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Google Publicizes DMCA Takedowns

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the sunlight-is-best-medicine dept.

Censorship 396

dmarti writes "In an apparent response to criticism of its handling of a threatening letter from a Church of Scientology lawyer, the popular search engine Google has begun to make so-called "takedown" letters public. DMCA-censored pages are now two clicks and a cut-and-paste away from the regular search results."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Slash-Ads (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330450)

Hey Editors, I love your ads, but I feel that the slashdot site still have too much whitespace, perhaps you could put in more ads? You'd Make my Day!

Re:Slash-Ads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330649)

Of course the problem is you have no balls.

2 Googles in 1 day (-1, Offtopic)

randomErr (172078) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330457)

This must be a record on Slashdot.

4 comments and the link is already slashdotted? (-1, Offtopic)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330460)

Is that a new record? :)

The Article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330462)

(Posted AC, so I'm not whoring...don't need it anyways, but I expect the site to die soon)

Attention DMCA lawyers: Try to remove a web site from Google's index and you'll probably just make it more popular.

In an apparent response to criticism of its handling of a threatening letter from a Church of Scientology lawyer, the popular search engine Google has begun to make so-called "takedown" letters public. DMCA-censored pages are now two clicks and a cut-and-paste away from the regular search results.

The full text of two new letters to Google, dated April 9 and 10, already appears on the free speech site chillingeffects.org. "I think it's great that they're calling attention to the way the takedown provision can be used to compromise their search results," said Wendy Seltzer, Fellow of Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and co-founder of chillngeffects.org.

Google is still choosing to take advantage of the Safe Harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows web sites to escape liability for copyright infringement if they take pages down in response to properly formed letters.

In a controversial move last month, Google pulled all pages from the anti-Scientology site xenu.net then restored the site's home page amid Internet outcry, just as Linux Journal readers were on their way to visit Google in person to ask for help finding censored pages about the alien warlord Xenu who is a key figure in Scientology's creation legend.

Only the name and telephone number of the attorney who wrote the letters have been removed from the copies on chillingeffects.org. Both of the new letters originate from the Los Angeles law firm of Moxon & Kobrin, where attorney Helena Kobrin has long been Scientology's standard-bearer against church critics on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology and other online fora. Kobrin was not immediately available for comment

The letters are also linked to directly from Google search results. When results would have included a DMCA-censored page, the results page now includes a link to the takedown letter that resulted in the page being removed. A search this morning for site:xenu.net scientology produced the message:

"In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 8 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint for these removed results."
Failing to act in response to a DMCA takedown letter is not against the law. "They can always choose not to take advantage of the safe harbor," Seltzer said. However, only by complying with the letter and taking pages out of their index can Google escape a possible copyright infringement lawsuit.

Finally, Google has expanded its DMCA page to include instructions for Counter Notification under the DMCA. A webmaster who believes that a non-infringing page is being unfairly censored can write the proper legal incantations and have the page put back into the index.

Google is then required to forward this Counter Notification to the original notifier, and then put the page back in the index "not less than 10 or more than 14" days after Google receives the Counter Notification. If your site is pulled out of Google and you're confused, chillingeffects.org has a web form that will generate a correctly formed Counter Notification.

Re:The Article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330499)

I can detect karma whores on sight.
They have user names.

Way to go, pal!

Here's a mirror (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330565)

Re:Here's a mirror (0, Funny)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330727)

Sir,
Thank you for your hypertext markup language link to an enticing image. If I was not at work, I would be yanking my crank. Spanking the monkey. Doing the twist. Shaking hands with the pope. Have a good weekend.

Yours,
That Dude Who Stands In The Bus Terminal All Day Leering At Young Women

Let me browse SlashDot with a delay (0, Offtopic)

TimFreeman (466789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330673)

The poster anticipated correctly. The original link is unusable at the moment.

If SlashDot let me configure my account with a delay (so I see only stories that are X hours old, and X is configurable by me for my account), then I'd set X to maybe 6.4023 (or some other random number ) and not have to cope with sites being down from the slashdot effect so much.

If they had gave people a default random value for X, then this slashdotting effect would go away altogether for most users. People who really want the latest could configure their account to set X to zero.

