From the Freedom to Tinker blog, Mike Freedman gives a good description of how BitTorrent works as well as how some companies are handing out Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices without much proof of any actual infringement.
“I am not arguing that copyright owners should not be able to take reasonable steps to protect their copyrighted material. I am arguing, however, that they should take similarly reasonable steps to ensure that any claimed infringement actually took place. When DMCA notices are accompanied by oaths under “penalty of perjury” and these claims are accepted as writ, as they have de facto become, there should some downside for agencies that demonstrably do not act in “good faith” to verify infringement.”
If you receive DMCA takedown that you believe is inaccurate, you can and often should push back. The linked story confirms my suspicions that many companies do not review notices of alleged infringement before they send them. It isn’t yet entirely clear to what extent the sender of a wrongful DMCA notice would be liable, but certainly there is a good case to be made that if they must act in good faith.
UPDATE: There is now a part two to the initial post