Google Drive users stung by macOS '.DS_Store' copyright infringement issue

Posted:
in macOS
Google Drive is causing problems for some macOS users, as the ubiquitous ".DS_Store" files are being misinterpreted by the cloud storage service as documents that infringe copyright.




Users of Google Drive can potentially receive an email warning that a file of theirs "violates Google Drive's Terms of Service," specifically its copyright infringement policy. However, it appears that Google's automated file scanning system has deemed a fairly common file as a false positive.

In posts to Reddit, as reported by Bleeping Computer, the system is being tripped up by ".DS_Store." Specific to macOS, .DS_Store holds custom attributes relating to the folder it is contained within.

Typically hidden from macOS users, the file does occasionally appear in specific cases, such as within a ZIP archive. While Finder does try to hide the file where possible, it can appear on cloud storage services when directories are uploaded, or to sometimes appear when other operating systems like Windows are used to examine a folder, depending on configured hidden file settings.

AppleInsider has been able to replicate the issue on an Intel Mac mini, using Google Drive. While attempts on a MacBook Pro and an Intel-based iMac didn't work, it seems unlikely for it to be a problem affecting specific types of Mac.

It is thought that the problem could be caused through a match in hashes between the .DS_Store files and those of known copyrighted content, which could prompt the violation notice.

This is not the first time that Google Drive has manifested such a problem, as users in January found files that contained a few numbers were flagged for similar copyright violations.

A Google spokesperson said they had addressed the issue in January that "impacted a small number of Drive files," including correcting the incorrect flagging and taking steps to stop it from happening again. "This is still correct for all new files, but we're still updating some edge cases," said the spokesperson.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Something like should not really happen. At what point was ".DS_Store" included as a copyrighted file? Someone had to have made that decision.
    F_Kent_Dlongpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    F_Kent_DF_Kent_D Posts: 98unconfirmed, member
    Something like should not really happen. At what point was ".DS_Store" included as a copyrighted file? Someone had to have made that decision.
    Right.
    longpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    NaiyasNaiyas Posts: 107member
    In case anyone was in any doubt that anything you store on cloud services is scanned by the company providing the cloud services… here it is. One of the reasons I run my own private cloud.
    bonoboblongpathwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 4 of 17
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,849member
    This is why you don't use anything Google...
    bonobobrotateleftbytelongpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Headline is wrong. 

    True headline is:

    ”Mac OS users stung by Google Drive faulty file scanning causing copyright issue.”

    the blame is not on Mac OS. It’s on googles crappy software. 
    narwhalmacplusplusdewmesphericlongpathwatto_cobramaximaraDetnator
  • Reply 6 of 17
    macxpress said:
    This is why you don't use anything Google...
    Same. 

    People are crazy. They understand that Google is spying on them and selling their data. But “hey, free software!”

    it’s like inviting an ID thief to stay at your house because they give you a sandwich for dinner. 

    Has to use gmail at a previous job. Now Google exists nowhere in my online life - except for the stinking Google ads on various websites including this one…
    bonobobdope_ahminelkruppappleinsideruserlongpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    I also think Google is downplaying this. I doubt it’s really just “a small number of files” and “edge cases” if this bug is so easily reproducible.
    longpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,492member
    Headline is wrong. 

    True headline is:

    ”Mac OS users stung by Google Drive faulty file scanning causing copyright issue.”

    the blame is not on Mac OS. It’s on googles crappy software. 
    Exactly. There is no “copyright issue” here at all, just some faulty scanning logic.

    The incorrect headline gave me pause because I have been involved with a copyright issue where a copyright troll went after the customers of the company I worked for, creating a big mess. This headline made it look like Google Drive users were at risk of having to deal with copyright issues, which is totally incorrect. The reason the files were flagged is due to faulty software. The faulty logic could just as easily flagged the files as malware or any other nefarious classification because the scanning logic is broken.
    longpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,849member
    macxpress said:
    This is why you don't use anything Google...
    Same. 

    People are crazy. They understand that Google is spying on them and selling their data. But “hey, free software!”

    it’s like inviting an ID thief to stay at your house because they give you a sandwich for dinner. 

    Has to use gmail at a previous job. Now Google exists nowhere in my online life - except for the stinking Google ads on various websites including this one…

    And when you tell people this they're always like "Well Apple does it too! They all do it. I'm just an Apple fanboy who thinks Apple walks on water and does no wrong. They're just trying to make you think they care about privacy but they sell customers data like everyone else."

     I mean Apple isn't perfect with privacy, but they're doing a hell of a lot more to protect your data than most other tech companies. Why would Apple lie about this? What would Apple gain by doing this? Is the risk of being caught lying worth any kind of reward they may get? 
    longpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Friends don't let friends use Google. Use Duckduckgo instead. 
    longpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,613member
    digitol said:
    Friends don't let friends use Google. Use Duckduckgo instead. 
    DuckDuckGo has a Finder-mountable cloud storage service?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    It's a clash of shitty engineering. There's no excuse for Apple to still be littering storage volumes with their ridiculous turds, and there's no excuse for Google to mistake them as copyrighted material.

    Not to mention that it's no business of Google's if you have copyrighted material in your Google Drive.

    Morons all.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    spheric said:
    digitol said:
    Friends don't let friends use Google. Use Duckduckgo instead. 
    DuckDuckGo has a Finder-mountable cloud storage service?
    Apple does. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    oscarg said:
    It's a clash of shitty engineering. There's no excuse for Apple to still be littering storage volumes with their ridiculous turds, and there's no excuse for Google to mistake them as copyrighted material.

    Not to mention that it's no business of Google's if you have copyrighted material in your Google Drive.

    Morons all.
    DS Store files have a purpose in helping the OS “remember” your organizing preferences in folders. 

    It’s actually a well thought out system snd very nice to have. Not “litter,” but rather part of the features of the OS. 

    For Google to do this is not a glitch. There is no way a DS Store file can be confused with any copyright protections. Some likely either got fired or promoted for pulling this on Mac users. 

    This is 100% Google turd snd 0% apple. Just another reason to stay away from them. 

    Still waiting for the headline to be fixed. It reads like Mac OS is assaulting Google drive users when actually Google drive is assaulting Mac users. 
    watto_cobramaximaraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 15 of 17
    y2any2an Posts: 196member
    Whoa. Evidence Google is examining files! Moreover it’s your own file space (unpublished works) so how does copyright even enter the equation…?
  • Reply 16 of 17
    y2an said:
    Whoa. Evidence Google is examining files! Moreover it’s your own file space (unpublished works) so how does copyright even enter the equation…?
    Wouldn’t be surprised if the NFT push has at least a small part to do with this. Just more invading infrastructure to spy on you and control your life and changing the rules on how you access things you like midstream. 

    If companies want to offer cloud storage, that storage should really be considered yours alone. You are paying for it. 

    Better to have encrypted, internet accessible local storage of your own. 

    But most people don’t even consider that. 


  • Reply 17 of 17
    Something like should not really happen. At what point was ".DS_Store" included as a copyrighted file? Someone had to have made that decision.
    Machine learning is the likely culprit.
    IreneW
Sign In or Register to comment.