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Old 2007-11-17, 10:53   Link #1
GHDpro
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Copyright infringement (DMCA) notices for unlicensed anime

Over the past few days some disturbing news has reached the AnimeSuki email box: it seems several Comcast (an US internet provider) users have received DMCA notices for unlicensed anime. It seems there might be some fact to the news reported in the Japan Asks America to Stop Illegal Net Releases of Anime thread after all.

So far DMCA notices have been reported involving the following anime (Japanese anime studios in parenthesis) [fansubgroup in brackets]:
- Suteki Tantei Labyrinth (Studio Deen) [OOM]
- Gundam 00 (Sunrise / Mainichi Broadcasting) [Conclave/Mendoi]
- Seto no Hanayome (AIC / avex / Gonzo) [?]
- Nagasarete Airantou (feel / Starchild) [Ayako]
- Shugo Chara! (Satelight) [Raw]
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (Studio Deen) [Philantrophy]

As you can see there is no real pattern, other than that the anime was unlicensed and the people who received the notices were Comcast users.

See update below the quoted section -- it's no longer just Comcast users getting these notices.

I wonder if this is a trend, so I'd like to ask if anyone else has received a DMCA or similar copyright infringement notice from their ISP or third party recently for downloading anime in the US or Europe?

Forum member aldraek's thread about this issue was deleted because he misinterpreted the notice as a the series being licensed (which is possible, but seems terribly unlikely considering not all of the series seem like likely license candidates to me). Here is the contents of his post, which shows how the DMCA notices look like:
Quote:
Originally Posted by aldraek
So I grabbed the first episode of Gundam 00 a few days ago just to check it out and see if it was worth watching... (unfortunately not something that grabbed my attention after watching it) and today, very surprisingly, I got an e-mail from Comcast about it. Anyone care to comment? I know that downloading anime is in the grey-area legally if it's not been licensed in your region, but I also know that Gundam 00 is not licensed in region 1. Can anyone care to tell me what's going on? Maybe some advice on how to handle this? This is the FIRST letter of any kind that I've received regarding this nature... Interesting fact was that I had uTorrent running with encryption on, guess it's not all that cracked up.

Anyway, here's a copy of the e-mail with sensitive information removed:

From: Comcast Network Abuse [mailto:abuse-noreply@comcast.net]
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 4:23 AM
To: Comcast Internet Subscriber
Subject: Notice of Claim of Copyright Infringement.

Notice of Action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Abuse Incident Number: NA000000-------
Report Date/Time: Wed, 14 Nov 2007


Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Subscriber:

Comcast has received a notification by a copyright owner, or its authorized
agent, reporting an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works
made on or over Comcast's High-Speed Internet service (the 'Service'). The
copyright owner has identified the Internet Protocol ('IP') address
associated with your Service account at the time as the source of the
infringing works. The works identified by the copyright owner in its
notification are listed below. Comcast reminds you that use of the Service
(or any part of the Service) in any manner that constitutes an infringement
of any copyrighted work is a violation of Comcast's Acceptable Use Policy
and may result in the suspension or termination of your Service account.

If you have any questions regarding this notice, you may direct them to
Comcast in writing by sending a letter or e-mail to:

Comcast Legal Response Center
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC
650 Centerton Road
Moorestown, NJ 08057 U.S.A.
Phone: (856) 317-7272
Fax: (856) 317-7319
E-mail: dmca@comcast.net

For more information regarding Comcast's copyright infringement policy,
procedures, and contact information, please read our Acceptable Use Policy
by clicking on the Terms of Service link at http://www.comcast.net.

Sincerely,
Comcast Legal Response Center

Copyright work(s) identified in the notification of claimed infringement:

Evidentiary Information:

Notice ID: ---
Asset: Gundam 00
Protocol: BitTorrent
IP Address: xx.xx.xx.xx
DNS: xx.xx.xx.comcast.net
File Name:
[Conclave-Mendoi]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_00_-_01v2_[1280x720_H.264_AAC][871FCBC2
].mkv
File Size: 361374904
Timestamp: 12 Nov 2007 04:56:59 GMT
Last Seen Date: 12 Nov 2007 04:56:59 GMT
URL: http://tracker.radicand.org:5190/announce
Username (if available):
Update November 19:
A new report has come in where BayTSP sent a copyright infringement notice to a downloader in France (who was downloading French fansub of what I presume was an unlicensed series in France). BayTSP is a copyright enforcement company btw, that does the detective work for their "clients".

Update: to be precise, the original notice from BayTSP got forwarded by the French ISP to their customer, unlike the Comcast notices where they reformatted the information. BayTSP is not sending these notices directly to users, as BayTSP only knows the IP of the users they "caught", not their email address.

The interesting bit however is that the notice also includes on whose behalf they're sending their notices, which (as had been suspected) appears to be Odex (Singapore), which had also recently taken action against downloaders in their own country. Why Odex is now targeting international downloaders is a bit of a mystery considering international sales should be negligible for them.