Re:Let me browse SlashDot with a delay (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330704)

just click on "Yesterday's Edition" under "Older Stuff" in the slashbox to the right, if you want a 24 day delay. Or click on "Older Stuff" to get the stories that just fell off the front page.

Re:Let me browse SlashDot with a delay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330705)

Why a silly technical solution?

Go to slashdot.org [slashdot.org] . Press the spacebar once or twice. There you go, delayed stories.

Re:Let me browse SlashDot with a delay (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330708)

I second a "delay displaying for xx" option.

Then, I could set the delay to a negative number and get that elusive first post!

Re:Let me browse SlashDot with a delay (1, Offtopic)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330719)

Yes, but arriving into a slashdot discussion 6 hours late generally leaves your comment pretty much unnoticed. Not to mention the fact that all the first posters would set their time to 0 while the normal posters would probably have a few minutes delay, thus leading to even more annoyance.

I have never watched "Surviver" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330685)

Am I normal?

Wow... 1 post and /.ed (-1, Offtopic)

revscat (35618) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330463)

SLUUUURP. And away it goes... I barely miss frist psot and the site is already down.

Cached link, anyone?

It is good to see that privately made threats... (1, Insightful)

SnowDeath (157414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330465)

It is good to see that privately made threats aren't as private as the bad guys want them to be. I seriously have a problem with censorship, especially when it is as blatantly self-serving as from the Church of (Battlefield Earth) Scientology.
Oh yeah, I want a refund for my ticket, I didn't realize that it was a fanatical religious movie when I went to go see it :/

slashdotted.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330474)

... check google [google.com] for cache

Posters reading the article? (0, Offtopic)

purplebear (229854) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330477)

Is everyone actually reading the article before posting? I can't believe the story has been up this long with so few comments. :)

Re:Posters reading the article? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330512)

actually, all the posts score 1 and higher are about the slashdotting of the site even before FP's! appears

Re:Posters reading the article? (-1)

nooboob (553955) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330657)

Yeah, I'd like to read it before I post, but I can't! Obviously this is the kind of stuff people like......

clueless... (5, Informative)

thrillbert (146343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330482)

This is the perfect response from google. It's about time people learned what the internet is all about, and stop whining that their crappy stuff somehow made it on the net in the first place.

I mean come on.. google creates a crawler that goes out and finds stuff, they list on their site what they find, and now clueless morons want to make them responsible for having links to that information?????

Security through obscurity.. yeah.. that'll keep em out!

---
" - anonymous

Re:clueless... (2, Informative)

dukethug (319009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330527)

It's not the links that makes people mad. It's the cache.

Re:clueless... (3, Insightful)

dthable (163749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330609)

Then I guess people need to start learning that if they say something in public, anyone can quote and store that. Imagine an election where a canidate can say something stupid one day and then prevent the media from publishing it again or allowing people to talk about it. Same thing here except YOU put the material on the web for other people.

Re:clueless... (2)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330603)

Remember the DeCSS debacle? You got into trouble just for linking to that...

About time... (2, Interesting)

blankmange (571591) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330483)

Looks like Google is on the right track. They did kind of step on it when they pulled the Scientology links, but made up for it (kind of). Now it looks like it will take a lot more than just a threat for them to pull pages. Good move!

Google DIDN'T pull the pages (5, Insightful)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330747)

Just to be clear, Google DID NOT pull the pages. They simply removed the challenged results that would normally appear in that search...

WHY???

Because they were following the law to the T...

They are only protected by the Safe Harbor provision if they honor the Notification letter.

And it can be simply reversed by a Counter-Notification.

This REALLY is the most logical way for this to work. It moves the responibility off of the indexer and puts it on the party publishing the information vs. the party claiming the info is copyrighted.

If "the man" ever shows up at Google's offices, they just whip out the documentation from each party and a copy of the law and say "goodday" to the badge.

