How Dropbox Knows When You’re Sharing Copyrighted Stuff (Without Actually Looking At Your Stuff)

#don’t_violate_copyrightlaws

TechCrunch

Late last night, a tweet was spread far and wide showing that a DMCA notice had blocked a file from being shared on a Dropbox user’s account.

As of this afternoon, it’s seen just shy of 3 thousand retweets.

What was going on? Was Dropbox suddenly doing something sketchy? Were they suddenly lurking around their users’ folders, digging for copyrighted material hiding amongst personal files?

Nope. The system is neither new, nor sketchy. It’s been in place for years, and it’s about as unsketchy as an anti-copyright infringement system can get. It allows Dropbox to block pre-selected files from being shared from person-to-person (thus keeping Dropbox from getting raided by the Feds), without their anti-infringement system having any idea what most of your files actually are.

Before…

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