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Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Activision Blizzard has filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act subpoena against Reddit to learn the identity of a user who revealed information about the next Call of Duty game. They say neither party has yet replied to a request for comment, offering the following explanation of what's going down from a court filing:
"Reddit is the service provider to which the subject of the subpoena-Reddit user 'Assyrian2410' posted infringing Activision content," the filing, submitted Feb. 14 in California's Northern District Court, reads. "The Content infringes Activision's exclusive rights under copyright law. Specifically, it infringes Activision's rights in its popular video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare."

The filing includes a link to the offending post, made in the Modern Warfare subreddit, which had a title of "I found this image online, not sure what it is," that has since been taken down.
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18. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 23, 2020, 11:44  Cutter 
 
Prez wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 21:54:
Okay I stand corrected. I never found that section.

Yeah that's why I said the only determining factors here is whether - and it will be a judge who decides that - A) if Reddit is entitled to Safe Harbor, did they comply with the take down request in a timely manner, do they comply with rights holders regularly or are they a problem company B) if they fail A and Activision can show cause - NDA was breached - then they'll likely get a ruling in their favor.

Yes it's good that a company should try to protect their users privacy. Except when they're using that anonymity to break the law/ a contract.
 
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17. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 21:54  Prez 
 
Okay I stand corrected. I never found that section.  
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16. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 21:05 jacobvandy
 
Prez, I'm not sure what you were reading, but only a few paragraphs into the Wikipedia article you get to the relevant portion of the DMCA, which is Title II, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA). The summary there spells it out pretty plainly, but here's the actual wording as it appears in US copyright law (Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 512):

(h)Subpoena To Identify Infringer.
(1)Request.
A copyright owner or a person authorized to act on the owners behalf may request the clerk of any United States district court to issue a subpoena to a service provider for identification of an alleged infringer in accordance with this subsection.
(2)Contents of request.The request may be made by filing with the clerk
(A)a copy of a notification described in subsection (c)(3)(A);
(B)a proposed subpoena; and
(C)a sworn declaration to the effect that the purpose for which the subpoena is sought is to obtain the identity of an alleged infringer and that such information will only be used for the purpose of protecting rights under this title.
(3)Contents of subpoena.
The subpoena shall authorize and order the service provider receiving the notification and the subpoena to expeditiously disclose to the copyright owner or person authorized by the copyright owner information sufficient to identify the alleged infringer of the material described in the notification to the extent such information is available to the service provider.
(4)Basis for granting subpoena.
If the notification filed satisfies the provisions of subsection (c)(3)(A), the proposed subpoena is in proper form, and the accompanying declaration is properly executed, the clerk shall expeditiously issue and sign the proposed subpoena and return it to the requester for delivery to the service provider.
(5)Actions of service provider receiving subpoena.
Upon receipt of the issued subpoena, either accompanying or subsequent to the receipt of a notification described in subsection (c)(3)(A), the service provider shall expeditiously disclose to the copyright owner or person authorized by the copyright owner the information required by the subpoena, notwithstanding any other provision of law and regardless of whether the service provider responds to the notification.
(6)Rules applicable to subpoena.
Unless otherwise provided by this section or by applicable rules of the court, the procedure for issuance and delivery of the subpoena, and the remedies for noncompliance with the subpoena, shall be governed to the greatest extent practicable by those provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing the issuance, service, and enforcement of a subpoena duces tecum.

 
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15. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 14:42  Prez 
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 13:02:
jdreyer wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 12:23:
Prez wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 08:51:
I've searched the entire DMCA and I see no provision by which a copyright holder can subpoena anyone for someone's identity. I only found that online service providers are required to immediately take down any infringing content in order to maintain their safe harbor status.

Yeah, it's strange. NDA violations are civil law, remedied by a lawsuit. DCMA is a federal criminal statute. Two completely unrelated types of law.

Exactly. But you can't sue someone if you don't know who they are. That's why they want his identity.


They can want it all they want. The issue is whether they have a legal right to get it in the manner they are demanding. Based on my laymen's understanding of the DMCA, they don't. But in America what you can get away with isn't limited by silly outdated concepts like the law, but by how much more money you have than who you're going after.
 
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14. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 13:03 roguebanshee
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 12:23:
Prez wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 08:51:
I've searched the entire DMCA and I see no provision by which a copyright holder can subpoena anyone for someone's identity. I only found that online service providers are required to immediately take down any infringing content in order to maintain their safe harbor status.
Yeah, it's strange. NDA violations are civil law, remedied by a lawsuit. DCMA is a federal criminal statute. Two completely unrelated types of law.
It's probably an "If it works, it works" attempt at leveraging the law by Activision's lawyers.
 
