Saturday, March 27, 2010

Skills Hak files bogus DMCA takedowns on Youtube

In the last post I made about Gemini CDS, I had linked to a video on Youtube that shown an instance of copybotting being done while the content that was ripped was supposedly "protected" by Gemini CDS(Before anyone accuses me of anything, no I was not the one who made the video). Shortly after I published the post, the video was taken down from Youtube "due to a copyright claim by Simone Phuc".

At first, I had merely thought that the takedown was because of the music track that was in the video. Later I remembered that in those sort of cases, Youtube merely removes the audio. So it wasn't the music track.

So then I started searching for similar videos. There were a number of videos, yet all were completely taken down by this same "Simone Phuc". Why? The videos themselves did not violate anyone's copyright(music tracks notwithstanding). And for certain, the person who made all these takedowns could not own all the products that were shown copybotted. But there was one obvious link in all the videos: These videos documented Gemini CDS failures.

So the only possibility is that Simone Phuc is Skills Hak, and she is attempting to stop embarrassing evidence that her product is failing from reaching enough of the public.

This is absolutely wrong, not only for Skills but also for her clients because those videos are clear, documented proof that copybotting had occurred, and the victims affected could use them to prosecute the thugs. Skills/Simone's takedowns then amount to obstruction of justice, and also abusing the DMCA(even if Skills tries to claim trade secrets, DMCA is *only*for copyright claims).

To Skills, I say this: Do the right thing and stop abusing the law to hide what are obvious product failures. What you should have done was inform the victims of the copybotting incidents and show them the videos as proof. This would actually help you and your product because it would show customers you actually care about them and their investments in SL.

To Gemini CDS users, I say this: Because Gemini CDS doesn't detect or prevent the actual act of copybotting, you may or may not have been the victim of copybotting in those videos. But since Skills has taken down the videos, you might never know unless you come across copybotted versions of your content in SL(which at that point is too late). There's no good reason to be victimized twice.


Wayfinder said...

Interesting aspect of Copyright Law: "Fair Use Act". I doubt they have any legal right to file the DMCA in the first place. Use of images or even significant quotes as part of documentation is totally legal. Since you are documenting failure of a software package... that constitutes "fair use".

Fraudulent use of DMCA is a federal offense. So regardless of who is doing this... here's the thing:

In order to file a DMCA, one must provide RL information. If a DMCA is filed... the target may appeal such filing. Then it goes to RL... with REAL identities, not virtual ones. If YouTube removed an item because of a filed DMCA... then they have real life information on file.

So if you had an item fraudulently removed by DMCA... you have every right to report fraudulent misuse of DMCA, appeal, and take REAL LIFE information to the courts.

Even if you don't take it to the courts... at least you'll find out who is behind such postings, and can report them to the US Copyright office... who will take it from there (especially in the case of multiple such abuses).

Not to mention the fact that you could take the easy way out and report the person to YouTube for repeatedly filing fraudulent DMCA reports. I imagine YouTube would frown on such folks. ; )

Kabalyero said...

Is this confirmed? Simone is Skills? Would love to learn the actual truth for once.

AntoniusMisfit said...

If she's not Skills herself, then she's likely one of Skills' Gemini business associates on his/her behalf. Either way, it reflects badly on Skills.

P.S.- I just read your post about the TPV policy, and there's a few points that need to be made:

1. Getting a viewer listed on the viewer directory is not a requirement of accepting the TPV policy. So just because Cool Viewer isn't listed in the directory, it doesn't mean that it's not compliant. Henri Beauchamp(the developer of Cool Viewer) merely has declined to list in the directory for understandable privacy reasons.

2. The viewer directory's stated intent is to merely function as an promotional tool for TPV developers who self-certify to abide by the TPV policies. However, it is possible for a secretly malicious developer to list in the directory. So it's best not to automatically assume a viewer is safe simply because it's listed in the directory.

3. While LL may not be blocking older versions of legit viewers that don't totally comply with the TPV policies, this problem will diminish in time as the older versions will become obsolete. What LL *is* blocking are the most commonly-known greifer/copybot viewers, so the policy does have some teeth right now. Whether or not they can keep it up remains to be seen.

elena zackerly said...

who the fuck cares?
the only people who care are those who are butthurt by the fact that skills has all that power, right and she is the most laudable and trustworthy avatar in sl am I right or am I right?
actually when you think about it theres two issues here. one why is skills hak a known criminal allowed to trawl data off second life citizens when LL knows well that she along with fractured crystal were responsible for the emerald data mining incident?
and two) who the fuck is skills hak to be waddling her stupid ass around sl when she knows very well that she could spend two years in prison for her part in that scam under european law, after all we know she is german so where are the german police in all this?

Anonymous said...

CDS has failed yet again in 2012 to protect a creator who was using it.

A creator named "Cal Corleone" was copybot by a KingGoon copybotter named Synphony Vayandar, and her many alts and give out a bunch of his builds in the sandbox. He was using CDS and yet it didn't protect his content which is very sad.

IP Logging isn't really bad if used in a professional manor, however both CDS & Red Zone were not informing users how their information was used or stored.

In addition Bizarre Obscure, one of the Admin from NoR along with Luxa Budan have full knowledge of Synphony Vayandar illegally cloning content, but permit them to play in NoR and continue to copy RP content and give away this content on KingGoon & Torrents. Luxa Budan is also a member of the Content Creators Assoiciation (CCA).

Synphony Vayandar is a Copybot just as Hope Shim and their many alternate accounts in Gor are, and these people as well as people supporting them need to be gone from the Second Life community.

Anonymous said...

"IP Logging isn't really bad if used in a professional manor [sic], however both CDS & Red Zone were not informing users how their information was used or stored."

Because its the height of professionalism to retain such information (IP addies) and all but hand a road map to hackers in the form of how its stored, right?

Use your head. IP addies might not be a silver bullet to identifying repeat offenders (most are dynamic and therefore cannot be relied upon), but watching the lynch mobs that were launched against people like zFire and the unashamedly criminal tactics that were used to bring him down by the same clowns who decried the possibility he might have used it, I would submit it is more professional to lock that sort of information up tighter than a nun's nasty.

At least that way the self-styled vigilantes have their work cut out for them to break the very same laws they are pretending to uphold for others.