A German copyright group has caused outrage for demanding Google remove links to Skype, Java and the Raspberry Pi in one of the most breathtakingly broad takedown requests of all time.
But now Total Wipes Music Group, which hunts the web for copyright infringement and sends Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests on its clients’ behalf, says the notices were sent in error.
Total Wipes sent the amazingly wide-reaching notice (which can be read in full here) on February 6, Google reports, only for it to be branded, almost immediately, as the “world’s most idiotic copyright complaint” by TorrentFreak.
The notice was apparently intended to protect the album “In To The Wild – Vol.7″ on Aborigeno Music, but did so by requesting takedowns for 95 URLS including java.com/download and https://www.dropbox.com/downloading.
It also listed download pages for Opera, Raspberry Pi, Unity and Open Office and potentially infringing Aborigeno’s copyright.
For Raspberry Pi’s part, they said they were “bemused” to be included:
We are both bewildered and delighted to be included in this, the stupidest DMCA notice we’ve ever seen. http://t.co/Hbm0PMqUpP
— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) February 24, 2015
Fortunately, sanity has prevailed. Total Wipes says the notice was sent in error after its software decided the word “download” was itself indicative of copyright infringement.
Due to server problems on 05-02-15 we sent DMCA to domains not related to any copyrights of our clients.We apologize for any inconvenience.
— Total Wipes (@TotalWipes) February 23, 2015
"Due to several technical servers problems on the first February week our script sent hundreds of DMCA to hundreds domains not related at all with any copyrights of our contents," Total Wipes told The Register. "It was our fault, no doubts about it. The DMCA is a serious issue and it must be carefully managed."
However that is unlikely to fully pacify Total Wipes’ critics, who say they have frequently tried to censor “entirely legal” content on its clients’ behalf.