Copyright Infringement Saw GitHub Shut Down 8200 Projects During 2015

It's easy to forget that GitHub can host any sort of content, not just source code and data for your personal or business projects. This means GitHub can unintentionally become a server of copyright-infringing material, a fact the company takes seriously — it shut down over 8200 projects during 2015, with nearly 6000 closed in September alone.

GitHub's Hannah Poteat has written a thorough breakdown of the company's legally-driven activities for its annual transparency report.

Along with statistics on takedowns, Poteat also covers requests from government bodies (and sometimes civil entities) for user data. While GitHub only received 12 such request, just two were denied.

DMCA (or Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedowns weren't the only notices for content removal — the report states that the government of "one particular country" also made demands. However, for 2015, the company received a single request of this type.

As for DMCA notices, the graph below shows the number of projects that were shut down, as well as those that remained shuttered.

For raw numbers, GitHub has made those available also.

That massive count for September? Here is GitHub's explanation:

Usually, the DMCA reports we receive are from people or organizations reporting a single potentially infringing repository. However, every now and then we receive a single notice asking us to take down many repositories. We classified "Mass Removals" as any takedown notice asking us to remove content from more than one hundred repositories, counting each fork separately, in a single takedown notice.

Poteat goes on to say that 90 per cent of removals were instigated by from "fewer than twenty" sources.

If you'd like to read the report in full, hit up the link below.

GitHub's 2015 Transparency Report [GitHub, via TorrentFreak]


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