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How is copyrighted content determined

How is copyrighted content determined

apraetor
Super User

Does Dropbox scan all user content for copyrighted content being shared, or does Dropbox only act if it receives a DMCA takedown notice? I am asking because my YouTube channel has received several fraudulent (and subsequently quashed in court) takedown notices due to content being submitted to their "Content ID" database by parties who lack legitimate ownership.

If I only have to be concerned about action by Dropbox in response to complaints then this is a non-issue, as legitimate ones will never be submitted and false ones are easily quashed when they do infrequently occur. However, if I have to be concerned about my content being scanned by Dropbox, then the soundness and integrity of the database being used by Dropbox becomes a consideration.

6 Replies 6

Re: How is copyrighted content determined

Jane
Dropboxer

Hey @apraetor

 

I understand your concern, we're here to help you with that. 
 
To further assist with this account-specific issue, I'd have to ask you to raise a ticket with our team, since we'll require sensitive information that can't be discussed in a public Forum. I'd be glad to follow-up on your request. Please let me know a ticket ID here once you have written in on our official support channel, so that I look up for your request internally. 
 
Thank you in advance for your cooperation,
JaneA 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: How is copyrighted content determined

apraetor
Super User

Sorry, that was a convoluted question I asked. All I was really asking was "Does Dropbox pre-emptively scan customer content for copyright matches?" I'm betting that won't require personal account information, unless you specifically target certain customers based on demographics or some other factor?

Re: How is copyrighted content determined

Rich
Super User II
That's also the typical response when someone here doesn't have an answer. Rather than leaving the post unanswered, you're asked to open a ticket so Support can answer it for you.

Re: How is copyrighted content determined

apraetor
Super User

Maybe, but discussions of the extent to which our data is private, and the policies by which Dropbox operates, belong in the light of day, not in a private support thread. If we have the conversation here, then if another user has an issue in future the answer is already "on the record" after a fashion. If the conversation is held in secret then they would never even know it had occurred, as they were not privy. 

 

It's actually a moot point; I've checked applicable case law and found a binding precent, recently used against Google: consenting to a business accessing your data for a specific purpose (i.e. to sync the files between computers) cannot be considered a blanket permission for your data to be accessed for any other business purpose (advertising, marketing statistics, virus scanning, etc) except those essential to providing the service for which you have consented. To wit, if Dropbox begins doing something similar to YouTube's Content-ID checks, they will be in violation of federal law, as their Terms of Service, et al, have not requested authorization. In fact, even scanning for viruses is not listed in the ToS, and as it's unrelated to the direct business activity (syncing files) it would be unlawful. The "primary business activity" here is the storing and syncing of user data; any other use of our data requires explicit authorization of intent to use our data for "dual purposes". 

Re: How is copyrighted content determined

Rich
Super User II

apraetor wrote:

Maybe, but discussions of the extent to which our data is private, and the policies by which Dropbox operates, belong in the light of day, not in a private support thread. If we have the conversation here, then if another user has an issue in future the answer is already "on the record" after a fashion. If the conversation is held in secret then they would never even know it had occurred, as they were not privy.


This is primarily a user-to-user support medium. Users can't answer those questions, and the few Dropboxers that do answer questions here are specialists in the core functionality and features of the Dropbox client and the Dropbox website. They don't necessarily have information on the backend processes or policies. For that, there is Dropbox Support, which is the only official method of receiving support.

 

Simply put, questions like this are rarely ever handled on the forums because the people here typically do not have that knowledge. Open a ticket, get it answered officially, and then feel free to post that information here for others to discuss. That's the main purpose of these user forums.

Re: How is copyrighted content determined

SwanCobb
Collaborator | Level 10

This is not to encourage copyright infringement, but to explain how Dropbox's copyright filter/warning is currently handling sharing of copyright material. 

 

From what I've read in forums, copyright content is flagged by the hash of the file or file piece (4MB)? Say you have a popular torrent (e.g. Top 10 Movie). If you share it on Dropbox, that specific file is flagged. You can store it personally, but not share the file. If you share a folder, that file is unavailable to download with a top header that explains some files can't be shared. You change the meta-data but keep the codec (changing the file hash) and a copyright filter/warning will not be triggered.

 

I don't have first hand knowledge of the copyright warning/filter system, but this is what I've gathered from researched forums, blog posts, etc.

Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

  • User avatar
    SwanCobb Collaborator | Level 10
  • User avatar
    Rich Super User II
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    apraetor Super User
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