Rotolight Uses DMCA To Censor Review They Didn't Like, Admits To DMCA Abuse For Censorship

from the copyright-as-censorship dept

Remember how a copyright maximalist was just claiming that it's simply ridiculous that anyone would ever use copyright to censor? We pointed out a pretty long list of examples of how that's bogus, but here's another one, via BoingBoing. It seems that a guy named Den Lennie did a video review comparing the Rotolight Anova to a competing product, the Kino Flo Celeb. Lennie's review showed that the Kino device was better, and apparently Rotolight took offense. So what do they do? They send a completely fraudulent DMCA complaint to Vimeo, who shamefully took the video down without doing even the slightest check to see if it was actually infringing.

Even worse, when Den posted about this, Rotolight flat out admitted to a fraudulent DMCA takedown, noting that they "did not feel the test was fair or representative" and thus they used the DMCA to take it down:
In other words, they're admitting to out and out abuse of the DMCA takedown process for censorship purposes. As others have noted, the DMCA can only be used for copyright claims, and yet Rotolight admits there was no copyright claim in making their DMCA takedown request. Even if they were arguing a trademark claim, that is also bogus. First, the DMCA cannot be used for trademark claims. Second, doing a review is not trademark infringement. Finally, having the company outright admit that it issued the takedown not because of any legitimate claim, but merely because they didn't like the test, shows that they intended for it to be used to censor Den's speech.

But, no, we're told, copyright law is never used for censorship...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 12:37pm

    If Rotolight filled out a regular DCMA form then they have committed perjury and quite likely broke another law or two along the way. But US law does not apply to corporations or the wealthy, so no one is going to get penalized except for the victim who had his review pulled.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:24pm

      Re:

      I wonder if we could get the DOJ to use the CFAA against them if we say this has to do with a copyright claim? We just forget to mention it was a false claim ...

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 4:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Ha ha ha ha!!! The DOJ doesn't go after corporate violators. They only go after poor citizens that break stupid laws intended to advance corporate profits.

         

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    •  
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      crade (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 2:40pm

      Re:

      No, the law would apply to them if they were alledged of doing something against the corrupt law owners agenda.. You don't see google (or a bunch of others) getting away with things like telling people the truth about whats on the internet and such..

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 10:20pm

      Re:

      US law also doesn't apply to UK individuals or companies.

       

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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Someone get this man a lawyer

    Even in a 'mild' case like this, where the company filing the DMCA claim like this doesn't seem to be doing it maliciously, merely anti-competitively, such a clear-cut case of 'DMCA abuse as censorship', helped along enormously by the fact that the company has admitted it had nothing to do with copyright or trademark law, but was merely to silence a critic, could provide an excellent precedent for future cases like this,

     

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    Starke (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    Wait... normally it's basically impossible to prove bad faith in a DMCA takedown... but, wouldn't this be admissible in court?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    We're so sorry

    We can't help being douchebags - we hope you can forgive us, and oh - your testing sucked, we want you to do it again in OUR facility, where we can control the process and your perceptions. No hard feelings, sorry your speech was censored with an illegal takedown request - we're really really sorry that happened and we promise it wasn't our intention to paint ourselves quite so douchey. And hey, kudos to Vimeo for supporting our asshattery!

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 10:22pm

      Re: We're so sorry

      Well pinewood studios is like the UK version of Hollywood so its no surprise they used these underhanded tactics to censor.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Seems like this would be the perfect evidence to get the DMCA overturned on grounds that it violates the first amendment.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:36pm

      Re:

      never happen

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      The sad fact of the matter is: none of us should ever hope that the DMCA is overturned.

      If it is, they would have to replace it with something else to retain the same safeguards. I do not trust a single person in congress or the senate to not make the resulting bill many times worse than what the DMCA already is. It would be ProtectIP but on a scale that would destroy the concept of service providers.

      I'm convinced the DMCA is a necessary evil, it's not perfect, however the possible alternatives are far worse.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 2:40pm

        Re: Re:

        they would have to replace it with something else to retain the same safeguards


        Why would they have to?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 3:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Massive outcry from law-enforcement, politicians in EU forcing it back and many companies around the world screaming in rage.

          The system has become a too integral part of what people expect from a law-abiding company.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 5:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because the safe harbours would disappear

           

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:38pm

    Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

    You have an isolated incident, while nearly every file of PETABYTES on Megaupload was infringing. Your only consistency is that you STILL defend Megaupload and use this to attack copyright.

