Can't sync Dropbox due to takedown request under Digital Millenium Copyright Act

A twitter report mentioning this error asks two questions:

  1. Who’s error is this?
  2. How can I tell what file caused this?

Error message:

Can't sync Dropbox.
This file is no longer available due to a takedown request under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Ans. 1: This error comes directly from Dropbox when trying to access a file on Dropbox that has been flagged for removal. There is a digital signature (a hash) of all content on Dropbox, and they can detect if a file with the same digital signature exists. So while they don’t have any idea of what files you have on your Dropbox, they can tell if you have a file on there which matches a list of known signatures corresponding to files which have been requested to be taken down under DMCA. A more thorough explanation can be found under this TechCrunch article:

Ans 2: Can you give us more information about what you were doing when you encountered this error? We can try to figure out which file it pertains to. (Did you see it from our web client? Using a shared weblink?)


I don’t use Dropbox to share files to other users.
I use it to sync budget files (YNAB app) between devices. Actually it was the only thing that could change on another device.
I have not much stuff on that account actually.

Here’s how it happens:

(It is reproducible)

Not sure if it is relevant, but before that I was using Dropbox app for that, but added to odrive, and created symlink in place of old dropbox folder.

Thanks… you can try drilling down into activities and seeing if you can isolate the problem file that way. You can quickly divide the problem up if you Activities has subfolders (just try to do what you’re doing but at the individual subfolder level). That way you can find which subfolder it is (and perhaps even which file it is when you start seeing placeholder files which you can then individually try to right-click --> Sync on).

Can you give that a shot?

Ok. I found it. I think it is weird.
It is just one byte file, that I used to sync a line of text between two computers.

Thank you for your help!


One more reason not to use Dropbox… and to encrypt all of your hosted files.