Re:Google DIDN'T pull the pages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330761)

nothing like semantics to spoil a good barbecue

first result when search google for 'DMCA' is... (4, Interesting)

IanA (260196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330492)

Anti-DMCA dot org [anti-dmca.org]

Re:first result when search google for 'DMCA' is.. (1)

dthable (163749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330634)

So I spent some time searching for stuff and voting up sites with my Google toolbar. :o)

Go Oogle! (5, Interesting)

Mr_Perl (142164) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330496)

Thanks to a bright suggestion [slashdot.org] , I and probably lots of others have started linking to [darkpoetry.com] scientology [xenu.net] to help bump xenu.net up in the search engine listings.

It's now number 2 in the rankings [google.com] which is 3 spots higher than a few weeks ago so perhaps this small form of protest is also working!

Re:Go Oogle! (1)

dmarien (523922) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330590)

Link popularity in google on really has an effect if the site which links has simmilar content. As an SEO expert I can recommend a technique of CTRL-C,V'ing some of darkpoetry's and scientology's content onto your site. It'll sky rocket in no time.

Re:Go Oogle! (-1)

Rock 'N' Troll (566273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330607)

Damn good idea. I just added a link from my site too :)

Mod Parent UP!!!ntxt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330615)

no text.
me

What a Great idea! (1)

kvn299 (472563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330502)

Google has certainly earned my respect... not only for finding a way to get back at these folks, but also for their ingenuity.

And on top of that, their search engine often has the ability to read minds!

It just goes to show you that throwing money and lawyers at a problem isn't always the only solution. A little creativity can go a long way.
Just look at the things the leaders of the civil rights movement came up with!

I heart Google. (4, Insightful)

agent oranje (169160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330506)

It seems as though Google has realized that the majority of people using their search engine are home users, who want to find good pages with information they want. By telling people that the DMCA has resulted in the removal of said pages, it's informing the average user of what laws such as the DMCA actually mean to them!

I think its a fairly bold statement on Google's part, saying that the end user is more important than the corperate jackasses.

Re:I heart Google. (0)

RoguePsion (558561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330581)

The DMCA has formerly been largely unknown to the general populace, with only /. readers and hardcore computer enthusiasts making complaints. However, if the DMCA continues to make idiotic decisions such as these, we may begin to see more of a public interest in the fallacies of the DMCA. We can only hope.........

Behold the power... (4, Funny)

Cyclopedian (163375) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330507)

of this fully operational slashdotting!

Of course, someone will come up and say "a slashdotting is insignificant next to the power of a Google Cache."

-Cyc

Must restrain fingers... must not post comment... (2, Funny)

JordanH (75307) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330722)

Of course, a slashdotting is insignificant next to the power of a Google Cache.

Sorry, I had to say, I, I had no choice!

I am happy (-1)

cmdr_shithead (527909) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330510)

about goats!

Page is already /.ed, but go Google! (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330517)

The more info that is published, the more that this crap is pushed into the public, the more that idiot laws are examined, the sooner that these ass monkey laws will be struck down.

Or so I hope.

Assuming that the topic title is correct, then GO GOOGLE! Fsck the DMCA, RIAA, and MPAA, baby! Let me buy my stuff (legally), and back it up. [For the record (before I'm called a theif), I have never downloaded a single song or movie that I didn't already own.]

scientology's new weapon (4, Funny)

slhack3r (324207) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330519)

hmm...we can't seem to get this page taken down or off of google.....let's just send a link in to Slashdot? those uber-nurds will take care of the webserver in no time!

Re:scientology's new weapon (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330714)

Trust me, slashdot will NEVER be able to break google. IIRC they have something around 100+ machines serving out results. Slashdot's 5 or something. If slashdot can handle the load, google won't notice it.

Letters online at chillingeffects.org (3, Informative)

chrisvr (41985) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330520)

The letters from the Church of Scientology are on chillingeffects.org [chillingeffects.org]

What a bunch of goobers...

Re:Letters online at chillingeffects.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330606)

Moderators get a clue. This isn't informative. It's redundant.

OT - Stupid Comments (1, Offtopic)

dthable (163749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330660)

I'm getting sick of all the comments complaining about the moderation on certian items. Things like "Mod this one up!" from all the AC's are just a pain to sort through. Do you want the ability to mod somehting? Get and account and login.

And they want to charge me for all this too....

