Google Drive is flagging some macOS files for copyright violation
Some macOS users trying to upload their own files to Google’s cloud storage service have been met with copyright violation notices.
A disgruntled Reddit user recently reported that a ‘.DS_Store’ file on their Google Drive was flagged by the search giant for violating its copyright infringement policy. Apparently, this isn’t the first time this issue has been encountered as macOS users also reported experiencing similar problems last month.
For those unfamiliar, .DS_Store is a metadata file that Apple users may see when transferring folders and archives from macOS to other operating systems such as Windows or Linux. MacOS’s Finder automatically generates these types of files to store custom attributes and metadata like icon information and the location of background images. Finder then uses this information to render a layout according to a user’s preferences.
Most of the time, .DS_Store files are hidden within finder in the same way that desktop.ini and thumbs.db files are hidden on Windows 10 and Windows 11. However, Microsoft’s Explorer does have settings that enable users to see these ‘hidden’ files.
No known cause
At this time, it still unclear as to why Google Drive is flagging DS_Store files for copyright infringement when uploaded to a user’s cloud storage.
Although BleepingComputer was unable to reproduce the issue, the news outlet believes that Google relying on checksums to keep track of copyright content could have led to a potential hash-collision. If a copyrighted file and a normal file share the same hash it could trigger these false violations.
A similar incident occurred recently when Google Drive accidentally flagged almost empty files containing just a few numbers for violating the company’s copyright infringement files. According to a Google spokesperson who spoke with the news outlet, the company discovered and fixed the issue that only affected a small number of Drive files back in January.
If your files have been incorrectly flagged for copyright violation by Google, don’t worry as the company is aware of the problem and a fix should arrive soon.
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