Ridiculous Copyright Claim Seeks Takedown Of Skype, Java, Whatsapp, Dropbox & 91 Others

The Google Transparency Report shows the sheer volume of DMCA requests made by Total Wipes in just the last few months.

The Google Transparency Report shows the sheer volume of DMCA requests made by Total Wipes in just the last few months.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows content companies to ask Google and others to remove sites from search results because they contain material that infringes on their copyright. But one music company has been on a tear recently, sending DMCA notices claiming that everything from news stories about file-sharing to the generic “downloads” pages of some of the Internet’s biggest sites are violating its copyright.

The folks at TorrentFreak point us to this recent request from German company Total Wipes Music, which has filed more than 40,000 DMCA requests with Google — representing nearly 200,000 separate URLs — since just last summer. In just February 2015, the company has filed complaints with Google about around 60,000 URLs.

Ninety-five of those came in a single request sent on Feb. 5, for a Total Wipes label called Aborigeno Music. While that one notice is only a small fraction of the total number of takedown requests filed by Total Wipes, it’s notable because not a single URL mentioned in the list contains anything even vaguely musical. Nope, the request merely claims that these sites’ “downloads” pages — you know, the web pages where you download things like software, firmware updates, and user manuals — are apparently infringing on the copyright of some album called In To The Wild — Vol. 7.

What makes these DMCA requests even more outrageous is the list of sites involved. Somehow, Total Wipes’ scanning system thinks that the website for Microsoft-owned Skype is sharing this unheard-of music, or that the page where you download Dropbox must also be installing this album. The same with sites run by Java, WhatsApp, ICQ, Vuze, OpenOffice, Gimp, Ubuntu, Python, MySQL, VLC, Joomla, RaspberryPI, Apache, MalwareBytes, Pidgin, uTorrent, Evernote, Origin, Plex and dozens of others.

And this isn’t the first time that Total Wipes’ automated antipiracy system has totally wiped out. Last August it sent out a slate of DMCA complaints about sites that allegedly infringed on another album you’ve never heard of to companies like IKEA, Caribou Coffee, Dunkin Donuts, Buzzfeed, the NY Times, Overstock.com, Keurig, Starbucks, Yelp and just about any other site mentioning “coffee.”

After the latest Torrent Freak story was posted, Total Wipes issued a statement on its Facebook page apologizing for the error and blaming it on a server error.

“Due to technical servers problems on the first february week our script sent hundreds DMCA to hundreds domains not related at all any copyrights of our contents,” reads the statement. It was our fault, no doubts about it. The DMCA is a serious issue and it must be carefully managed.”

The company says it contacted most of the companies involved and claims to “understand the damage of it for small and medium companies that have to remove and manage them manually.”

In the statement, the company says that its antipiracy system was taken down a week ago, but as you can see from the link above, Total Wipes was still sending notices to Google as recently as yesterday. Let’s just hope these are legitimate claims.


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