Dear Rotolight: The Internet Never Forgets Your Censorious Past, Even If You Deny It

from the look-at-that... dept

So, you may have heard the story this week about Rotolight forcing down a video review they didn't like of one of their lights -- and then admitting publicly that they did it because they thought the review wasn't fair (and also claiming that they thought it violated their trademark, even though the DMCA doesn't cover trademark). That story got quite a lot of attention, and quite a bit late, Rotolight posted its official statement in response, in which the company sought to both apologize... but also defend the initial actions. There is also the odd statement that the video wasn't taken down for copyright reasons, even though the creator of the video, Den Lennie, clearly received a copyright takedown notice.
In this specific case, the video was not removed for copyright infringement reasons as has been widely reported. Rotolight received external advice with respect to this particular video that it was potentially misleading and unrepresentative. This advice resulted in the only request the company has made to have a video removed from any video sharing website in the last 3 years.
As Popehat notes, either Rotolight or Vimeo is lying here, and it's hard to believe that it's Vimeo. If they didn't send a copyright takedown, then why don't they say what they actually sent? Clearly, Vimeo received some sort of notification.

However, two more tidbits have popped up since then, thanks to the lovely internet. First, we have Jeepers Media pointing out to us that Rotolight's claim above that this is the "only request the company has made to have a video removed from any video sharing website in the last 3 years" does not appear to be true. CheesyCam has the story of how it had posted a YouTube video... and Rotolight had (you guessed it) taken it down:

That’s total bull, because this has actually been a practice of RotoLight for at least the last two years. Two years ago, I posted up a video about one user and a UFO camping light who may have mentioned he was making his own DIY RotoLight. Obviously it was a UFO camping LED light, and because of the camparisons, RotoLight commented on this blog and admitted to taking down the users YouTube video:

“FYI, the YouTube Video on which your article relates has been removed due its to defamtory nature, breach of our Registered Trademark and misleading information”.

Whoa wait a minute! The DMCA cannot be used for Trademark claims. That was two years ago, and who knows how many other YouTube or Vimeo videos were taken down in that time frame, but I can tell you the recent Den Lennie attempt was not the first. The fact that they are now playing dumb and backtracking as if this was the only DMCA they filed is a load of crap.

While CheesyCam doesn't link to the original post, it appears to be here. Oops. So, clearly not the first. Also, a commenter on Popehat points out that it's highly unlikely that Rotolight did not understand copyright or the nature of DMCA notices (or the difference between copyright and trademark), in part because the founder/president of Rotolight also runs one of the largest music publishing/producing businesses in the UK -- and his wife is an entertainment lawyer who wrote a book about copyright that was published not too long ago.

So, um, that's nice that you're a small business and you want to rehabilitate your reputation and all... but it might help to start out by not lying about the claim that this was the first such video you've taken down -- or about the nature of the takedown. As they say, it's often not the original bad deed that gets you in the end... but the attempted coverup.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 6:50pm

    Don’t you just hate it when facts get in the way of trying to propogate a lie?

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 7:45pm

    Miranda and the Streisand Effect

    I know this will never happen, well probably not, but what would happen if sending a DMCA notice required acknowledging a Miranda type warning about the Streisand effect? The self-centeredness of these bozo's (sorry Bozo) might actually help, if they actually take the time to understand.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 7:45pm

    Does that apply to you ??

    I hope so..

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    Who is "the internet"?

     

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

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 7:51pm

    SO? What's your fix?

    I wrote on the prior item, looks like a FINE test case, so let's see some calls for action. What's the exact charge? ... What? Can't specify? Then surely it's perfectly legal.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 8:15pm

    Re: SO? What's your fix?

    The charge would be 'Perjury', where the company, despite not owning the rights to the video issues a DMCA claim regardless, otherwise known as lying on a legal form.

    Now while most cases this is as far as it goes, as the law requires the affected to prove the impossible, that the DMCA was in bad faith, in this case you've got the company pretty blatantly admitting that the DMCA claims have nothing to do with copyright, and everything to do with getting rid of criticism, so I agree, these would make perfect test cases, and hopefully set a precedent and add a real penalty to fraudulent DMCA claims.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 8:17pm

    Copyright law's best and brightest.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Mike, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 8:35pm

    Rotolight Lectures about IP Enforcement HOT HOT

    The "Claimed" owner of Rotolight is actually "Helen Gammons" on her linked In. ( Info at Bottom"

    Her Twitter is all about Rotolight, lobbying for tougher IP Laws AND Her music Seminars
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons

    • She Claims Stronger Copyight Laws are NOT about Silencing Speech LAST YEAR on Twitter
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/160896372667719681
    "Scare mongering by social media sites is wrong, the bills are not to restrict anyones voice, just to stop digital theft. Issues can be resolved."