    Tell ya what: take the admission and prosecute to fullest extent of the law. I'm all for curtailing abuses by corporations.

     

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      jameshogg (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:42pm

      Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      MegaUpload's piracy was caused by copyright law.

      There is a reason why when you repress what the public believes to be true through legislation, whether it be the war on drugs, alcohol or prostitution, it turns ugly through black-market monopolies.

      If we started funding creativity and not creations, and started backing the crowdfunding revolution and copyright abolition instead, we would have none of these problems.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      Are you capable of staying on-topic?

       

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      Automatic Grammatizator, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:44pm

      Then you need to do more research.

      You only think this is an isolated incident because you're only just now starting to wake up and realize how copyright is pretty much an obsolete invention in this day and age. If you looked a little harder, you'd find many more examples reaching back through history.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:44pm

      Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      PETABYTES on Megaupload was infringing.


      The problem, Mr Blue, is that there is literally no proof of that, MU followed standard DMCA procedures as far as we can tell and therefore was entitled to all the protection of safe harbors whether you want to kick and scream about pirate-havens or not.

      Typically we tend to assume innocence until proven guilty. Anecdotes and hearsay have no place in the realm of justice and guilt (maybe someone should tell our government this, they seem to have forgotten).

      Maybe if that fine, upstanding government's incompetence had not resulted in the deletion of all those PETABYTES of evidence you claim was 100% against MegaUpload, there could have been a wide-ranging study on the data to determine the actual percentage of infringing content. Unfortunately that never came to be, so I guess your baseless conjecture has very little standing, no?

       

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      identicon
      S. T. Stone, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 2:06pm

      Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      You have an isolated incident

      No, we have another company, organization, or person thinking they can get away with using the DMCA as a censorship tool or did all those examples in the column about people using the DMCA as a censorship tool slip your mind?

      (And remember: because government grants people copyright through the law, using the DMCA in this way counts as government-sponsored censorship. Someone really oughta sue someone who uses the DMCA as a censorship tool on those grounds.)

       

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        Pragmatic, Aug 1st, 2013 @ 6:09am

        Re: Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

        "Isolated incident" sounds suspiciously close to "anomaly."

        Just sayin'.

         

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      fogbugzd (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 2:51pm

      Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      It's no wonder that the copyright lobby has been working to make sure the Megaupload servers get wiped. There is too much evidence that "nearly every file of PETABYTES on Megaupload was infringing" is flat out false. We routinely used megaupload to move around large files we were using on various projects, and not one bit of it was infringing. We were not alone. Even the DOJ was using it.

      Also, this DCMA takedown is hardly an isolated incident. In fact they are pretty standard. Corporations like Roto Light aren't even embarrassed to admit that they are breaking the law.

       

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      apauld (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 4:43pm

      Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      Your dishonesty and ignorance are truly epic.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 1st, 2013 @ 3:49am

      Re: Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      while nearly every file of PETABYTES on Megaupload was infringing

      This has been proven to be false already especially due to the fact that a huge percentage of the files in their servers were never downloaded suggesting people were using it as backup means. I've used Megaupload several times in the past to share huge geographic data such as maps and referenced databases among several peers. The biggest file I've worked with at the time had over 2Gb so it's clear that it had legit usage as a tool for distributing content. And of course the US never let Megaupload dig the servers to build any defense so there isn't much evidence other than studies and polls.

      I'm all for curtailing abuses by corporations.

      And yet you are fine with the abuses the MAFIAA and the US Government are engaged into in this case. Carry on little brainless parrot.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:42pm

    Obviously, the rule of law has broken down in the US. It's therefore up to citizens to deter this type of behavior.

    Unfortunately for entities such as Rotolight, citizen justice is usually a bit rougher than legal sanctions.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    Seriously

    How many 'isolated incidents' are required before they can be considered a pattern?

     

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      Tim Griffiths (profile), Aug 1st, 2013 @ 5:24am

      Re: Seriously

      Isn't an incident technically isolated by definition? One incident isn't another incident so every incident is isolated QED DMCA is never abused!

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Every time something comes up that doesn't fit ootb's zealot religious stance on copyright, it's always an anomaly or an isolated incident. After dozens of times, it's still a rare event, being used more and more.

    Have another report vote ootb for not being able to stay on topic and not being able to see the truth when it smacks you up beside the head.

