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Reddit Reports Surge in Copyright-Related User Bans

By , in Anti-Piracy DMCA reddit Repeat Infringer , at April 17, 2024

reddit-logoWithout doubt, Reddit is one of the most popular user-generated content sites that exists on the Internet today.

Last month, the community-driven news and discussion platform went public and, with a market cap of more than $6 billion, immediately became one of the larger tech players.

While publicly traded companies operate under a different ruleset than private ones, Reddit remains committed to its transparency efforts. A few hours ago, the company released its latest transparency report detailing the actions it took in the second half of 2023.

779,628 ‘Infringing’ Items Flagged

At TorrentFreak, we are mostly interested in copyright-related actions. In recent years, we have seen an increase in copyright takedown notices on Reddit, partly driven by the platform’s growth. In the first half of 2023, rightsholders requested the removal of nearly a million items, which was an all-time record.

During the second half of the year, this upward trend reversed. Reddit reports that rightsholders flagged 779,628 items between July and December, an 18% decrease compared to the first half of the year.

reddit notices

As shown above, not all of these takedown requests resulted in action. Reddit removed 69% of the reported items, which is the lowest removal percentage of the past two years. This logically means that little over half a million items were removed.

The high rejection rate might suggest that rightsholders’ takedown requests are too broad. However, most takedowns are rejected simply because the content has already been removed. In 29,143 cases, Reddit concluded that there was no infringement; other, less common reasons, include suspected fraud and fair use.

reddit declined reasons

Copyright-Related User Bans

Thus far, there is nothing to show that Reddit’s decision to go public had a major impact on its copyright takedown policies. That said, the company does signal a significant increase in copyright-related user bans.

“From July to December of 2023, Reddit banned 792 users for repeat Copyright Policy violations, an increase of 258% compared to the first half of 2023. This large increase is a result of improvements to our detection methods and increased operational capacity,” Reddit writes.

These user bans are in part the result of legal obligations. Under the DMCA, Reddit is required to implement a reasonable policy to deal with repeat copyright infringers on its platform.

Improved detection methods and increased capacity suggest that Reddit takes repeat infringements seriously. However, if we go further back in time, we see that the number of banned users is far from a record. In the first half of 2022, Reddit banned 3,859 users over repeat copyright infringements.

Subreddit and Counter-Notices

In addition to removing or banning posts, links, and users, Reddit also took action against entire subreddits. In the last half of 2023, the platform banned 452 subreddits, down 20% compared to the six months prior.

Finally, Reddit points out that users can always object to takedown notices by sending counter-notices. In the final half of last year, the discussion platform received 397 counter-notices, of which 216 were deemed valid.

The number of valid notices increased by 86% since the last report, which Reddit attributed to its increased operational capacity. As a result, 1,331 pieces of content were successfully restored.

While not specifically mentioned in the report, Reddit also continued to object to requests from a group of filmmakers to identify Reddit users. The company does typically respond to U.S. subpoenas, but in this case, it argued that the requests violated users’ constitutional right to anonymous speech.

Reddit’s latest transparency report covering the last six months of 2023 is available here

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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