Here is an overview of series mentioned in the BayTSP notices (which mention Odex):
- Ouran High School Host Club (BONES) [Nerae - French] (Licensed in US, but not in France?)
- Shugo Chara! (Satelight) [Formula] (see this post)
- Nagasarete Airantou (feel / Starchild) [?]
- Claymore (Madhouse / avex / AVP) [Eclipse]
- Shakugan no Shana II (J.C. Staff) [Eclipse]

Update November 20:
While I'm not sure how reliable this news is exactly, one visitor indicated that (again as had been suggested) it may have been BayTSP that has gone beyond what they were instructed to do by Odex by sending out notices globally, and not Odex themselves ordering them to do so specifically. This could be very good news: if Odex "fixes" this by asking BayTSP to stick to Singapore only, this means international fansub downloaders (outside Singapore) should once again be pretty safe. Of course for some the "damage" may already have been done.

Update November 21 - The Conclusion!
The news above has now been officially confirmed by Singaporean newspaper The New Paper who contacted Odex and BayTSP about the issue. Sending notices to downloaders outside Singapore was a mistake on the part of BayTSP. Read the full article here: http://www.darkmirage.com/blog/wp-co...1_odex_lol.jpg (courtesy of DarkMirage) or the online version.
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.
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Last edited by GHDpro; 2007-11-22 at 01:22.
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Old 2007-11-17, 11:20   Link #2
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I work for a small regional ISP in the US, and have contacted customers about DMCA violation notices numerous times before.

I always inform the customers of the party that served the us with the notice. I am flabbergasted that Comcast would not include the copyright owner's information alongside the evidentiary information.

If any one has been served with such a notice without being informed of who notified your ISP, PLEASE contact them and ask who informed them. I know of no reason to withhold the information from you, and if they are serving notices for some one other than the proper copyright holder, it needs to be stopped.

Perhaps including the information (or looking it up after notifying some one) is more trouble than they want to go through. They may also want to avoid the time-consuming argument of people claiming (legitimately or illegitimately) that the party serving the notice doesn't represent the copyright holder. Those are the two best reasons that I can imagine, and they aren't very good. Please press on to get this information.
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Old 2007-11-17, 11:35   Link #3
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Hm... I'm on Comcast, and I've downloaded the exact file before. I didn't like it that much, so that's the only file I've downloaded out of the aforementioned series. Haven't received anything yet, but since that was sent just yesterday, guess I should keep low for a while.

It surprising and a bit depressing to think "ah, that's nice of them to actually send a warning rather than disconnect/sue/harrass the guy."

Edit: Kyuusai, love your sig
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Old 2007-11-17, 11:44   Link #4
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What trackers are the other takedowns for?
Are any of them for the actual tracker used by the fansub groups?
And yes as previously said, Comcast is required to reveal who sent them the message to begin with. That would be a good piece of information too.
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Old 2007-11-17, 11:52   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
I work for a small regional ISP in the US, and have contacted customers about DMCA violation notices numerous times before.
Yes, that's not surprising. The weird bit of these DMCA notices is that they involve unlicensed anime, which means the company who requested the notice to be send is either a US anime studio which is doing so without announcing the licenses first OR it's a Japanese anime studio. In any case, something like this has not really been seen before (in US).
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayoab View Post
What trackers are the other takedowns for?
Are any of them for the actual tracker used by the fansub groups?
And yes as previously said, Comcast is required to reveal who sent them the message to begin with. That would be a good piece of information too.
Only one other person included the full notice in his email to us, and that involved Scarywater. One other mentioned he downloaded the OOM version of Suteki Tantei Labyrinth, so that also means Scarywater. Of course this is not a big surprise considering the amount of unlicensed torrents Scarywater hosts.
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Old 2007-11-17, 12:09   Link #6
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Wow...

The beginning of the end of fansubbing?
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Old 2007-11-17, 12:13   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickal555 View Post
The beginning of the end of fansubbing?
No.

This discussion shouldn't be left to continue.
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Old 2007-11-17, 12:18   Link #8
Messerschmitt_Bf-109
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Maybe fansubbing will stick around, but they could cut off the viewers who download so they couldn't even watch. This is the begining of something. I wonder how long until other providers start doing this.
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:11   Link #9
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I am the lucky one who got the notice for Nagasarete Airantou... I'd really like to know if the issues are coming from Comcast or someone who actually holds the copyright, since all of these seem to be generated by Comcast...

In response to the e-mail they sent, I tried calling the number that they had included in the message, and it goes to a line that no one answers, they force you to record a message that they "hope to respond to within 24 hours." I didn't leave a message, and instead shot them an e-mail, well here it is 26 hours later and no response other than the canned "we might get back to you if we feel like it mail that they send out." My next attempt will be to call Comcast Customer service and see where I go from there. My question was precisely that I wanted to know who filed the complaint.

A couple of questions for other people who've got these.

1) About how much stuff do you download in a month? Were you downloading a lot at the time that the complaint came? (eg is Comcast making up fake complaints because you are using your bandwidth?)

2) How much do you upload the series you got complaints about (5%, 300% somewhere in between?) Was someone mad that you didn't upload to a good share or were you excessively distributing the series?

