VroniPlag Wiki

Hi Brandon,

Could you give a bit more background, why you deleted two important pages of the Vroniplag Wiki? [1]

Thanks --Hindemith (Diskussion) 16:39, 25. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi. As my deletion summary indicated, we received a valid DMCA takedown notice for the content. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a US federal law that Wikia, as an American company, is required to follow. The takedown notice indicated that the content that was deleted violated an individual's copyright. Upon receipt of a valid takedown notice, we are required by law to remove the content listed in the notice. There may also be more pages deleted soon in regards to that DMCA takedown notice, but I have first requested clarification on one of the points of the notice. If you disagree that the content violates the individual's copyright, then you are welcome to send us a DMCA counter-notice (though I'd recommend waiting on deciding that point until we determine whether more pages will be deleted under the DMCA takedown notice we received). You can read about the required elements of a counter notice here. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 16:49, 25. Jun. 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for letting us know. I must say that there is a certain irony in the fact that these pages are taken down due to an alleged copyright violation given that the whole purpose of those pages is to document plagiarism in scientific publications. But I do understand that we are in the realm of legal processes, and we will have to follow those. I assume that there is no danger that content will be deleted in a way that it will not be possible to recover it later on (as I am very sure that there is no copyright infringement whatsoever)? --Hindemith (Diskussion) 17:10, 25. Jun. 2014 (UTC)
I have completed the remaining deletions, with 146 pages and 1 category deleted. I've also removed the now-broken template from the main page. If you want to consider a counter-notice then you now have a record of all deleted pages. Here again are the requirements for a counter-notice. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 18:19, 25. Jun. 2014 (UTC)
How exactly does Wikia determine the validity of the DMCA takedown notice? Just for the records, VroniPlag Wiki documents cases of plagiarism. This means that we document cases where somebody violated, among other things, a third person's copyright. Will Wikia also give in if I download a complete Star Trek collection on the Internet and then file a DMCA takedown notice again the Star Trek Wiki? Fiesh (Diskussion) 05:56, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

A valid DMCA takedown notice must contain the following information:

  1. The name, address, and signature of the copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent.
  2. Links to the infringing material and, when available, links to the original material that is allegedly being infringed upon (and/or enough information to identify copyrighted materials).
  3. A statement by the copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent that they have a good faith belief that the allegedly infringing material is not being used legally.
  4. A statement that the notice is accurate, and that the copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent swears under penalty of perjury that they have the right to file the takedown notice.

Once we have that information in the form of a takedown notice, we are legally required to remove the allegedly infringing material. As we are not a legal entity, we make no determination as to whether there is actually a copyright violation (we have no legal basis to do that). The complaining party will have sworn under penalty of perjury that the information in the notice is accurate, and we are not in a position to question that.

As mentioned above, though, the DMCA does provide a mechanism with which you can dispute the claim of copyright infringement if you disagree with it. The DMCA allows you to send Wikia a DMCA counter-notice. I should warn you, however, that this can lead to a lawsuit. If VroniPlag Wiki sends us a valid counter-notice, we are required to inform the complaining party that you have done so. They then have 14 days to file a lawsuit. Only if they do not file a lawsuit after 14 days would we restore the content. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 06:18, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

Hi Brandon,

you also removed pages that have no content from the dissertation of Slo. I would assume that a DCMA takedown notice can only apply to actual content. The page Slo/Titelaufnahme only contains the name of the person and the title of the thesis. This is a normal citation and thus is not part of any presumed copyright. The page Benutzer:WiseWoman/Berichte/Slo also did not contain a single word from Slo, but is SMW/dpl code that I generate with a program that I wrote. This page would be under my copyright, which I have set as CC-BY-SA. This code, when executed in the Wikia environment, will produce a report that collects all of the pages for Kategorie:Slo in an appropriate manner. It does not belong to the Kategorie:Slo. You also changed my overview of reports - that, too, does not have anything to do with the takedown. I would appreciate Wikia only taking down pages that might be affected by copyright. I hope Slo realizes that he is liable for damages and attorney fees for issuing a wrong DCMA takedown notice. Also, in case of a DCMA takedown notice, under 17 USC §512(g)(2)(A) you are required to inform us about the takedown. This did not happen until after we noticed the material gone and asked what was up. WiseWoman (Diskussion) 06:45, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

