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?).