An anti-piracy company is in damage control after it says that the URLs that were the subject of a DMCA takedown on Google were removed by mistake. The URLs have since been reinstated.
Last night, we reported on the DMCA takedown of two URLs on Google. One of those URLs led to a TorrentFreak article while the other led to a Techdirt article.
Today, we are learning about what happened and why these two sites were the subject of a DMCA takedown.
On Techdirt, Anti-Piracy company Armovore apologized to Techdirt saying:
In regards to your statement, Google never disabled the URL you specified above.
Our intention is not to “BS” or deny any facts. The initial tool was keyword based. However, we’ve made substantial improvements to only do site: in addition to numerous automated/humans checks to remove only torrent links with actual infringing content rather than a mention of a result to xyz content.
Once again we apologize
While that, in and of itself is interesting, another apology was also posted to TorrentFreak:
Please sincerely apologize for the error. This was not intentional, we have no intention of restricting your Free Speech, in fact we are an avid support of it having donated to some of the EFF’s Project’s such as Tor. We discovered your URLs during our audit on Sunday well before the TechDirt article was published. Evidence below:
Reinstate requested through [#949646034] – Sat, 25 Feb 2012 00:56:41 -0800
Reinstate requested through Contact @ Google – Mon, 27 Feb 2012 13:22:52 -0800 (PST)
Reinstate Approved – Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:48:21 -0800
What is curious is how in one comment, they denied that Google ever even disabled the URLs in the first place, but in another, they commented that they had the URLs re-instated as if they were taken down in the first place. Regardless (Updated: see below), the URLs are now up on Google. In fairness, one has to give credit to Armovore for apologizing in the first place. This is way more than what I got when I had my own content removed by US authorities.
We took a look through the Chilling Effects clearinghouse to see if Techdirt or TorrentFreak had ever had a reported takedown issued against them before. Our searches revealed nothing which suggests that this was a first. We also looked at whether or not there was a reported takedown notice issued against ZeroPaid actually found one result in 2005. We performed a Google search on that URL and noted that if the URL was taken down, it isn’t anymore.
Update: Armovore sent us an e-mail to clarify that they were referring to the URL for the Independent not being removed, not the TechDirt post.