Brandon, thanks for the clarification. This appears to be a bewildering feat of American civil law. I can understand your position now. Fiesh (Diskussion) 07:14, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

I understand that Wikia had to react according to legal provisions, no matter if the displayed contents are a legal issue themselves. Indeed, many deleted pages (but not all of them) included text portions which belong to a copyrighted work. However, the author is correctly cited and the work is not displayed in whole. Apart from this, it would not be possible to get the work by defragmenting the published contents since these are not complete at all. To my mind, such pubplication does not violate copyright, nor does it evade the copyright in dubious way. As a time-consuming and costly lawsuit would not be satisfactory (if necessary) I would like to ask if it is possible to republish the pages in a modified way, at least until all open questions are clarified. For example, copyrighted text could be replaced by unreadable pictures.-Hood (Diskussion) 11:35, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

  • @WiseWoman - any pages I deleted was because it was targeted by the DMCA takedown notice. So like I said, if you disagree that a particular page was a copyright infringement, you are free to file a counter-notice. @Plagin Hood - I can't grant you permission for that, because I'm not the complaining party. If the pages were restored, I would have to delete them again. If you want to restore the pages, then you will need go through the counter-notice process. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 14:12, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I see the counter-notice process is the only possiblilty. (P.S. It seems doubtful whether the complaining author could claim a copyright for the relevant excerpts, as they are taken from other sources or are based on them, at least. Therefore, the the complaint could be considered as pointless, anyway).-Hood (Diskussion) 15:18, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)
Can we obtain a copy of the DCMA takedown notice? According to http://brainz.org/dmca-takedown-101/ we have a right to see the complete notice. Secondly, this is a wiki which is edited by many. Only the page in my user space is edited just by me (for the most part). How are DCMA notices to be served? I would think that a particular user needs to be named. In this sample counter-notice by Chilling Effects (https://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca/counter512.pdf) it is a person who has to respond, not the wiki. WiseWoman (Diskussion) 14:56, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

WiseWoman, here is a copy of the DMCA takedown notice. The third link, the category, led to a question as to whether the complaining party was requesting the removal of the category page, or the content within it. We posed that question to the complaining party via email (where the takedown notice was sent). The response was "yes, it’s all „slo“-pages because ALL these reproduce works of my client protected under the DMCA." That is why we removed all of the pages in that category, as well as the category itself. Of course, if you disagree with that, you have the counter-notice option.

In the interest of full disclosure, we also received a follow up message requesting that we remove the client's name from this page, asserting other legal claims against the use of the name on that page. Because those claims were not based on copyright and therefore fall outside of the rigidly defined DMCA process, we have not yet removed the content as the request is still under consideration. It will be reviewed internally by our executive team, who will determine whether and how we take further action. We recognize that this is a difficult situation with nuances that have to be balanced, and we will do everything we can to keep the community in the loop while still respecting our legal obligations.

Regarding your remaining questions:

  1. DMCA takedown notices can be physically mailed to Wikia, they can be faxed to Wikia, or they can be emailed to Wikia. In this case, it was emailed.
  2. A particular user does not need to be identified in a takedown notice, just the allegedly infringing content.
  3. For a counter-notice, the copyright holder of a particular page can respond, or someone can respond on behalf of VroniPlag as long as the community determines that they may do so. Remember that the person who files a DMCA counter-notice is legally responsible for what they say in the counter-notice. Because there could be serious consequences, you should probably consider consulting an attorney.

I hope that answers your questions. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 18:29, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)

Yes it does, thank you very much for your prompt responses. Removing a name indeed has nothing to do with copyright. WiseWoman (Diskussion) 18:40, 26. Jun. 2014 (UTC)