GitHub targeted in porn producers' DMCA offensive

GitHub has come under fire as the porn industry ramps up its anti-piracy pressure, issuing Google with thousands of DMCA takedown notices.

GitHub is being targeted in a scattershot offensive employed by porn production companies in order to protect their content from being pirated online.

A flood of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests to Google issued by anti-piracy company Takedown Piracy LLC has seen the search giant wrongfully remove dozens of the GitHub repository hosting service's project URLs.

Takedown Piracy, which is employed by over 50 of the adult industry's production companies, including Adam & Eve, Wicked Pictures, and New Sensation, helps protect content owners' material from online piracy by requesting specific URLs be removed from Google's search engine results.

According to Google's Transparency Report, Takedown Piracy has issued the search giant with more than 12,000 takedown requests, collectively encompassing almost 40 million URLs, with a median tally of 190,608 URLs per week, several of which have been GitHub project pages.

Takedown Piracy claims on its website that since its founding in 2009, Takedown Piracy "has removed more than 40 million content infringements".

In November last year, Takedown Piracy's CEO Nate Glass trumpeted the company's new "game-changing" digital fingerprinting program, saying it was able to "verify the accuracy of the digital fingerprints by identifying the copyright holder of hundreds of thousands of videos violating copyright laws on tube sites".

"I want to stress how big of a game changer this is in the fight against piracy," said Glass in a post. "With this weapon, we will be able to ensure content from our studio partners will not appear on pirate tube sites."

However, the company's DMCA takedown requests sent to Google, along with over 400 sent from other representatives of content producers, have resulted in the removal of legitimate URLs from search listings.

On Christmas Eve last year, Takedown Piracy issued Google with a DMCA takedown request for the GitHub django-constance repository of Mozilla's Jannis Leidel.

GitHub users have speculated that the notice was issued because of the GitHub repository URL's use of the word "constance", which is also the title of a 1998 adult film.

According to Chilling Effects, a website archive that lists DMCA takedown notices in a bid to help spot inaccurate requests, Leidel's django-constance GitHub URL was included in a list of over 900 URLs for which Takedown Piracy issued notices on behalf of Mascotte Film AG -- a Swiss adult film copyright holder.

Meanwhile, Chilling Effects itself has come under mounting pressure from rights holders, reportedly taking the unprecedented step of censoring its own website from all search engine results.

According to TorrentFreak, rights holders are reportedly less than happy that potentially infringing URLs remain published amid Chilling Effects' lists of hundreds of millions of DMCA takedown-targeted URLs after they have been removed from search results.

Increasing pressure from rights holders has also resulted in Google receiving in excess of an estimated 345 million DMCA takedown requests in 2014 -- a 75 percent increase on the previous year.

This increased pressure on piracy comes as the Australian government moves to compel the country's internet service providers and rights holders to develop a scheme that will crack down on locals downloading infringing TV shows, films, and music by April.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All