DMCA Misuse: Trying To Take Down A Negative Movie Review

from the this-again? dept

All too often, we’re seeing the DMCA abused by people who aren’t using it to takedown copyright infringing materials, but to shut down sites they don’t like. The latest example involves some filmmakers and a movie review site. The review certainly was not particularly positive, leading to a rather random series of complaints and threats against its author. While we won’t get into the claims of libel and defamation, which go into an entirely separate arena, the fact is that the filmmakers are using the DMCA to try to get the site taken down completely, bringing up all sorts of claims in the DMCA notice. It’s difficult to see how a review of a movie can infringe on the copyrights of that movie unless it was showing the movie itself (which does not appear to be the case). It’s worth pointing out that a DMCA takedown notice is only supposed to be for copyright infringing material, so including charges of libel and defamation in the takedown seem rather unnecessary. Even more amusingly, though, the takedown notice includes a bunch of random charges that aren’t actually illegal, such as: “linking to other websites without any authorization to do so.” In fact, the whole thing is so over-the-top, you have to wonder if it’s simply part of an attempt to use the Streisand Effect to drum up some publicity for the movie.

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