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Our World => South America => Regions => Ecuador => Topic started by: mayya on January 15, 2014, 14:42:03 PM

Title: Censorious, Abusive Spanish Anti-Piracy Firm Targets Chevron (Yes, Chevron) With
Post by: mayya on January 15, 2014, 14:42:03 PM
Censorious, Abusive Spanish Anti-Piracy Firm Targets Chevron (Yes, Chevron) With Bogus Copyright Takedowns

from the who-do-you-root-for? dept

Here are two separate stories we've covered in the past that we never expected to link up. First up, there's the massive set of legal disputes that Chevron has been involved in down in Ecuador. The legal battles have been going on for 20 years and still continue. I won't get into all of the details there, but you can click that link to read the basics. We've actually written about this fight in a few more specific contexts over the years: (1) a few years ago, Chevron sought to force a documentary filmmaker to turn over some of the cut footage from his documentary, whichChevron won. The company claimed that the footage would help it get the lawsuits dismissed, whereas the filmmaker argued it was like forcing a reporter to give up his sources. (2) Just a few months ago, we wrote about how a judge in NY gave an incredible ruling, giving Chevron access tonine years' worth of Americans' email metadata, as they went in search of details about those who have fought the company concerning the case. (3) Even more recently, we wrote about how the whole "corporate sovereignty" concept -- better known as the boring-sounding (but extremely important) "investor state dispute settlement" -- was being used to try to kill off the $18 billion judgment against Chevron by the Ecuadorian courts. 

Second, there's the strange case of Spanish "anti-piracy" firm Ares Rights, which didn't actually seem that interested in "anti-piracy" but in out-and-out censorship via copyright fraud on behalf of various Latin American countries. Ares Rights (correctly) realized that copyright notice-and-takedown provisions were a de facto censorship tool, and has used that to the maximum advantage possible, regularly issuing highly questionable copyright takedown claims to take down all sorts of content that might embarrass the governments of Ecuador or Argentina, even if they have no legitimate copyright interest in the material. 

Now, however, Adam Steinbaugh alerts us to the news that Chevron itself has posted a blog post on a blog the company has dedicated entirely to the Ecuador lawsuit (yes, they have an entire blog on the topic) in which the company explains how Ares Rights has begun issuing a similar series of completely bogus takedowns on Chevron's own videos.

You may have noticed that our videos on The Amazon Post are currently down. In late November, Ares Rights, a firm based in Spain that claims to be “devoted entirely to the defense of rights on the Internet,” filed copyright infringement claims against videos legitimately posted to YouTube by Chevron. 

Chevron also chides Ecuador for its recent attempts to "rebrand" itself as the "home of internet freedom" at a time when it's doing plenty of things that suggest it is not a fan of internet freedomat all. 

Chevron claims that it's working to get those videos back up, and details past abuses of copyright law for the sake of censorship by Ares Rights. No matter what you might think of Chevron, it's difficult not to think that, if the company decided to pursue Ares Rights with a DMCA 512(f) claim of misrepresenting the copyrights and seeking sanctions, the case could suddenly get very interesting. It would certainly be the most money ever behind establishing a 512(f) violation, and it would be nice to get a good ruling on that front in a case where the actions are especially blatant, obvious and censorious. (