The reaction of the ISPs is natural. Be more afraid of people who are more likely to sue you. It takes some guts to be firm about stuff like this, but I think experiments like this and praise to those companies and institutions who are diligent are important to encourage companies to care about these issues. I remember that back in the early days (I don't know about these days) ISPs used to get too friendly with the police and often ended up giving them more information than appropriate about their customers. ISPs have a huge responsibility to uphold the law as well as protect their customers. Hat tip to the ISP that asked for proof from alleged plaintiff.Jason SchultzCopyright Takedown Experiment Reveals Horrible ISP PoliciesDutch civil rights organization Bits of Freedom has run an interesting experiment: They put up a text by a famous Dutch author, written in 1871 to accounts with 10 different ISPs. Then they made up an imaginary society that is supposed to be the copyright holder of the author in question, and sent copyright infringement takedown notices to those 10 ISP via email (using a Hotmail account). 7 out of 10 ISPs took down the material, sometimes within hours and without even informing the account holder. One ISP doubted the legitimacy of the claim and asked for some proof that the alleged plaintiff was in fact the copyright holder. Yet another ISP actually realized that copyright had long since run out on the work. That's real scary, don't you think? Made up society, Hotmail addresses and a website is gone.
BOF's paper is available here (PDF)
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Copyright Takedown Experiment Reveals Horrible ISP Policies.
TrackBack URL for this entry: