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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice 349

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-invented-the-for-loop dept.
An anonymous reader writes Qualcomm has forced GitHub to remove over 100 repositories due to "unauthorized publication, disclosure, and copying of highly sensitive, confidential, trade secret, and copyright-protected documents." Among the repositories taken down were for CyanogenMod and Sony Xperia. The issue though is that these "highly sensitive" and "confidential" files are Linux kernel code and reference/sample code files that can be easily found elsewhere, including the Android kernel, but GitHub has complied with Qualcomm's DMCA request.
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

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  • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:32PM (#47384383) Homepage

    but GitHub has complied with Qualcomm's DMCA request.

    Comply first. Litigate later. This is the smart thing to do most of the time. For GitHub, it is not like they are being forced to give the keys to the kingdom or to hand over sensitive data customers entrusted to it. No no data is lost or compromised. It is simply inaccessible while GitHub tries to litigate hopefully with sponsorship by those GitHub users that are being affected.

  • Re:"Good faith" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:42PM (#47384423)

    The DMCA does not allow you to refuse to process notices due to unpaid processing fees. Therefore, if they refuse to pay the fee, you are still required to process all their notices anyway, or you lose safe harbor.

  • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... t ['etz' in gap]> on Friday July 04, 2014 @03:55PM (#47385157) Homepage Journal

    While anybody can issue a DMCA take-down request, you can also fire a counter-protest to any such action as a content holder. All it takes is to send a formal letter to the ISP and demand that the content is restored. The ISP is then found blameless and if the person who issued the take-down notice wants to go further they need to take the whole issue to a judge and resolve it through a normal legal process rather than getting the ISP caught in the cross-hairs.

    If you do file a counter-protest though, make damn sure you really do have copyright licensing on everything you are asserting is legal, or that you are on the very sunny side of fair-use (such as a legitimate parody or even a review/commentary.... as appropriate) for whatever content you try to issue the counter-protest.

    You don't need to roll over and play dead claiming you are helpless with the onslaught of stupid DMCA requests.

    While not about GitHub, this article about the DMCA and its application of take-down notices done on YouTube (which is notorious about such things) and what you can do in a similar situation is very informative:

    http://gamasutra.com/blogs/StephenMcArthur/20140624/219589/ [gamasutra.com]

    You really don't need to roll over, especially for something really stupid like a take-down request applied on Linux Kernel code.

  • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... t ['etz' in gap]> on Friday July 04, 2014 @04:11PM (#47385203) Homepage Journal

    An accidental take-down notice is fine. File the counter-notice to have the content restored, at which time if they persist and file a lawsuit in court it no longer is considered accidental and the standard is moved much more into your favor if they are simply trying to file thousands of these kind of lawsuits. Judges don't like class-action lawsuits where the defendant is a class of people of mostly "John Does".

  • by LordNimon (85072) on Friday July 04, 2014 @04:51PM (#47385351)

    I'm a Qualcomm employee working on the Linux kernel. Qualcomm has a very thorough vetting process for publishing open source code. I would have to see the file in question to be sure, but it appears that someone in Qualcomm messed up and allowed that C file to be published. It probably should have had the Proprietary line deleted, although I have a suspicion that the file was copied from some actual proprietary code and should never have been submitted.

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