MarkMonitor Sends False Copyright Infringement Notices, Six Strikes Already Failing

MorkMonitor Failing At Copyright

MarkMonitor, the system meant to watch for copyright infringement under the new six strikes program, has sent out yet another batch of incorrect copyright notices.

This time the copyright monitoring platform sent out copyright infringement notices after it misidentified a legal game mod for Guild Wars. The mod was placed on download site MediaFire but was then misidentified as one of the following shows/movies: Downton Abbey, Contraband, Grimm, House MD, The Office, and The Man With the Iron Fists.

The file on MediaFire was hashed as “Cantha Cartography Made Easy 2009.tpf” but marked as one of the shows listed above by MarkMonitor.

NBC Universal received notice of the copyrighted material even though MarkMonitor staff did not review the material in question. NBC Universal then issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notification against the user.

Under the new Center for Copyright Information system, the user was told they needed to pay a $39 fee for evaluation. Essentially, the system finds people guilty until proven innocent.

While the MarkMonitor system just recently went into full swing, it is already out to get honest internet users. In what might be the most embarrassing failure of the system, MarkMonitor flagged legal content as copyright infringed and then sent Google a report in which it said was using HBO’s cable content without permission.

Furthering the embarrassment, the MarkMonitor system named dozens of websites for infringement despite the fact that they were simply writing about HBO shows. This particular notification alert demonstrates the complete lack of fair use understanding on the part of the flawed copyright infringement monitoring system.

As I previously reported, upon launch, the Copyright Alert System had no outside oversight. The organization originally hired lobbyist Stroz Friedberg to monitor the platform. Hardly an unbiased source, Friedberg last worked as a lobbyist for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Since announcing Friedberg’s hiring, the organization has posted a job alert for an unbiased third-party. The job posting reads: “Independent Expert Assessment of MarkMonitor AntiPiracy Methodologies.”

With what amounts to zero outside accountability and an obviously flawed system, we can likely expect to see plenty of more false copyright infringement notices from six strikes. Come to think of it, I just wrote about at least a handful of copyrighted materials. Oh, no!

[Image via ShutterStock]