    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/160897311004835842
    "Why is theft in the digital domain different to stealing from a record shop?"

    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/160895549732687872
    "Re: SOPA & PIPA digital piracy is not an acceptable social habit its theft. It stops working composers,producers & artists earning a living.

    • She Launched and Runs a Music Distribution Rights Company, Her Tweet
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/31830267576455168
    "Did I mention I'm launching "sync in the city" a music placement company for film and tv. Should be 'live' in a few weeks."

    • The Music Publishers Will Gain Control, Her Tweet
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/31829978861535232
    "Music Publishers have the upper hand if they control both the music and the master and it will bring great success (BMG Rights Management)."

    • A Tweet about her "Music Copyright Seminar"
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/255386446633005059

    • Anti Music Piracy Tweet
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/247622808300052480

    • HUNDREDS of Rotolight Tweets Here's a Few to prove correct Account
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/361201052323815424
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gamm ons/status/324240614403211264
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/314062180804882432
    https:// twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/303596159174332418

    • One of her "Music Seminars" http://www.henley.ac.uk/mba/henley-mba-music-creative-dynamics.aspx

    Helen Gammons actually LECTURES on IP Enforcement Learned from years as a Music Industry Leader and Co-owner in Several Music Publishing houses!

    Tuesday 14 May 2013, 10:21 | By CMU @ TGE
    Artist brands and the challenges of communicating copyright tackled at Great Escape IP-themed sessions

    CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will lead a debate on the challenges of ‘communicating copyright’, with Sentric Music’s Chris Meehan, Henley Business School’s Helen Gammons, First Column Management’s Phil Nelson and the Music Managers’ Forum’s John Webster.

    http://www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/artist-brands-and-the-challenges-of-communicating-c opyright-tackled-at-tge-ip-themed-sessions/

    • A Technorati Article on her Music Lectures http://technorati.com/entertainment/article/henley-business-schools-new-mba-for/

    Helen Gammons Linked In
    Helen Gammons's Overview

    Current
    Programme Director at Henley Business School www.henley.com/mbamusic
    CEO at Sync In The City
    Owner / Director at Rotolight.com
    Owner at Planet Video Systems Ltd
    see less
    Past
    Creative Director. at Avex Inc

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Mike, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 9:05pm

    Rotolight is a "Little Family Owned Business"
    Well, Here is there Address found at this link
    http://www.rotolight.com/contact-us/
    Pinewood Studios,
    Pinewood Road,
    Iver Heath,
    SL0 0NH
    Heres a Google Earth Pictures Below of the Tiny Quaint Address
    https://twitter.com/JeepersMedia/status/363509783950680064
    https://twitter.com/JeepersMedi a/status/363509783950680064/photo/1

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    apauld (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 10:58pm

    Re: SO? What's your fix?

    seriously, it is time to see Neurologist, the tumor is soon going to be to big to save you.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    apauld (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 11:03pm

    Re: SO? What's your fix?

    ootb, it high time for you to go to a Neurologist, the tumor is about to be terminal.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 11:48pm

    Genesis?

    Are these the lights that were invented by or for the band Genesis in the '70s?

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    mike, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 11:57pm

    RotoLight Tweeted Last Year that Copyright Laws Not about Censorship

    Rotolight Owner gives Lectures and Seminars DISCUSSING IP Enforcement! Was a SOPA and PIPA Supporter.

    Claims Copyright Laws NOT TO SILENCE Bloggers LAST YEAR!
    All Proof Here! I have Tons More Now! Most here from Owner's Personal Twitter.

    The "Claimed" owner of Rotolight is actually "Helen Gammons" on her linked In. ( Details at Botton of this comment )

    Her Twitter is all about Rotolight, lobbying for tougher IP Laws AND Her music Seminars
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons

    • She Claims Stronger Copyight Laws are NOT about Silencing Speech LAST YEAR on Twitter
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/160896372667719681

    QUOTE: "Scare mongering by social media sites is wrong, the bills are not to restrict anyones voice, just to stop digital theft. Issues can be resolved."

    She believes downloading music same as Physical Theft!
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/160897311004835842

    QUOTE: "Why is theft in the digital domain different to stealing from a record shop?"

