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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.

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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
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1395 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 05 > GitHubber gets a DMCA takedown notice for archiving 'confidential' HDMI docs
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-05-11 (Update: 2019-05-11)