One email and you’re gone…

Lawrence Solum has posted a link to another study showing how ISPs can remove legal Internet content simply based on a false claim in an email that it infringes copyright.

The Bits of Freedom group, a non-profit Dutch digital rights advocacy organization, recently completed a study
to show how easy it is to compel ISPs to disable a customer’s web site.
They opened an account with 10 different Dutch ISPs and uploaded text
from the famous author Multatuli, from 1871. The text stated that the
work belonged to the public domain (Multatuli died in 1881, 117 years
ago). They then created a fake society to act as the copyright holder
and sent take down notices to all the ISPs from a Hotmail e-mail
account. 7 of the 10 ISPs took the site down without even having looked
at the site. 1 ISP forwarded the customer’s information to the fake
plaintiff, even though that information was never asked for. In all
cases, the customer was informed, but few ISPs sent the full complaint
to the customer, and gave only a very short amount of time to the
customer to reply. One ISP gave the customer only 3 hours to respond
before it removed the material. Only one ISP requested verification of
the fake plaintiff’s identity because of the dubious hotmail e-mail
address.

via ITU Strategy and Policy Unit Newslog

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