Google Porn Takedowns Carpet Bomb Github

An anti-piracy company has caused Google to wrongfully remove dozens of Github project URLs. Acting on behalf of a porn company, Takedown Piracy asked the search giant to remove links to several projects including those owned by Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo and openSUSE.

google-bayEvery single week thousands of copyright holders and anti-piracy companies demand that Google removes links to allegedly infringing content.

The effort required to deal with this deluge is considerable. Google has received as many as 11 million requests in a single week and in 2014 alone the search giant processed some 345 million URL takedowns.

While it’s believed that most takedown requests are accurate, Google still does its best to ensure that erroneous notices don’t negatively affect legitimate online services. Google regularly rejects overbroad and inaccurate notices but like everyone else, the company isn’t perfect.

The latest head-shaker arrives courtesy of anti-piracy outfit Takedown Piracy (TDP). Acting on behalf of porn outfit Wicked Pictures, TDP sent Google a notice containing thousands of URLs targeting dozens of well and lesser-known file-sharing sites.

Sadly, however, the notice also targeted coding site Github – over and over and over again. And Google complied.

“The materials reported in this notice are the copyrighted DVD/videos of Wicked Pictures,” the notice begins.

Not exactly.

Impure Takedown

Two URLs targeted – github.com/yahoo/pure and github.com/yahoo/pure/releases/ belong to the Pure.css project. Described as “a set of small, responsive CSS modules that you can use in every web project”, Pure.css is owned by Yahoo.

Apparent reason for takedown: Wicked has a movie titled Impure Hunger

On the rebound

tpbfacebook“Rebound is a java library that models spring dynamics. Rebound spring models can be used to create animations that feel natural by introducing real world physics to your application,” the project’s lead in begins.

Sadly, TDP thinks that this BSD-licensed Facebook-owned project’s URLs (1) (2) infringes on its client’s copyrights.

Thanks to another takedown, a separate project of the same name exploring “collisional dynamics” and operated by several academics is now harder to find too.

Their crimes? Wicked’s “Stormy Daniels” has a movie called Rebound.

Get down Netflix

netflixIn June 2013, Netflix announced Lipstick, the company’s open source Pig workflow visualization tool.

Unfortunately for the movie streaming outfit TDP believes that their Github project located at https://github.com/Netflix/Lipstick infringes Wicked Picture’s copyrights.

Another project, also titled Lipstick, was also accused of doing the same.

Reason for takedown? Wicked has a movie title containing the same word.

A wickedly poor choice of name

opensuseIf only the people behind the free Linux-based operating system openSUSE had been a little more cautious. When selecting a name for their network configuration tool located here there were millions to choose from.

But by titling their project ‘Wicked’ they became sitting ducks for several URL takedowns by an adult company of the same name.

The same goes for Wicked Charts, whose main URL for their “beautiful and interactive javascript charts” has been delisted from Google. The Schneems ‘wicked’ project likewise.

No pushover

Wicked Pictures’ 1999 movie Pushover has a lot to answer for too.

Takedown Piracy hit Google with demands to delist the main URLs for no less than ten Github projects simply because they had the word ‘pushover’ in their titles.

https://github.com/Thibauth/python-pushover
https://github.com/tcnksm/vagrant-pushover
https://github.com/substack/pushover
https://github.com/sps/pushover4j
https://github.com/qbit/node-pushover
https://github.com/laprice/pushover
https://github.com/kryap/php-pushover
https://github.com/danesparza/Pushover.NET
https://github.com/jnwatts/pushover.sh
https://github.com/dyaa/Laravel-pushover
https://github.com/erniebrodeur/pushover

Tip of the iceberg

The above are just a few examples from a single takedown notice which can be viewed on ChillingEffects. It makes disappointing reading.

In Takedown Piracy’s defense the company has sent 39.6 million URL notices to Google since 2011. However, that will be of little comfort to the many legitimate projects which are now harder to find due to the company’s errors.

Conclusion: Always blaming Google

Taking a wider look at Google’s Transparency Report, one discovers that Github is being targeted on a regular basis by a wide range of copyright holders. Few if any bother to send a notice to Github itself. If they did they might make few mistakes, but carpet-bombing Google is much easier, quicker and cheaper.

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