     

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    crade (profile), Jul 31st, 2013 @ 2:34pm

    "and i'd do it again"

    It's pretty clear that there is no reason to worry about admitting it publicly.

     

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    Lawliet Lynn, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    Wow. Im not sure what to say. smh -_-

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Nena, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    Mr Roto Light is abusing Terms of Service with his FB account

    I looked up his Facebook account since his image is embedded in this article, and Roto Light is abusing Facebook's terms of Service by creating a fake profile with a business name, rather than a page or group for his business.

    He should be reported to Facebook.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    it doesn't make matters any better when, from what i read elsewhere, the report was on Vimeo, who obliged by taking obeying the removal request. apart from the obvious, desperate need of penalties for abuse of the DMCA (which should be in line with those when the DMCA really is abused) brought in by legislation, there should be a process whereby, in this case, Vimeo should be able to check the claim before removing it and not held liable for not removing the item while it investigates.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Copyright law's best and brightest.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    You Missed Something BIG!, Aug 1st, 2013 @ 4:14am

    Rotolight Founder is a HUGE UK Music Producer!

    You missed a HUGE Part of this Story, Rod Gammons, Founder of Rotolight is one of the Very Largest Music Industry PUBLISHERS in the UK and the Founder Owner's wife WROTE A COMPREHENSIVE BOOK on Copyright Law! NO KIDDING! http://www.scribd.com/doc/125580288/The-Art-of-Music-Publishing-An-Entrepreneurial-Guide-to-Publishi ng-and-Copyright-for-the-Music-Film-And-Media-Industries-Helen-Gammons
    LOOK at his Linked in Profile! He knew EXACTLY what DMCA is used for! http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=121492491

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Paul, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 9:03am

    Not so simple

    A bad effect of this news hysteria has been a unilateral presumption that online video streaming service providers have no legal obligation (and no internal policy) to respect trademarks -- no less, claims to invasion of privacy/invasion of publicity/commercial libel. In fact, they do, and they act upon, these grounds not only as a matter of law but within their own terms of service. The D.M.C.A. is just one tool in the toolkit of managing rights, focused upon copyright law, but there are others.

    I'm sure people will keep ignoring this nuanced reality, though, to their detriment (because it's much more fun to crow about fighting the powers that be)...

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/08/megaupload_piracy_study/

    Just for the permanent record, since the usual Techdirt ankle-biters above are denying results of a study that even Mike had to admit was sound.

    Visitors: The ankle-biters sole tactic here is to wear you down by repeating the same FALSE claims over and over. Just read theregister item and compare with comments above. These kids are in their own little walled garden.

     

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 7:39pm

    Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

    [Just repeating mine at #8 since I now see the little censors have hidden it. Yes, folks, THIS is what upsets them:]

    You have an isolated incident, while nearly every file of PETABYTES on Megaupload was infringing. Your only consistency is that you STILL defend Megaupload and use this to attack copyright.

    Tell ya what: take the admission and prosecute to fullest extent of the law. I'm all for curtailing abuses by corporations.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 8:00pm

      Re: OOTB #41 Well, you guys say was no infringed content on Megaupload...

      You might want to publish an OOTB-English dictionary/translator. Many of the terms you fling about with wild abandon have a different meaning outside your vernacular.

      "Censor," in English, does not mean "reported by the community and hidden from the initial display, but available for reading with a single click."

      Hey, put it online behind a paywall, sit back and watch the millions roll in!

       

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    btrussell (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 2:32am

    Censorship Law rings true while copyright law does not.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Rotolight, Sep 19th, 2013 @ 3:28am

    Rotolight upgrade Rotolight ANOVA

    Rotolight have announced a new Range of Rotolight ANOVA V2 LED EcoFlood's. Recently tested out on a shoot by BBC Lighting Cameraman/DoP Mark Langton here's the video shot with a Sony F5 Camera on a controlled set and used with mixed traditional tungsten bulbs. goo.gl/dstsEU
    Den Lennie checked out the New ANOVA's at IBc 2013 and said "New @Rotolight ANOVA V2 is V impressive. Great Colour output. Look forward to using it. G8 upgrade for existing V1 Owners too"

    Den Lennie and Hollywood DoP Rodney Charters will be testing them out shortly. Check out Rodney Charters interview discussing the recent publicity and the new ANOVA's goo.gl/qXXyaj

    Find out more about the Rotolight ANOVA upgrade programme www.rotolight.com/upgrade

     

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


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