    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/160895549732687872

    QUOTE: "Re: SOPA & PIPA digital piracy is not an acceptable social habit its theft. It stops working composers,producers & artists earning a living.

    • She Launched and Runs a Music Distribution Rights Company, Her Tweet
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/31830267576455168

    QUOTE: "Did I mention I'm launching "sync in the city" a music placement company for film and tv. Should be 'live' in a few weeks."

    • The Music Publishers Will Gain Control, Her Tweet
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/31829978861535232

    QUOTE: "Music Publishers have the upper hand if they control both the music and the master and it will bring great success (BMG Rights Management)."

    • A Tweet about her "Music Copyright Seminar"
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/255386446633005059

    • Anti Music Piracy Tweet
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/247622808300052480

    • HUNDREDS of Rotolight Tweets Here's a Few to prove correct Account
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/361201052323815424
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gamm ons/status/324240614403211264
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/314062180804882432
    https:// twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/303596159174332418

    • One of her "Music Seminars" http://www.henley.ac.uk/mba/henley-mba-music-creative-dynamics.aspx

    Helen Gammons actually LECTURES on IP Enforcement Learned from years as a Music Industry Leader and Co-owner in Several Music Publishing houses!

    Tuesday 14 May 2013, 10:21 | By CMU @ TGE
    Artist brands and the challenges of communicating copyright tackled at Great Escape IP-themed sessions

    CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will lead a debate on the challenges of ‘communicating copyright’, with Sentric Music’s Chris Meehan, Henley Business School’s Helen Gammons, First Column Management’s Phil Nelson and the Music Managers’ Forum’s John Webster.

    http://www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/artist-brands-and-the-challenges-of-communicating-c opyright-tackled-at-tge-ip-themed-sessions/

    • A Technorati Article on her Music Lectures http://technorati.com/entertainment/article/henley-business-schools-new-mba-for/

    Helen Gammons, Owner of Rotolight, "Sync in the City" Music Licensing Site (Conveniently Down for Maintenance at the Moment! )
    Heres the Wayback Machine Home Page!
    http://web.archive.org/web/20120305131309/http://www.syncinthecity.com/about-us
    Web Link
    http://www.syncinthecity.com/about-us

    I Screen Capped and Posted Rotolight's Owners tweet from Last Year About how Copyright Laws are NOT used to Censor here;
    https://twitter.com/JeepersMedia/status/363506126328832000
    (Incase she Removes Original ) Here;
    https://twitter.com/Helen_Gammons/status/160896372667719681

    Helen Gammons Linked In
    Helen Gammons's Overview

    Current
    Programme Director at Henley Business School http://www.henley.com/mbamusic
    CEO at Sync In The City
    Owner / Director at Rotolight.com
    Owner at Planet Video Systems Ltd
    see less
    Past
    Creative Director. at Avex Inc

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 1:04am

    I emailed them explaining the Streisand effect. I hope they listen because not one person or company has came remotely close to winning. In the end it's the same, when they're tired of being embarrassed & ridiculed by the internet they'll finally say sorry and/or let it go.

    I have a feeling they're going to play the game a little longer. Oh well at least it provides some good entertainment lol.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    audiomagi (profile), Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 3:36am

    Re: Genesis?

    I think you are referring to products developed and sold by a company called Vari-Lite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vari-Lite

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 5:12am

    Re: Miranda and the Streisand Effect

    But then we would catch less of these asshats being assholes. I like knowing what companies are operated by assholes so I can avoid enriching them.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 5:18am

    Re:

    Sorry is not sufficient, criminal prosecution and conviction for purgery would be a good first step towards redemption.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    antymat, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    No.

    It is just so much more funny that way :).

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Ouch

    Well, I bet they will lose a lot of business with this terrible behavior.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 7:36pm

    How do you feel about censorship here on TD

    It would seem TD is not opposed to censorship either, care to comment ?? or would you prefer to censor to stifle open debate ?

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 9:45pm

    Re: How do you feel about censorship here on TD

    Debates require coherence. You don't have that.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    jjmcubed (profile), Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 9:55pm

    Re: How do you feel about censorship here on TD

    The only censorship I agree with is if it is done to blathering idiots that bring nothing to the article. Or if they just want to bash the author in some misguided quest to "expose the wrong". Either way it seems to apply to you.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2013 @ 12:11am

    Re: How do you feel about censorship here on TD

    Clean up Australia first, darryl. Your government encourages you to cheat at geolocation for cheaper Adobe.

    You come from a den of pirates, darryl. You've no business criticising anyone.

    Go fuck a solar panel.

     

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


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