Every day, copyright holders send out millions of takedown notices to various services, hoping to protect their works.
Pirate sites are usually at the receiving end of these requests but apparently, they can use it to their advantage as well.
A few days ago the operators of sports streaming site soccerstreams.net informed the developer platform GitHub that a copy of their code was being made available without permission.
The targeted repository was created by “mmstart007,” who allegedly copied it from Bitbucket without permission. The operator of the streaming site wasn’t happy with this and sent a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub asking to take the infringing code offline.
“It’s not an open source work its [a] private project we [are] using on our site and that was a private repo on bitbucket and that guy got unauthorized access to it,” Soccerstreams writes.
The operators stress that the repository “must be taken down as soon as possible,” adding the mandatory ‘good faith’ statement.
“I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, or its agent, or the law. I have taken fair use into consideration,” the complaint reads.
GitHub responded swiftly to the request and pulled the repository offline. Those who try to access it today see the following notification instead.
The people running the Soccer Streams site, which is linked with a similarly named Reddit community, are certainly no strangers to takedown requests themselves. The website and the Reddit community was recently targeted by the Premier League recently for example, which accused it of providing links to copyrighted streams.
While soccerstreams.net regularly links to unauthorized streams and is seen as a pirate site by rightsholders, the site doesn’t believe that it’s doing anything wrong.
It has a dedicated DMCA page on its site stating that all streams are submitted by its users and that they cannot be held liable for any infringements.
While it’s a bit unusual for sites and tools with a “pirate” stigma to issue takedown requests, it’s not unique. Just a few weeks ago one of the popular Sickrage forks was removed from GitHub, following a complaint from another fork.
This episode caused a bit of a stir, but the owner of the targeted Sickrage repository eventually managed to get the project restored after a successful counter-notice.