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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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  • Trolling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kuberz (3568651) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:15PM (#47384313)

    Kind of ironic one of those repositories is owned by Qualcomm Atheros. Guess they are copyright infringing themselves?

    Oh the world we live in.

  • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:19PM (#47384335)

    There needs to be a cost for issuing overbroad DMCA takedown notices.

    If a court finds out later that a company had no standing or no good reason to make a DMCA claim that resulted in a takedown, there should be statutory damages. Let's start at $10000 per infraction.

  • Re:No validation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phoebe (196531) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:31PM (#47384381)
    A lot of the reference repositories include a Qualcomm proprietary license header. Many are from the Vuforia SDK [vuforia.com] which has a clear license agreement [vuforia.com] that prevents such redistribution.
  • by tsnow (3732101) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:40PM (#47384421)
    It isn't Qualcomm directly that issued the DMCA notices, but rather, an IP protection agency that operates on behalf of Qualcomm. In my work, I've often had to respond to these DMCA notifications, and these IP protection agencies are often pretty bush league. They'll see something that possibly infringes on an IP, and then they'll jump on it, thinking it'll make them look good to their client, who hired them. Honestly, I doubt this company will be doing much more work for Qualcomm once they discover what has happened.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:42PM (#47384425)

    That C file is part of the Android MSM kernel source tree and does contain a "Qualcomm Confidential and Proprietary" line while noting it's now under a Linux Foundation copyright.

    Well, that could be just a tiny little problem for Qualcomm then. In a DMCA takedown notice, there are mistakes that you are allowed to make and mistakes that are criminal. A DMCA takedown notice against material that is not the one you own, or that has a license which you didn't notice, that's harmless. But you state under penalty of perjury that you are the copyright holder or represent the copyright holder of the item that you believe to be infringed. So if the Linux Foundation is indeed the copyright holder, that should be fatal.

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

    by jxander (2605655) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:47PM (#47384457)

    There also need to be rules for overturned requests.

    If Company A issues a takedown request against something on my website, and I successfully appeal the claim, that needs to be a strike against Company A.

    Three strikes and Company A is barred from making DMCA requests (either permanently or for some set timeframe). This would instantly stop these companies from issuing mass auto-generated takedown requests.

  • Cyveillance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by janoc (699997) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:51PM (#47384477)

    Oh that DMCA was issued by Cyveillance - the incompetent company Hollywood and music labels hired for policing P&P by string matching filenames and then carpet bombing service providers with DMCA requests, even though the content was not infringing at all. I bet they simply crawled Github for Qualcomm copyright notices, something that is often left in source code, even though it was relicensed long time ago already. Unfortunately, their bot is not that smart.

    Some references:
    https://www.techdirt.com/artic... [techdirt.com]
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]

    etc.

    These bozos are known and someone at Qualcomm should get fired for hiring them. This is going to backfire at Qualcomm in a spectacular way, IMO.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:51PM (#47384481) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that it's awfully close to breaking the terms of the license under which Linux is published. Perhaps the copyright holder should demand that Qualcomm cease and desist using Linux.
  • by Gramie2 (411713) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:00PM (#47384549)
    So you make up a completely fictitious name and address. Perjury problem solved! As long as the content gets pulled down, who cares?
  • by knightghost (861069) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:16PM (#47384639)

    The dumbest thing about this is that we're talking about it instead of doing something effective about it.

  • Re:Counter-notice! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by adri (173121) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:23PM (#47384679) Homepage Journal

    I am. I'm just fine-tuning it at the moment.

    (github.com/qca/qca_open_hal_public)

    *sigh* and I wanted to enjoy my weekend..

    -a

  • Re:Trolling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adri (173121) on Friday July 04, 2014 @01:24PM (#47384687) Homepage Journal

    It's pretty funny indeed. Except when it's not.

    I'm the guy that got that through the internal Qualcomm open source review process .. and now they've done this. Grr.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @02:06PM (#47384907)

    A third:

    - Join them. Since you need no legal standing to actually FILE a takedown notice on a site, start a distributed clearinghouse to file takedown notices on website holdings of all companies who are seen to file such notices. Basically, if they're identifying similar content but it is obvious that they don't own the copyright, then that indicates that THEY are likely in violation of copyright, so THEIR pages should be taken down.

    I think if someone set up a forum with automated takedown system using the original takedown notice against them (also filing the standard challenge response regarding the original notice), this kind of thing would stop pretty quickly. If every major corporation ran the risk of having its assets removed from the internet every time it issued a takedown notice, that SHOULD give them pause.

  • Re:Cyveillance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Megane (129182) on Friday July 04, 2014 @02:16PM (#47384959) Homepage

    Oh that DMCA was issued by Cyveillance

    Wow, I haven't heard of those assclowns in a LOOOOOONG time.

    I even have a firewall rule for them them that I added at least ten years ago, so it's probably way out of date:

    $IPFW add 100 deny ip from 63.148.99.224/27 to any
    $IPFW add 100 deny ip from 65.118.41.192/27 to any

    Yep, I see there's a more recent list here: http://www.vk2qh.net/blockedip... [vk2qh.net]

  • by emil (695) on Friday July 04, 2014 @02:33PM (#47385055) Homepage

    Does Cyanogenmod need even more encouragement to dump Qualcomm processors? [androidpolice.com] Odd that the Nook Color is still supported, when many faster Qualcomm chips have been shown the door.

    I already have to run an unofficial release of Cyanogenmod on my vivow. Now what is the likelyhood that I'm going to get a Towelroot patch when you are nuking the source repositories?

    I still won't buy Motorola products because of their past behavior. Am I about to add Qualcomm to that list?

  • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... minus physicist> on Friday July 04, 2014 @04:42PM (#47385577) Homepage Journal

    You really have a warped sense of the law here. Note, you aren't filing a countersuit here, you are filing a counter-notice and expecting them to file a formal lawsuit against you if they want to continue. They, the guys who filed the original DMCA notice, need to spend their money filing the lawsuit and going before a federal judge to explain why they want to see you in court.

    Where do you get this notion that the law doesn't apply to you, me, or anybody else other than some special elite? Are you really serious about this belief that laws don't matter and don't actually protect anybody but somebody with seven+ figures in their bank account?

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Friday July 04, 2014 @06:00PM (#47385869)

    The problem is, dumping support for Qualcomm processors basically means dumping support for nearly every phone capable of doing LTE in the United States or Canada. Even now, you can count the number of top-shelf best-of-breed US/Canadian-LTE-compatible Android phones with non-Qualcomm baseband processors on one hand & have fingers left over when you're done.

    In the meantime, if you're trying to find restricted documentation for things like Qualcomm's MSM8960 chipset, try Baidu. The Chinese internet is LITTERED with Qualcomm datasheets (not to mention other chips whose documentation is kept firmly under lock & key in the United States).

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