegal - gets to remain comfortably anonymous. I'm not suggesting that issuing a DMCA takedown request is necessarily wrong, just the the playing field ought to be level.

Also, it's easy to lose touch of reality when dealing with legal entities: despite the fact that Sony is itself a legal entity, there are real human beings within the org making decisions such as this one. Mr. or Mrs. [private] is choosing to issue the notice, just as his or her managers chose to make it happen. Sony doesn't make decisions - Sony employees do.

@laughinghan: Software licensing was viable prior to the DMCA, & the number of current GPL violations suggests the DMCA hasn't changed anything in that area either.


@duncan-bayne are you referring to the DiabloMiner takedown? I left that name in because it's publicly available in the user's profile:


@tekkub: not specifically, but that looks like a sensible use of the DMCA. However, the DMCA isn't necessary; I have asked Microsoft to remove licence-violating projects from CodePlex and they have done so after investigation. No DMCA, just a polite email.


@michaelficarra you're right, they'd have to change the license to violate MIT or BSD

@duncan-bayne a polite email is definitely the first step if you discover license violations, and respectable and respectful software developers -- which many of Microsoft's employees are -- will usually be very understanding. However, there is no guarantee they will aquiesce to your polite email, and if they don't, even after multiple emails and escalation to their superiors (if any), what do you do? Before the authorities will do anything to force the violators to take down the offending copies of your code, you have to send the violators an official notice along the lines of a DMCA takedown notice. (I don't know the details of the law, but the point is, the IP laws like the DMCA protect your rights, too.)

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