Will google ever get into real trouble? (5, Insightful)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330522)

I've been wondering about this for a long time. They cache possibly illegal content, and are certianly distributing some stuff that the authors aren't giving them permission to, as well as possibly linking to sites which violate DMCA (and if they recieve too many letters about this, it could take forever to take down all the sites that are apparently violating the act).

It seems that Google might be breaking some of the current laws, or may break some in the future. IMHO, this is a good thing, because there are so many people who think that Google is an innocent, noble and pure search engine. The law may just be changed so that Google no longer violates it. I would certainly hate to see such a mechanism slip quietly into the night.

Re:Will google ever get into real trouble? (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330567)

Personally, I think Google is the only site (besides /. defying Microsoft) that has the balls to challenge current stupid laws. Millions of people like Google, and will probably pony up $2 each to support it. Big $=good lawyers = strike down these stupid fucking laws we already have.

Re:Will google ever get into real trouble? (3, Insightful)

tfreport (458641) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330711)

Millions of people like Google, and will probably pony up $2 each to support it.

The same argument was made for the court fees of Napster. People will pay to defend the system. Well, people didn't pay, the reason they liked it was not only that it was simple but it was free. If Google costs money or losses a court battle, users will just move on.

Re:Will google ever get into real trouble? (1)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330675)

Not knowing if this is entirely possible ... can a page be marked for non-caching?

If so, then mark the anti-<whatever> pages as non-cached ... then the links should not be declared illegal. In the 2600 case, the link was to something that was a "circumvention device". However, in this case it should be protected speech, since the page(s) linked to don't have "circumvention device" on them ...

yada yada yada IANAL yada yada I said SHOULD NOT ... not WILL NOT yada yada

Re:Will google ever get into real trouble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330757)

Yes, you can use a meta directives to indicate whether a page should be cached, what types of caches the page should be put into, and how long to keep it in the cache.

Instant /.age... cached ver. anyone? (-1, Offtopic)

bmooney28 (537716) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330523)

Thanks!

And now the Linux Journal is /.'ed (2)

chancycat (104884) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330524)

While I wait for the tide to go out again, let's hear it for Google - they seem to be one of the few true 'eyes-open' geek-corporations out there.
It seems to be the exception, sadly, that a company becomes prominent and generally liked all because of their technology and almost non-marketing.

Re:And now the Linux Journal is /.'ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330564)

Somewhere ... another server cries ...

/.'d (-1, Offtopic)

eudas (192703) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330530)

it's slashdotted already, and it's only been 7 minutes since the article was posted!

eudas

Re:/.'d (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330651)

Did you hear? It's been slashdotted!!!

Soo.... (4, Funny)

krb (15012) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330534)

Does this make google a circumvention device?

Re:Soo.... (5, Interesting)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330623)

Google merely posted a link to a copy of the church's DMCA warning letter, which itself links to a list of the "offending" links.

That makes the DCMA warning letter itself a sort of circumvention device.

Ahhhhh, sweet irony...

Re:Soo.... (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330748)

So the grande dame bitch Kobrin will now need to send a DCMA warning letter about the DCMA warning letter... ad infinitum. Hah!

monopoly (0, Offtopic)

SimplexO (537908) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330541)

I love google just as much (more?) than the next guy, but does anyone think that they could use their monopoly (used loosely) of the search engine world to do things that microsoft is doing? It just struck me that really they can do anything they want and will basically control what people see, because so many people use it. I'm sure if you could mod me flaimbait and off topic, you would. =)

Read the complaints made to Google (5, Informative)

thesolo (131008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330543)

You can read the complaints that the lawyers for the church of scientology made to Google here:
1) Complaint #2 -- April 9 [chillingeffects.org]
2) Complaint #3 -- April 10 [chillingeffects.org]

And more importantly, go Google for publicizing the links! Yet another reason why Google is the best search engine around.

hahahaha (3, Informative)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330618)

I love how the publicly available complaint has a complete list [chillingeffects.org] of what they want to "block". Oops!

Obvious response.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330544)

...send another complaint claiming that the first complaint letter is copyrighted and must be taken down. Google can then take down the first and post the second. Then send a third DMCA complaint about the second letter. Ad infinitum.

