GitHubber gets a DMCA takedown notice for archiving 'confidential' HDMI docs

HDMI sends a DMCA takedown notice for posting confidential protocol specs. (Source: Computer Cable Store)
HDMI sends a DMCA takedown notice for posting confidential protocol specs. (Source: Computer Cable Store)
The HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. has sent a DMCA takedown notice to GitHubber 'Glenwing' for posting detailed specifications of all versions of the HDMI standard, which are apparently copyrighted and confidential, on his personal GitHub page. Glenwing claims that he only used publicly available documents to educate people on the capabilities of HDMI and not for any malicious intent.

HDMI Licensing Administrator (HLA), Inc., the licensing agent to the HDMI founders, filed a DMCA complaint against GitHub user 'Glenwing' for collating all HDMI technical specifications in his personal 'Display Industry Standards Archive' page. HLA claims that the technical specs contain not just copyrighted but also secret information.

The DMCA complaint itself has been published on GitHub and reads,

HDMI Licensing Administrator, Inc. is the licensing Agent to the founders of the HDMI® Digital Interface it has been brought to our attention that user Glenwing is publicly making confidential copyrighted content available on your hub without authorization."

When contacted by Torrent Freak, Glenwing said that he was only collating information that was already publicly available to "educate people about the capabilities of HDMI, DisplayPort, how to correctly calculate video bandwidth, how these standards have changed over time, etc." He also said that the documents were already cited as sources on Wikipedia and that they can be obtained with a simple Google search. 

Previously, Glenwing received a similar takedown notice from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), of which the HLA is a member, for posting six CTA standards documents. In case you are not aware, CTA provides standards for almost everything we use from closed captioning and uncompressed video transmission to devices such as fitness trackers and heart rate monitors. Since older versions of the CTA standard can get difficult to find, Glenwing wanted to preserve them on his GitHub page for posterity, which didn't go too well with the CTA. CTA docs are for public consumption and those interested need to register on the CTA Store to access them. 

The High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a fairly ubiquitous display connection standard and its capabilities have grown since inception in 2002 as HDMI 1.0 to the present day HDMI 2.1 standard. HDMI is licensed by HDMI Adopter companies and the technical specifications are confidential. While the specs of newer versions are understandably trade secrets, making accessible the outdated specs can go a long way in educating people about how the standard works.


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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-05-11 (Update: 2019-05-11)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.