There was a lot of news a few days back when notorious pranksters, Yes Men, set up a fake press conference pretending to be the US Chamber of Commerce, announcing that it had changed its controversial stance on climate change — which had recently driven some large companies, including PG&E and Apple, to leave the CoC. The fake press conference, along with a fake website and fake press release, apparently fooled some in the media — including Reuters — until someone from the real Chamber of Commerce burst into the room and confronted the pranksters. The video is great:
Part of the hoax was a fake website at www.chamber-of-commerce.us, and apparently the real Chamber of Commerce has sent a DMCA takedown on the site. The EFF is responding in support of Yes Men, saying that the site is a parody, which is protected fair use. While I think that the Chamber of Commerce is pretty dumb to issue the takedown — only giving the Yes Men more attention — I’m not sure that the parody defense will stick here. While the site is for the purpose of criticism, the site is most certainly not an obvious parody. It’s designed to look real. Thus, the bigger issue may actually be trademark infringement, not copyright infringement, as the site could certainly confuse users, but there are other ways to deal with such things that don’t involve a DMCA takedown.