I suppose the most concerning thing is that only Comcast seems to be effected, which sucks for me, since there are no options in this area (except dial-up). Since Anime is the main thing I do with my internet connection, maybe its time to go back to dialup, and save myself $45 a month...
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:15   Link #10
Messerschmitt_Bf-109
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Well it might be that they are just early on the licensing. I heard a rumor a while back about Nagasarete was going to be licensed, and I just plain assume Gundam 00 will be(All previous Gundams have been). I could see Seto no Hanayome also being licensed because that was a fun little show. So maybe somehow the licensing companies are trying to fight the releasing of the shows they are about to get?
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:18   Link #11
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It could very well just be the Japanese studios requesting these.
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:23   Link #12
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It does seem strange that Comcast is the only one involve currently.

I remember reading this about Comcast and BT a few weeks back.

http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9802410-7.html

i am just glad i never switch to comcast.
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:40   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
Yes, that's not surprising. The weird bit of these DMCA notices is that they involve unlicensed anime, which means the company who requested the notice to be send is either a US anime studio which is doing so without announcing the licenses first OR it's a Japanese anime studio. In any case, something like this has not really been seen before (in US).
Yes, I did catch that.

My point is that any one who receives such a notice needs to find out who issued the violation notice so we can understand who is trying to control the distribution so we know where to tread lightly.

It is also entirely possible that whoever is issuing these notices is NOT a legitimate representative of the copyright owner. It has happened before. And while I hate to suggest it, I wouldn't put it past Comcast to serve false notices to try to curtail BitTorrent traffic. If either of these is the case, we can squelch this.

In any case, I think it's time to consider anonymizing all traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dahl_moon View Post
Hm... I'm on Comcast, and I've downloaded the exact file before. I didn't like it that much, so that's the only file I've downloaded out of the aforementioned series. Haven't received anything yet, but since that was sent just yesterday, guess I should keep low for a while.

It surprising and a bit depressing to think "ah, that's nice of them to actually send a warning rather than disconnect/sue/harrass the guy."

Edit: Kyuusai, love your sig
It's a bit strange, but in my experience notices seem to be wide (covering a wide range of downloaders) rather than deep (focusing on any one found sharing a particular file).

When I do contact a customer, I make sure they know that I'm not trying to be the bad guy, but I'm just trying to keep them and us out of hot water, legally speaking by letting them know they've been spotted sharing something. Keep in mind that they aren't after downloaders, but uploaders. (In the US, possession of copyrighted works is not an issue--yet--but only the distribution. It is, after all, copyright.)

Also, thanks.
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:42   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -CaliphLysius- View Post
It could very well just be the Japanese studios requesting these.
I think it is highly *unlikely* the case. After all, they could have just included who they are in the notice since they really have no need to hide their identity, being the actual copy right holders.

It is very fishy that they don't include the info of copy right holders and they can't be reached. An answering machine doesn't count. I have never encountered a legitimate business company that only has answering machines as their customer service.

Maybe someone who is pissed about that "Japan Asks America to Stop Illegal Net Releases of Anime" news and is doing what they can to stop fansub.

I am not a comcast customer and I have never received such a notice before.
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:49   Link #15
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You're entirely right, they could be early in the licensing process, and that's cool. I would have bought the series if ths issue was handled more reasonably on their end. AS is great with dealing with license things, and if a company requests them to remove a series they do. If they had handled it that way, I would have had no issues.

Basically, if it is the anime company, then they handled the situation the worst possible way and I am through with their company.

If it is comcast, then I am even more dissastified with their service, and this could be them trying to illegally control their user who are using the bandwidth they are paying for...
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Old 2007-11-17, 13:58   Link #16
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Luckily I have a backwoods ISP that doesnt care what anyone does. Im not surprised in the slightest that comcast is pulling this, I hope I never move to an area were they are the only choice for high speed, because this isnt the first time they have earned a poor rep amoung bit torrent users.


Id be interested to see if this is the Japanese companies or American companies that have no announced that they own the license. Either way this wont be the death of fansubbing. Chances are, unless the internet becomes Big Brotherland, the worst that will happen is fansubbing will simply move deeper underground ( such as torrents from IRC bots ).
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Old 2007-11-17, 14:07   Link #17
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we will go back to the days of irc and bots and queues

or even further back to trading vhs tapes
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Old 2007-11-17, 14:12   Link #18
Skarredmind
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Well, I just called Comcast Customer service, they played dumb and said that I needed to talk to the Comcast Legal Response people, who have thus far NOT responded to me. (They are the ones with the answering machine that picks up all calls.) Customer service answers the phone but gives no actual customer service.
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Old 2007-11-17, 14:14   Link #19
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Gah...I never understood IRC, that thing confuses me. So it will die for me.
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Old 2007-11-17, 14:25   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarredmind View Post
Well, I just called Comcast Customer service, they played dumb and said that I needed to talk to the Comcast Legal Response people, who have thus far NOT responded to me. (They are the ones with the answering machine that picks up all calls.) Customer service answers the phone but gives no actual customer service.
Such a specific department is usually closed on weekends. I think you should try on weekdays.
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