updated 11:20 pm EST, Tue February 5, 2013
MarkMonitor key to US ISP 'six strikes' system
MarkMonitor, the company that has been named as the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) vanguard and copyright abuse sniffer, has flagged HBO.com as in violation of the DMCA for violations of its own content in an obvious failure of the system. The report sent to Google stated that HBO.com was using HBO's own cable content without permission. Additionally, the same automated report to the search engine named websites that were writing about HBO content, and thus clearly not violating "fair use" provisions of the law. The MarkMonitor system is the key to the upcoming "Six Strikes" copyright monitoring system that AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have agreed to.
As noted by TorrentFreak, mixed in with legitimate DMCA takedown notices supplied to Google are a handful of requests to remove product links to comedy Eastbound and Down hosted by HBO.com. The same notice also flagged editorial content from Perez Hilton, Pinterest, MTV.com, and IGN.com. All "infringing" content in these reports were reviews or new articles about HBO shows, with no links to pirated or unlicensed content.
Over the last year, Google received over 51 million links to infringing webpages, a significant increase to previous years. Currently, Google is processing nearly 500,000 infringing links per day, with an upward trend. "As policymakers evaluate how effective copyright laws are, they need to consider the collateral impact copyright regulation has on the flow of information online," Google's Legal Director Fred Von Lohmann said in a blog post in December.
In its terse response to Google's concerns, the Motion Picture Association of America said that "we couldn't agree more with Google that this data shows that our current system is not working -- for creators, or for Google. But we can't lose sight of the fact that it also confirms the important role that Google has to play in helping curb the theft of creative works while protecting an Internet that works for everyone."
The Center for Copyright Information claims that it has independent oversight over the Copyright Alert System. Former paid lobbyist Stroz Friedberg for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was hired to monitor the system. After the news broke of the hire and his previous affiliation, the CCI promised to hire a second consultant to supervise the alerts, but no news on a hire has surfaced.