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13. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 13:02  Cutter 
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 12:23:
Prez wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 08:51:
I've searched the entire DMCA and I see no provision by which a copyright holder can subpoena anyone for someone's identity. I only found that online service providers are required to immediately take down any infringing content in order to maintain their safe harbor status.

Yeah, it's strange. NDA violations are civil law, remedied by a lawsuit. DCMA is a federal criminal statute. Two completely unrelated types of law.

Exactly. But you can't sue someone if you don't know who they are. That's why they want his identity.

 
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12. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 12:23  jdreyer 
 
Prez wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 08:51:
I've searched the entire DMCA and I see no provision by which a copyright holder can subpoena anyone for someone's identity. I only found that online service providers are required to immediately take down any infringing content in order to maintain their safe harbor status.
Yeah, it's strange. NDA violations are civil law, remedied by a lawsuit. DCMA is a federal criminal statute. Two completely unrelated types of law.
 
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11. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 11:04 Armengar
 
Not sure what they will get other than ip logs and an email address. For me that would be a hotmail address and a vyper endpoint. Unless hes using his own home server then a pointless exercise. And if someone who either breaks an NDA or knowingly leaks info from litigious companies aren't doing the same then silly them.  



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10. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 10:09 Spektr
 
It's official, Activision joined the Bethesda school of Business school.
Today's lesson will be, how to bring cool and sexy back to video games when youngsters perceive you as a stingy bunch of outdated corporate jerks with suits and a lawyer.
 
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9. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 09:07 roguebanshee
 
Prez wrote on Feb 22, 2020, 08:51:
I've searched the entire DMCA and I see no provision by which a copyright holder can subpoena anyone for someone's identity. I only found that online service providers are required to immediately take down any infringing content in order to maintain their safe harbor status.
They're not the first to try something like this against Reddit.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkdgWccrJAy53-jeBxM3Pk_kcwz7Q9NR5
 
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8. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 08:51  Prez 
 
I've searched the entire DMCA and I see no provision by which a copyright holder can subpoena anyone for someone's identity. I only found that online service providers are required to immediately take down any infringing content in order to maintain their safe harbor status.  
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7. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 22, 2020, 06:24 Jonjonz
 
Activision seems to be on a real roll this year in the foot shooting department. They should know that there is no such thing as bad publicity.  
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6. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 21, 2020, 22:07 jacobvandy
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 21, 2020, 21:30:
Prez wrote on Feb 21, 2020, 20:43:
I could be wrong but this seems to me to NOT be what the DMCA was enacted to do.

Sure it is. They were under NDA and breached the agreement. That's still considered pretty serious in legal circles. The only real issue here is whether Reddit has Safe Harbor or not. Don't know the circumstances of any of this so it's hard to say. However it's doubtful Actiblizz would be undertaking this on a lark given the expense. Much as I don't like them I'm in agreement with them - if they're in the right. If my company had placed trust in someone and they broke that trust I'd want them to pay for it too.

We don't know that an NDA was involved at all, it could be this guy genuinely did just stumble upon the image somewhere. That would come out in an investigation, but first Activision would need to know who he is.
 
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5. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 21, 2020, 22:04 Rhett
 
So ridiculous. There's so many things, including *the main menu and intro to the game since the last patch* that directly and strongly hint at the Warzone mode. But instead of being like "okay, you guys can't wait, so let's just announce it early" they're issuing takedowns and copyright notices left and right.

Kinda reminds me of the Take Two garbage where they sent people to harass a youtuber for leaking some Borderlands info.
 
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4. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 21, 2020, 21:30  Cutter 
 
Prez wrote on Feb 21, 2020, 20:43:
I could be wrong but this seems to me to NOT be what the DMCA was enacted to do.

Sure it is. They were under NDA and breached the agreement. That's still considered pretty serious in legal circles. The only real issue here is whether Reddit has Safe Harbor or not. Don't know the circumstances of any of this so it's hard to say. However it's doubtful Actiblizz would be undertaking this on a lark given the expense. Much as I don't like them I'm in agreement with them - if they're in the right. If my company had placed trust in someone and they broke that trust I'd want them to pay for it too.
 
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3. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 21, 2020, 21:09  Dev 
 
Seems like it kinda confirms it's legit.
Also, there's sites that archive reddit posts, I bet one could find it on one of them.
 
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2. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 21, 2020, 20:43  Prez 
 
I could be wrong but this seems to me to NOT be what the DMCA was enacted to do.  
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1. Re: Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena Feb 21, 2020, 20:18 eRe4s3r
 
Ah Activision.. trying their hand at outdoing EA I see  
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