An even more evil plan would be to send two DMCA complaints for each DMCA complaint published, perhaps one for the first half, one for the second half. The exponential growth of DMCA complaint letters could bring even Google to its knees.

Of course, it'd be hard to generate all these complaint letters. So what you do is, build the Google API into an Outlook virus, which looks for published DMCA letters on Google and sends an automatic complaint. Soon the entire Internet will be crippled by the DMCA deluge...which was sorta the idea from the beginning, I think.

Re:Obvious response.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330690)

Except, complaint letters aren't accepted electronically (fo you want to be able to swear on penalty of perjury by clicking a yes box?).

It doesn't work. (2)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330561)

I tried that trick (searching for "xenu.net scientology" in google). The link to xenu.net is up and there was no message about the DMCA. I guess that's good, 'though if it were me I'd keep the DMCA letters up with the relevant site links.

Anybody got any other blocked links to test this system out on?

Re:It doesn't work. (2)

soap.xml (469053) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330636)

The link is at the bottom of the page. It is kind of hidden... but it is there.

From google... In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [google.com] , we have removed 2 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint [chillingeffects.org] for these removed results.

-ryan

Re:It doesn't work. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330659)


It's at the bottom of the page, einstien.

Re:It doesn't work. (1)

oasisbob (460665) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330661)

I was able to get it to work with this exact search:
(As of 11:10am PDT)

"site:xenu.net scientology"

The DMCA comment is at the bottom

It works, but who the hell searches like that? (5, Interesting)

mbauser2 (75424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330669)

Don't search for "xenu.net Scientology", search for "site:xenu.net Scientology". You have to include the "site" keyword. The notice is at the bottom of the results page.

I don't think many people are going to see these DMCA notifications, because I don't think that many people search this way. If they know a given site has information on a topic, most of them go straight to the site, don't they?

same here (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330678)

No luck. Couldn't find the message when searching for various combinations of "xenu.net", "scientology", and a couple of other scientology-related terms.

It's not as visible or easily accessible a message as the article would lead one to believe.

Or I'm just slow.

Re:It doesn't work. (5, Informative)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330689)

I tried that trick (searching for "xenu.net scientology" in google). The link to xenu.net is up and there was no message about the DMCA.

That's because there is plenty of material at Xenu.net about Scientology that doesn't infringe and wasn't taken down. That, and you did the query wrong. It's "site:xenu.net scientology" to find all pages mentioning Scientology at Xenu.net. Your query turns up mostly other sites and Usenet posts where people are writing ABOUT the Xenu/Scientology battles.

Now that you've got the query right, look at the bottom of the search results list. There's the DMCA takedown notice, with links to the complaints.

Heres an easier way... (1)

Linuxthess (529239) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330569)

Do you work for the Church of Shitology, and you don't enjoy Google linking to your competitor's/debunker's sites??

Here is your solution. Simple as 1, 2, 3!

1. Post a link to your competitor's/debunker's website on SlastDot
2. Throw in something about Google, DMCA, Apache, MySQL.
3. Post.

You can kiss your competitors/debunkers goodbye!

---------------

Scientology pays for sponsored link on google (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330576)

It appears that the CoS pays for a "Sponsored Link" on Google. Specifically, a link to www.drugfreelife.net" [drugfreelife.net]
I applaud Google for posting the letters, since posting them might piss off a source of revenue, I would applaud them even more if they would refuse to take CoS money - after all it comes from the wallets of the brainwashed.

For a good time call... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330582)

1-800-564-8982

Press 2, then 5228.

Enjoy! All /. editors should be familiar with it...

HTML from site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330584)

Web Watch [slashdot.org] : Google Begins Making DMCA Takedowns Public
Posted on Friday, April 12, 2002 by Don Marti [mailto] [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org]
[slashdot.org] Attention DMCA lawyers: Try to remove a web site from Google's index and you'll probably just make it more popular.

In an apparent response to criticism of its handling of a threatening letter from a Church of Scientology lawyer, the popular search engine Google has begun to make so-called "takedown" letters public. DMCA-censored pages are now two clicks and a cut-and-paste away from the regular search results.

