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ATDHE.NET was taken down for copyright infringement, Homeland Security seizes domain. Does this serve as a warning to other sites as well?

Update: The site is back under ATDHE.ME temporarily.

ATDHE.NET was a great source for many people who either don’t have access to cable or do have access but either mobile and not at home to watch their favorite games. The viewers according to Alexa are mostly single males watching the game from school or at home. Most of the male viewers are college-educated as well.

ATDHE.NET have provided free viewing of Live Sports and Television to many users around the globe who would neither have no access because the game is occurring in a different country or not televised locally. ATDHE.NET claims that they don’t host any of the videos but rather provide online streaming links that are available on the web.

Today, the domain was taken over by Homeland Security and have now been blocked due to a take down notice filed by the copyright owners of UFC, Zuffa LLC, NBA, and Football Association Premier League.

If you search Google right now, you will find that a link to ATDHE.NET has been removed as well and provides a copy of the filing that the UFC owners have filed with Google against ATDHE.NET.

Should this be a warning to all sites that provide live streaming videos of shows that are under copyright laws? How about those Filipino websites as well that share copyrighted material?  I thought that ATDHE.NET was completely legal because they are only sharing the links and not hosting the videos on their servers.  But, I guess it was not if Homeland Security took over the domain.  That is pretty serious.

If you search for the site on Google – this is what you will  receive:

In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.

If you want to know your online rights, you may check out Chilling Effects dot org. The website describes itself as follows:

Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities. We are excited about the new opportunities the Internet offers individuals to express their views, parody politicians, celebrate their favorite movie stars, or criticize businesses. But we’ve noticed that not everyone feels the same way. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence other online users. Chilling Effects encourages respect for intellectual property law, while frowning on its misuse to “chill” legitimate activity.

So, if you believe that your rights were violated by receiving a cease and desist letter, you may actually ask for their assistance to review and analyse your position and determine whether you have the right to fight it or not.

Question: What are Chilling Effects?

Answer: “Chilling Effects” refers to the deterrent effect of legal threats or posturing, largely cease and desist letters independent of litigation, on lawful conduct. The Chilling Effects clearinghouse will catalogue cease and desist notices and present analyses of their claims to help recipients resist the chilling of legitimate activities (as well as understand when their activities are unlawful). The project’s core, this database of letters and FAQ-style analyses is supplemented by legal backgrounders, news items, and pointers to statutes and caselaw. Periodic “weather reports” will sum up the legal climate for online activity.

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