Chris M. Lindsey

Dad. Assistant City Manager. Surviving.

Why I Laugh at DMCA Takedown Notices (and Why They Don’t Work)

I seriously love it when a company attempts to shut someone up (to cover up something they *think* is bad) and the attempt to shut up someone causes a bigger story.  Like today’s post on TechCrunch about tweetphoto sending a takedown request over a podcast with it’s former CEO (former because of the podcast).  The podcast wasn’t incriminating, so tweetphoto didn’t protect their interests, they just let Mike Arrington make them look bad (for good cause).

People, learn that a cease-and-desist order or a DMCA takedown notice will not quiet the damning story.  Neither will a gag order (that’s an example).  One of my favorite recent examples is the Ralph Lauren scandal involving the photoshopped skinny model and BoingBoing’s response to a DMCA takedown notice:

So, to Ralph Lauren, GreenbergTraurig, and PRL Holdings, Inc: sue and be damned. Copyright law doesn’t give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:

a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;

b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and

c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.

Look folks, people notice these things.  Especially in the Internet Age.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (like the ACLU for the internet) has even compiled the “Takedown Hall of Shame.”  And Chilling Effects has a database of takedown orders.

Stop the thought process that says we can make this better by trying to shut someone up.  It doesn’t work and it makes a bigger story.


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1 Comment

  1. Ben

    How do you publicize a bogus DMCA take down when neither the company that field it or the company they filed it against will comment on it? filed a bogus DMCA against in order to have a discussion regarding skewing reviews in favor of sites that subsribe to their “service” apparently they had a problem with people using the word extortion when mentioning their policies that bar a response from any merchant that will not pay them a monthly fee.

    You can still view the google cached version here.

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