The full text of two new letters to Google, dated April 9 and 10, already appears on the free speech site chillingeffects.org [chillingeffects.org] . "I think it's great that they're calling attention to the way the takedown provision can be used to compromise their search results," said Wendy Seltzer, Fellow of Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and co-founder of chillngeffects.org.

Google is still choosing to take advantage of the Safe Harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows web sites to escape liability for copyright infringement if they take pages down in response to properly formed letters.

In a controversial move last month [forbes.com] , Google pulled all pages from the anti-Scientology site xenu.net [xenu.net] then restored the site's home page amid Internet outcry, just as Linux Journal readers were on their way to visit Google in person [ssc.com] to ask for help finding censored pages about the alien warlord Xenu who is a key figure in Scientology's creation legend.

Only the name and telephone number of the attorney who wrote the letters have been removed from the copies on chillingeffects.org. Both of the new letters originate from the Los Angeles law firm of Moxon & Kobrin, where attorney Helena Kobrin has long been Scientology's standard-bearer against church critics on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology and other online fora. Kobrin was not immediately available for comment

The letters are also linked to directly from Google search results. When results would have included a DMCA-censored page, the results page now includes a link to the takedown letter that resulted in the page being removed. A search this morning for site:xenu.net scientology produced the message:

"In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 8 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may
read the DMCA complaint [chillingeffects.org] for these removed results."

Failing to act in response to a DMCA takedown letter is not against the law. "They can always choose not to take advantage of the safe harbor," Seltzer said. However, only by complying with the letter and taking pages out of their index can Google escape a possible copyright infringement lawsuit.

Finally, Google has expanded its DMCA page [google.com] to include instructions for Counter Notification under the DMCA. A webmaster who believes that a non-infringing page is being unfairly censored can write the proper legal incantations [chillingeffects.org] and have the page put back into the index.

Google is then required to forward this Counter Notification to the original notifier, and then put the page back in the index "not less than 10 or more than 14" days after Google receives the Counter Notification. If your site is pulled out of Google and you're confused, chillingeffects.org has a web form [chillingeffects.org] that will generate a correctly formed Counter Notification.

google makes money either way ... (2)

Paul Lamere (21149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330585)

So now when I search at google for "operation clambake scientology" not only do I get www.xenu.net, but I get some paid for "sponsored links" that bring me directly to the media page for the church of scientology.

Well, good for google I guess.

Re:google makes money either way ... (2)

crow (16139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330654)

Some of the ads only have to be paid for when someone clicks on them. I don't know if I can bring myself to go to a Scientology web page, though.

Oooh! Nifty! Form-letter DMCA takedowns! (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330612)

Let's push this to the extreme and submit our own 'DMCA takedowns' to Google on everything possible (Slashdot effect?) so that the average search becomes littered with 'DMCA negative' links!

Don't Fuck with the Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330613)

Go google!

Scientology had a point (4, Funny)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330624)

Note that Xenu.net [xenu.net] includes the infamous OT III text [xenu.net] . This tells how the galactic overlord Xenu tricked billions of people into coming to Teegeeack(Earth) for income tax inspections and blew them up. From the text

After he had captured all these souls he had them packed into boxes and taken to a few huge cinemas. There all the souls had to spend days watching special 3D motion pictures that told them what life should be like and many confusing things. In this film they were shown false pictures and told they were God, The Devil and Christ. In the story this process is called "implanting".

When the films ended and the souls left the cinema these souls started to stick together because since they had all seen the same film they thought they were the same people. They clustered in groups of a few thousand. Now because there were only a few living bodies left they stayed as clusters and inhabited these bodies.


Part of scientology is to free yourself of these souls. Now does releasing this text not possibly allow a person to rid themselves of these souls by alerting them to their presence? These "special 3d motion pictures" are undoubtedly a technological security measure. The only logical solution from this is that the page is a digital circumvention device specifically disallowed by the DMCA. I believe it is a clear cut issue and that the scientologists are fully within their rights to disallow google to allow people to link to this illegal page. However also keep in mind that scientology didn't enact this security measure, Xenu did, therefore scientology is also in violation of this law. Now if only Xenu can break free of his volcano, come to Earth, and sue the scientologists ...

