Anti-Piracy Company Attacks the Media While Lashing Out at H33t

In news that one could file under “oddities”, an anti-piracy company has apparently decided to attack several websites in the midst of a rant against BitTorrent website H33t.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Take Down Piracy’s Nate Glass wrote a rather emotional blog posting on his companies blog attacking the DMCA policy of BitTorrent website H33t.

Glass only referred to the website as a “piracy” website, but was ind enough to offer a screenshot of the policy. After plugging in parts of the policy into Google, we found out that the policy mentioned was that of BitTorrent website H33t.

The H33t policy apparently included a provision which says that a takedown request must be accompanied by a $50 administration fee.

Glass referred to the policy as “extortion” and further saying the following:

So not only does this site profit by selling ads using other people’s hard work, but in the event you want your property removed from their website, it’s going to cost you $50 for EACH instance of copyright infringement. The process of removing URLs is something many piracy sites simply automate. Now I know the piracy apologists out there (and you know who you are) like to tout the myth that piracy sites are just some non-profit freedom fighters fighting against the evil corporations, but how can you guys defend this?

I’m at a loss as to where we said that BitTorrent websites are non-profit freedom fighters. I know that we said that some government policies amount to censorship, but we backed that up over the years with numerous examples of copyright complaints targeting URLs and videos that were clearly non-infringing. We said that this type of thing amounts to censorship, but where did we say that BitTorrent websites are non-profit freedom fighters? I can’t speak for other websites, but I don’t think this is an idea we’ve ever said in the first place. Furthermore, I don’t consider myself to be some sort of piracy apologist. I do consider myself a music producer and journalist who stands against censorship and surveillance among other things, but I’m not so sure about being considered a piracy apologist.

Somehow, Glass felt the need to attack several websites that talk about the news in the process, saying, “Something tells me we won’t see TechDirt, ArsTechnica or TorrentFreak doing an article about this, since it conflicts with the narrative they like to push.”

One wonders if some sort of blind attacking of the media was really warranted here.

Glass then went on to say this:

And since the pirate apologists love to trump up made up stories[…], let’s play that same game with them.

Takedown Piracy is closing in on our 7 MILLIONTH infringement removed. So how can we twist that around to make up a scathing headline against piracy? Oh yeah:

7 million infringements

x

$50 per infringement removed

=

TORRENT SITE DEMANDS $350,000,000 TO REMOVE MATERIALS

Well, first of all, that is completely inaccurate since I don’t think all 7 million takedowns were specifically and exclusively directed at H33t. Second of all, we only push for accurate truth. For example, we took a completely scientific approach when we dug through 20 scholarly sources about filesharing to figure out what the evidence says about filesharing, and that’s only one example. If Glass thinks the truth is an agenda, then I guess we have an agenda. If the science said piracy causes huge harm in the industry, then fine, we’ll admit that it does, but the truth is that the effects of online piracy is anywhere between miniscule to non-existent. That’s not something we made up, faked or “trumped up”, that is what science and economics told us. Finally, I hardly call sending out 7 million DMCA notices an accomplishment. Unless your goal is to waste everyone’s time and money (that includes clients), then I suppose Glass is accomplishing his mission very successfully. But really, did 7 million DMCA notices cause file-sharing to stop altogether? No. Did sending out 7 million DMCA notices cause piracy to cease altogether? No. Did sending out 7 million DMCA notices prove that a company is really good at hitting a “send” button? Probably, yes. I’m not one bit convinced that Takedown Piracy has really accomplished anything tangible other than maybe pushing out a statistic and got companies to buy in to the company. From a business perspective, I, as a music producer, wouldn’t touch this company with a ten foot barge pole. I’d rather have my music being downloaded for free myself as that has only furthered my career as an artist.

What I will say is that this blog posting by Glass fits in with numerous stereotypes nicely. One stereotype is that anti-piracy outfits make numbers. Glass accomplished that. Another stereotype is that anti-piracy companies simply don’t care about their own PR. Again, Glass accomplished that. What Glass has done was what the Internet community calls “trolling”.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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