Posted in: Online Services

Dropbox automatically scans if the files you’re sharing are copyrighted

Dropbox has done a lot of work to keep its service safe from copyrighted material, and subsequently having to deal with the authorities. One of the ways Dropbox has to avoid trouble is by automatically scanning the files you’re sharing for copyright infringement.

This little known feature of Dropbox has been brought to light on Twitter when one of Dropbox’s users got a DMCA takedown notice in one of his personal folders.

Having been around for quite a while, the scanning occurs only when sharing a link to a file or folder – as long as you don’t share it, Dropbox doesn’t scan it.

The file isn’t deleted once the scan has determined that it’s a copyrighted material, Dropbox only blocks its sharing. The hash of the file is calculated, which then gets compared against a blacklist of copyrighted files. Follow the via link below to check out how the feature works in more detail.

Here’s Dropbox’s official comment regarding the tweet that started the stir:

There have been some questions around how we handle copyright notices. We sometimes receive DMCA notices to remove links on copyright grounds. When we receive these, we process them according to the law and disable the identified link. We have an automated system that then prevents other users from sharing the identical material using another Dropbox link. This is done by comparing file hashes. We don’t look at the files in your private folders and are committed to keeping your stuff safe.

And remember, pirating is bad.

Source | Via

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