DMCA As Censorship: Citibank Doesn't Want You To Remember What It Said About Obama's Bank Reform Policy

from the streisand-enters-stage-right dept

We've been discussing quite a bit lately how copyright law is often used not as a tool to provide incentive to create, but as a tool for censorship. Here's the latest example. John Bennett points us to the news that Citigroup filed a DMCA takedown request with Wordpress.com over the site LBO-news' 18-month old post that presented a copy of Citigroup's analysis of Obama's (then new) bank reform plan, which noted that it was actually quite bank-friendly. The key quote in the report: "the US government is following a relatively bank-friendly, investor-friendly approach."

Of course, these days, Wall Street is looking for more favors, and has been complaining about the regulations that the administration put on them as being too onerous. So, firms like Citigroup aren't too happy about anyone remembering the fact that it knew the regulations weren't at all onerous, but were extremely friendly to banks and Wall Street. So it issued the DMCA takedown on the report. Of course, as economist Brad DeLong has noted, this is clearly not about copyright issues. It's not a case where the infringement is harming the "market" for that report. The only reason to file a DMCA is to try to hide the report:
Today--nineteen months after this document was written--it is of historical interest only: none of Citigroup's paying clients would pay a cent for the information contained in it, for nobody could in any way profitably trade today on Citigroup's February 2009 analysis of the policies of the Geithner Treasury....

Whatever you think about the DMCA, it should not be used to prune the historical record of primary sources about how various economic policies were perceived at the time.
DeLong is now hosting the document himself (pdf), so if anyone wants to see what Citigroup would prefer you don't see, check it out (oh, whoops... or is that contributory infringement?).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Streisand effect!!!

    Oh, and the pentagon finally burned those books. WHEW!!! I am so relieved that our borders are finally safe thanks to our government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    milrtime83 (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Correction:

    "So, firms like Citigroup aren't too happy about anyone remembering the fact that it new the regulations weren't at all onerous,"

    new = knew

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Greevar (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:20am

    Copyright IS censorship

    Anybody who has bothered to look up the history of copyright knows that copyright was, at its core, a method of censorship. This is not surprising in the least.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    for nobody could in any way profitably trade today on Citigroup's February 2009 analysis of the policies of the Geithner Treasury

    well I suspect a Citibank 'competitor' could reasonably trade 'profitably' on negative Citibank information, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Overcast (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:50am

    More revisionist work.

    Despite whatever agenda they are working on, it's a crime to humanity to try and re-write history. Even if it's 'small'.

    And yes, copyright isn't about 'rights' it's about power and control.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 9:23am

    Frivolous

    They need to pass a law that Frivolous law suits are illegal and carry some huge fine/punishment.

    The abuse of a law should carry a fine horrible enough to make people scared to even attempt it.

    Like having your accounts frozen, or having half of your estate value donated to charities, but only charities with low management overhead.

    Obviously, it should never put someone out in the streets, but plenty of people can live on wages in the 30-40k range. So someone worth $1 billion can be just fine living on $500 million. Heck, should be able to live just fine on $1 million. They'll just have to move to a cheaper place.

    That sounds like a law I can live with. Abuse a law, and you forfeit all of your estates value, down to the last (10* average yearly income).

    The current average is ~$80k, so no matter how much they're worth, they'd only be left with $800k. That's plenty to live on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    Re: Correction:

    new = knew

    Oops. That's an embarrassing one. Fixed. Thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    One would think that 19 months ago, Citi's position was quite different than it is today. They may have been looking for Govt. help. Think they would come out and bite the hand that they were asking to help them at the time?

    Were I starving, I might thank you for feeding me crap. Were I rich, I would look at your offer and call it crap. Has anything changed besides my perspective?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    you got the missing letter

    but did you spot the missing word

    "that presented a copy a Citigroup analysis"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Random Blowhard, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 12:24am

    The bailouts will continue, the spice must flow, Citigroup is Too Big Too Fail, Congress is the property of Wall Street, 4 legs good, 2 legs bad. END

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    claygarden, Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Re: perspective

    The satiated man and the hungry one do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread. -Rumi, poet and mystic (1207-1273)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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