While the DMCA contains a ‘repeat infringer’ clause, copyright cases filed in the United States are now helping to more accurately define what the term means.
Multiple cases involving ISPs Cox, Grande Communications, and their subscribers, appear to be having a knock-on effect on platforms that rely on user-submitted content. No longer as vague as it was, the repeat infringer clause now means that platforms are quicker to take action against persistent pirates.
With its tens of millions of users, Reddit is one such site. All content is submitted by users and while copyright infringements are dealt with following complaints from rightsholders, the site now appears to deal more swiftly with those who continually flout the rules.
As previously reported, Reddit has issued stern warnings to several communities after they were subjected to multiple complaints from rightsholders. It now appears the ban-hammer is being swung with increasing force.
Several sub-Reddits connected to copyright infringing content have recently been banned from Reddit. One of those is FullMoviesOnAnything, a previously 23,000-strong community that posted links to full movies hosted on external sites.
Following complaints, users are no longer greeted with a large index of links to infringing content. Instead, the sub-Reddit displays the familiar ‘banned’ screen indicating that the community has been shuttered for good.
Another sub-Reddit with a similar name and purpose has also been banned. FullMoviesOnAnything_ (note the underscore) was also nuked, apparently for spam. Like its namesake, however, the community also posted links to copyright-infringing content.
These aren’t the only ‘infringing’ sub-Reddits to be closed in recent times.
TvShowsOnAnything, a nod to its namesake in the movie sector, has also been permanently removed from the site. The same thing happened to /r/fullmoviesonline earlier this year.
While Reddit doesn’t always display precise reasons for a sub-Reddit being banned on each individual landing page, one doesn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that copyright infringement was an issue in the above cases. In other instances, however, the site is more clear.
The ‘banned’ notices on sub-Reddits including /r/fullmovies and /r/crackedsoftware are crystal clear, with a specific note that the sub-Reddit violated the site’s repeat infringer policy and were shut down.
As highlighted last month, sub-Reddits dealing with piracy-related topics need to be increasingly careful not to break Reddit’s rules. Tight moderation is the key, along with common sense from users.