The Ultimate Ebook Library (TUEBL), a known pirate ebook site, is about to lay the smackdown on the anti-piracy outfit MUSO. TorrentFreak reports that TUEBL has had enough of MUSO's fraudulent DMCA, and is threatening to block all future notices if MUSO doesn't straighten up.
If you follow IP news for long enough then you probably know that there are any number of sites which hide behind the fig leaf of legal protection afforded by the Safe Harbor provision of the DMCA. So long as sites like TUEBL respond to DMCA notices they can claim to be legit as Youtube or Facebook.
And if you've been following IP news for nearly as long then you also know that some anti-piracy companies are rather sloppy in their methods for identifying pirated content belonging to their clients and sending notices (see Techdirt for more details).
And today the two trends collided, resulting in a situation which is as crazy as it sounds.
A pirate site is about to block an anti-piracy outfit in response to the latter's abuse of the former's DMCA system. Oh, and the pirate site is accusing the anti-piracy firm of violating the CFAA:
When browsing through the takedown notices TUEBL founder Travis McCrea stumbled upon several automated requests that were submitted by MUSO, each listing inaccurate information.
The takedown notices were not merely incorrect, according to McCrea. They also circumvented the site’s CAPTCHA system, which is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
This isn’t the first time TUEBL has noticed problems with MUSO’s takedown tactics. The company previously tried to remove several legitimately hosted titles, including a Creative Commons licensed book by Cory Doctorow.
As a result, TUEBL is insisting that MUSO pay for the time TUEBL spent cleaning up after MUSO's past bogus DMCA notices, otherwise MUSO will be ignored.
"Today we are going to insist that your $150 fine be paid, or we will cut off all MUSO IP addresses, computers, and/or servers from accessing our DMCA page. Emailed requests will also be rejected as SPAM and all requests to be removed will have to come directly from the copyright holder instead of MUSO," TUEBL wrote to the company.
I am not at all sure that TUEBL's current threats are legal, but I am sure that I find them entertaining.
Would someone please pass the popcorn?
P.S. Before I published this post, I checked TUEBL and found multiple examples of pirated ebooks. Given its history and its current catalog, I am comfortable in calling it a pirate site.
image by pasukaru76