Why not charge the fuckers with perjury? (0, Troll)

91degrees (207121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330626)

They always put "I swear under penalty of perjury....".


Are they telling the truth? There's gotta be a lie in there somewhere! The potential irony of a legal team falling foul of a clause in their own boilerplate sounds intriquing.

What about searches coming from Canada? (5, Interesting)

Dick Click (166230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330627)

Hmm. I have read a search for "site:xenu.net scientology" links to the takedown letters. When I try this search, the first hit is www.xenu.net [xenu.net] . I wonder if this is because I am redirected to www.google.ca? Anybody have any idea if a search coming from Canada acts differently than a search coming from the US?

Re:What about searches coming from Canada? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330652)

Do you mean besides adding an 'Eh?' to the end of each query ?

Re:What about searches coming from Canada? (3, Informative)

soap.xml (469053) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330746)

The link is at the bottom of the page. It is the same as for the American version of the site. After all of the links you will find the DMCA notice.

-ryan

Making waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330630)

Couldn't anyone notify an ISP that a site is infringing whether or not it's true. What if during X-mas someone notifies E-Toys ISP that they are in violation of copyright, of course this may be bogus, but the site would have to be pulled for 10 days minimum. That would draw some serious attention to this bad law. If the coporations can abuse the DMCA what prevents indivuals from turning the tables on them when it counts.

Scientology sucks! (5, Funny)

s390 (33540) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330647)

My (former) wife had previously been married to some a**hole Scientologist, and they tracked her up to Portland from LA and harrassed us. I wasn't confrontational, at first.

They sent obnoxious mail. I taped it to cinder blocks with "addressee unknown, please return" on their mail. The US PS was happy to charge them $20 or so to return those.

However, when two of them pushed into my my living room without my invitation, I excused myself for a moment and came back with a rifle, which I pointed at them, and I told them to leave my premises and never darken my door again.

Then we got phone calls. I shut that down by calling their office and carefully explaining to them that if I got any further harrassment from them I would personally shoot everyone in their f*cking cult, starting with the people in their downtown office and not stopping until I'd found and shot every f*cking Scientologist in the entire state!

That worked. And that's how Scientologists should be dealt with. It's the only "reasoning" they understand. Tar and feathers are gentle approbation, and very appropriate.

Re:Scientology sucks! (2)

Courageous (228506) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330702)

However, when two of them pushed into my my living room without my invitation, I...

That's funny. I would have started breaking bones and gouging eyes. On the spot.

C//

Re:Scientology sucks! (0, Troll)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330734)

You are so full of shit, your eyes are brown.

Any scientologist worth his salt would have called the police the moment you threatened to shoot them. It's one thing to brandish a firearm to eject an intruder from your premises. It's quite another to threaten to come to their offices and shoot them. If you actually did that, you'd be in the pokey for assault right now, instead of making stupid threats AGAIN on Slashdot. And rightly so, regardless of what anyone thinks the merits of scientology are (or are not).

Re:Scientology sucks! (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330737)

actually I think you were very lucky .... those guys consider the law-suit as a sort of legal sacrament .... at least their 'scriptures' (er. demented drug crazed ramblings) require the use of them on people who act against them

Re:Scientology sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330738)

I'm surprised that they didn't press charges against you for making death threats. Litigious as they are, you'd think they would do that.

Search not now returning warning... (1)

Clark (13670) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330662)

I did the google search mentioned in the article (site:xenu.net scientology) and got no DMCA warning - just the proper links to xenu.net.

The best thing about this... (3, Insightful)

soap.xml (469053) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330671)

The best thing about this is that the general public may begin to become informed about the DMCA and all of the stupid things that can come of it. Hopefully google will make a point to tell people that the DMCA was the reason the links are gone (read: put it at the top of the page). Possibly if enough people get pissed about the abuse of the law, and the abusivness of the law, it can either be over turned or new legislation can be passed to modify it. Or at the very least, become publicly debated and hated. That might lead to something...

first linux journal goes down, (3, Informative)

ryepup (522994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330672)

now xenu.net is fighting a losing battle. I work at an ISP and am waiting for their page to load. The site has a lot of links to various public resources, like an alt.religion.scientology archive, the recently de-classified FBI files on L. Ron Hubbard, and various Scientology documents. I guess Scientologists don't want factual information about their group in one easy place for people to see. It also has Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit, from The Demon Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark which is an excellent book.

