/r/Piracy subreddit takes ‘Nuclear Option’ after being bombarded with copyright complaints

The moderators of the popular /r/Piracy subreddit have decided to delete 10 years of the community’s history, in an attempt to avoid being closed down. The scrubbing process is already underway.

The decision was made in March, after the group’s moderators received an official warning from Reddit Legal (via TorrentFreak).

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“This is an official warning from Reddit that we are receiving too many copyright infringement notices about material posted to your community,” the warning message reads. “We will be required to ban this community if you can’t adequately address the problem.”

The message continues: “Over the past months we’ve had to remove material from the community in response to copyright notices 74 times. That’s an unusually high number taking into account the community’s size.”

One of /r/Piracy’s rules is that members aren’t allowed to use the subreddit to post or request links to pirated content.

And while it’s entirely possible that some instances of members breaking this rule have slipped through the moderators’ net, it appears that some of the complaints that Reddit Legal acted upon weren’t actually legitimate.

For instance, one complaint that was submitted by Warner Bros. targeted a comment from a /r/Piracy community member asking if a streaming site was down.

To make life even harder for the subreddit’s moderators, some of the complaints Reddit Legal acted on date back several years.

“It is also convenient that Reddit has permitted this number of DMCA notices to accumulate without reaching out to us at all. Had Reddit warned us earlier, we would have had ample time to revisit our current rules or make adjustments on what sort of content is permitted,” the subreddit’s moderators said.

They added: “As we wait for more information from Reddit Legal, there is one certainty that comes from all of this, r/Piracy will be banned.

“It is a matter of when. While we continue moderating the community to the best of our ability, should Reddit continue expanding its definition of copyright infringement and blindly react to every false copyright notice, this community’s days are counted − not just us, but the many other related communities that openly permit the discussion of digital piracy or encourage it.”

After a vote, the moderators have opted to wipe all content on the subreddit that dates back more than six months − a decision that has been branded ‘The Nuclear Option’.

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“This would be able to catch most possible infringing content, it would show the reddit admins that we put a good faith effort to follow their request, and with a stringent enough moderation, we should be able to avoid future potential triggers,” they explained, adding that the process could take several weeks to complete.

“The cons is of course that we lose historical content, but I doubt anyone is actually using the search function here to look for stuff, and most important guides have been captured already, and if not, you should go ahead and do so anyway!)”

Do you think the moderators of /r/Piracy should have been given more support by Reddit? Let us know your take on the situation on Twitter @TrustedReviews.