Hacker’s Guide to DMCA Takedown Requests

Are you a developer who needs to handle DMCA takedown requests? It’s not trivial but it’s doable. Most of what you need to know is programmer-friendly. The law is basically a flowchart.

So I created this flowchart for developers to use. It’s big – you’ll need to click through, open it, and expand to see the details.

Reference for startups - what to do about DMCA takedown requests
Reference for startups – what to do about DMCA takedown requests

Warnings: I am not a lawyer, I am a technologist. This is not legal advice. This is my personal attempt, as a technologist, to collate available information and share what I have learned. I have taken care with this, but I am just some dude on the Internet. I’m very happy to make corrections if you see an issue – I already found and fixed one major error.

I’m happy to help explain bits of this or otherwise help out.

Earbud implant

Man implants magnets to make his ears into their own headphones

If headphones are too bulky and ear buds make your ear canals hurt, why not surgically transform your ear itself into a speaker? That’s what body hacker Rich Lee has done, by implanting rare-earth magnets in his ears, so he can listen to music or amplified sounds even when he’s not wearing headphones.

In addition to music, he looks forward to connecting these embedded bio-speakers to a directional microphone or a voice analysis app, so he can do surreptitious spy-like activities, like listening to conversations across the room and detecting whether you’re telling lies or not. He’d also like to connect his setup to a Geiger counter, so he can get ambient readings on radioactivity, or perhaps use it as part of a digital echolocation system of some kind.

He first implanted magnets into each ear’s tragus (the flap of skin and cartilage that sticks out in front of your ear). No licensed surgeon would be willing to do this procedure, so like many transhumanists, he had to get a friend to do the operation for him.

To make these magnets into a speaker, he wears an induction coil around his neck, connected to an amplifier and, through that, to his phone. The varying currents in the coil cause the magnets to vibrate, exactly as they do in a speaker — except in this case, the magnets are part of his actual flesh.

That was building on the Instructibles project Make Your Own Invisible Earphones

Open projects in open music

– Cross reference artists, albums, and tracks in Discogs, Musicbrainz and Wikipedia, so that an entry in each one is linked to the corresponding entry in the others.

– Finish the genre graph implied in DBPedia. Extract the graph and QA it as a whole. Enable multiple distinct genre graphs, so that multiple cultures are supported. Create graphs for non-EU/US cultures, e.g. for use in China.

– Cross reference Encyclopaedia Metallum with Discogs, Musicbrainz and Wikipedia.

How to ask for a raise

Here is how to ask for a raise:

Ask for a raise.

Just asking is the most important thing. A lot of people don’t. Not everybody who asks gets one, but almost nobody who doesn’t ask gets one.


If you want to get fancy, have good reasons. What are good reasons? Go make a friend in HR and ask. Here’s a starting point:

  • Underpaid relative to other companies who might hire you
  • Long time since last raise
  • Outstanding evaluation
  • Credible threat to leave
  • Been at the company for a while
  • Increase in responsibilities without increase in pay. Implicit promotion.

Also: a promotion is the single best way to get a raise. Go ask for one. Make your desire to move up known.

Open Genres

There have been many open-ish projects working with music genres, but nothing on the scale of Musicbrainz or Discogs as far as I know.

  • Maintained on an ongoing basis
  • Global reach
  • Translated
  • Professional-level musicology

This territory is held by proprietary interests, including data vendors like All Music Guide (Rovi) and Gracenote, as well as music service providers like Spotify and Apple Music.

Maybe that shouldn’t surprise me. The great care and patient labor to create such a data set is generally not a good match for crowdsourcing. Crowds can do amazing things, but they are not methodical.


The Baroque entry in DBPedia is an interesting parallel.

Maybe I have bias from my time in the commercial music data world, and DBPedia is highly competitive. The entries for Jump Blues and Rockabilly, and their relationships, are excellent.


DBPedia has a single genre map for the whole world, I believe. (It might be scoped within a language, so that genre relationships don’t span more than one language).

This is a problem because genres mean different things in different cultures. Highlife is World Music in the US but Palm-wine music at home.

There could be a graph (“genre map”) which is a superset of all graphs, but it wouldn’t be coherent. There would be multiple roots or starting points, the same genre would appear in multiple locations, the same genre name might be used in different ways.

In terms of data modeling, there needs to be one simple change in DBPedia: add an identifier for the cultural context to the the music genre class.

Blogging vs Distribution

I am enjoying the privacy of writing on this blog at some.gonze.com. The readership is much smaller than on Facebook, Twitter, or Medium so I can speak more freely.

The down side is distribution. If I want my words to be read, this is not the place to write.

Obama Approval Rating Skyrockets To 56% As GOP Faces Trump Led Collapse

Republicans had already given away the qualifications argument to Hillary Clinton by nominating Donald Trump, but they are also watching the change argument quickly evaporate as voters are showing no signs of Obama fatigue. If Republicans can’t argue that they have the more qualified candidate, and the change argument falls on deaf ears, what exactly are Republicans planning on running on this fall?

Source: Obama Approval Rating Skyrockets To 56% As GOP Faces Trump Led Collapse