Poll person (-1)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330687)

Can the Poll Guy please post? I miss his 'Sex With A Mare' questions. The "Sex With a Vacuum Cleaner' was funny too. Thanks.

scientology is a stupid cult anyways (1)

funnyguy (28876) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330688)

scientology is based on the fact that two authors had a bet as to who could write a book and get a cult following first.
they have no right to order google to do anything... they fell for it hook, line and sinker. and now they're a cult based on a stupid book.
religions are defined, old, and well decumented. scientology is not that, they are a cult. it would be a stretch to refer to them as a brotherhood, even.

bah... this seems so stupid sometimes.

Slashdot effect dynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330701)

A idea for some web content would be a breakdown of what happens during a slashdot effect encounter. What's the most common point of failure? Is it upstream, some aspect of of Apache, not enough file handles?

Seems if we can get a breakdown of some things maybe folks can shore things up a bit. I've always entertained the idea of seeing how long my server could withstand the /. effect. It's a p200 mail server. Maybe I could just put up a simple counter that shows CPU load and other interesting bits.

Then folks could put their IP on some sacrificial list that people could go and slashdot from time to time.

Just a thought. Then you could have rankings of how long machines could stay up according to their specs and loads and such. Different classes according to upstream capabilities, type of page content and such. Be a gladiator arena of sorts.

Good for google (1, Insightful)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330709)

The DMCA is shit as is alot of bills and laws passed in Washington these days. I thought about something when I read this.

I'm not entirely sure on this. The PatriotAct that was rushed through Congress has a clause in it stating "If you are searched because of the PatriotAct then it is illegal to make public the fact that you were searched". What would happen if the DMCA was modified like this?

Webpages and site listings disappearing overnight with no reason.

pretty scary

Killing the search engines (2)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330743)

I use Google because I have the warm fuzzy impression that if it's on the net, I can find it with Google and a proper formed query. Now the moment I no longer feel that Google contains a proper representation I have no use for it. although I have become quite fond of the google groups for troubleshooting and nostalgia.

If these spineless suits turns google into a censored site, it would be a sad day for the internet.
And as it have been said before, why not go for the original site instead. Maybe it's easier to "go for Google"(tm) because the responds to their mails.
Maybe the go for Google because of the same reason that I use Google, if it's not on Google nobody will find it. So they cache pages, what about that internet archive(wayback thingy)?

Library Call Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330754)

How are links different from library call numbers arrived at from a search through a card catalog?

next-level index (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330755)

Now what we need is a site that provides searchability on Google's repository of takedown letters and related links! Shouldn't be too hard, and it seems legal given my understanding of the issues.

.

Hmmmm DMCA madness (2)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330760)

Which starts me thinking, can you overclock the DMCA, let's see. Can you copyright a copyright or licence a licence, or copyright a licence, or licence a copyright?

Copyright a copyright - pull a copyright from the copyright office and cut & paste it, then adjust it slightly (derivative work) to your new invention/copyrightable item. But really, I think God holds copyright on all copyrights, either him or the Roswell Grays.

Licence a licence - if someone wants to use GPL they have to meet certain criteria, restricting who/what you can apply the licence to.

Copyright a licence - if someone wants to release something under GPL/whatever then you cannot use our licence without our explicit permission, making GPL a closed open-source society.

Licence a copyright - You may use this copyright only under certain conditions, this sounds like the entire free market system. Sorta franchise.

So since the free market is based on the DMCA^2 that means that..... Actually I don't know what it means, I just confused myself. GPL is retstricted by (2) licence a licence as you can't apply the GPL to say, a Hershey bar, only software and thus there's a prerequisite condition to using the GPL. So is the GPL truly open source.....?

1.I am not a troll, just more of a Rumpelstiltskin.
I'm not a troll, it's just that my thinking pattern is open source, and my vocal cords aren't covered by the DMCA

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