MediaFire Takedown Notice Threatens Mozilla Over SkipScreen
I’ve been thinking about writing up a review for Firefox plug-in SkipScreen for a while now. SkipScreen has quickly become an important time saver with file sharing sites getting more and more belligerent about making even one time users wait excessive amounts of time and jump through more and more hoops.
What is truly ironic is that 99% of Mediafire’s business is hosting copyright violating files which it takes down one at a time in an effort to “steal” the value of the copyrighted files. Then, it has the nerve to demand that an organization take down a file that does not violate any copyright laws.
You can read the MediaFire Takedown Notice Response here.
It seems as though the EFF lawyer may have missed the most important thing. Even if SkipScreen did do something illegal (which it does not), the same legal precedent that says you can’t sue an ISP for providing the connection that allows a user to do something illegal (like downloading copyrighted files from MediaFire) would apply to this situation.
Mozilla cannot be held liable for UNAFFILIATED USERS violating the terms of service of a website by using UNAFFILIATED SOFTWARE. If Mediafire has a legitimate complaint, it must pursue it against SkipScreen and its users directly. Of course, it isn’t doing that because it has no legitimate legal claim and would quickly lose any such action. Instead it is trying to scare Mozilla with the threat of having to pay legal expenses in hopes that they will cave in before Mediafire has to actually prove anything or cite a relevant violation of law.
It’s the oldest trick in the book, legal extortion. Make it so expensive for the party that is in the right to fend off the party that is wrong, that the good guys decide it isn’t worth fighting.
Shame on Mediafire for its outrageous hypocrisy and its shameful attempt at legal intimidation.