Monster Cable Gets Classifieds Search Engine Taken Down With Bogus DMCA Notice

from the abuse-of-the-dmca dept

It’s no secret that Monster Cable is a notorious abuser of intellectual property laws often just to try to get any other company using “Monster” anywhere in its name to pay up. Of course, it’s normally trademark law that it abuses. However, it looks like it may be abusing copyright law as well. Reader Archbishop pointed us to the news that the website Jaxed, which is a meta-classifieds search engine (it searches Craigslist, eBay and a few other sites via a single interface) recently had its entire site taken down after Monster Cable filed a DMCA notice against the site.

On Nov 2 2010 Monster Cable filed a DMCA copyright infringement notice to for “infringing” on Monster Cable Products copyrights. For unknown reasons, Monster Cable is upset that images of their products appeared on in classified and auction listings.

On Nov 4 2010 has taken down due to this complaint.

We will be working to bring the site back up as soon as we can.

Jaxed is back online now, saying that they removed the ability to do searches in the Electronics category. They’re not entirely sure if that was the problem, because the takedown does not say, but the company believes that it has something to do with the fact that some of the searches in that category showed Monster Cable products. Of course, it’s difficult to see how this was an infringement in any way, shape or form. First, the actual content was posted to other sites (Craigslist, eBay, etc.). Jaxed is just a search engine. Second, even if the content were on Jaxed, it’s people selling their products — which is unlikely to be a copyright violation (yes, it’s possible if they were using official photos there may be a slight issue, but hardly one worth issuing a DMCA takedown over). Jaxed suggests that Monster wanted it to police the site for counterfeit offerings, but as various cases against eBay over counterfeit goods have shown, the auction sites are not liable for any counterfeit goods listed directly. And it seems like an even further stretch to then say a search engine would be liable when the auction site itself is not.

Of course, even more disturbing is the fact that GoDaddy, the registrar for Jaxed, immediately pulled down the entire Jaxed site, over what seems like a clearly bogus DMCA notice. You would hope that a company like GoDaddy wouldn’t be quite so quick to pull the trigger. It’s also pretty weak that Monster Cable apparently went straight to GoDaddy, rather than complaining to Jaxed first (at which point, Jaxed could explain that they were just a search engine). Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing more and more examples of companies going straight to domain registrars with their takedown notices.

It’s not clear if Jaxed is fighting back against this, but the situation seems so ridiculous, that I’d imagine there are plenty of lawyers who would be interested in helping the site explain to Monster Cable that this is an abuse of the DMCA process.

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Companies: jaxed, monster cable

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Comments on “Monster Cable Gets Classifieds Search Engine Taken Down With Bogus DMCA Notice”

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:Lobo Santo (profile) says:


GoDaddy was founded by a lawyer. The entire corporate model amounts to:
1) Legal stuff (always being in the right)
2) Salesmanship! (have a problem? buy this service, that will fix it!)
3) Other stuff (customer service, whatnot)

Until it is for some reason illegal to pull down somebody’s entire website for some bullshit reason, GoDaddy will likely continue to do so on the flimsiest of pretexts–as long as they always appear to be in the “right” (legally speaking).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: GoDaddy

Yeah, I wouldn’t use them either knowing what I do.

It points up flaws in the DMCA takedown system more than the relative spinelessness of a webhost. In my above example, the complaint came from a site that literally has zero copyrights on what they wanted removed (and it was only links anyway, downloading directly from the victimized site was impossible). It was purely an intimidation/silencing/troublemaking measure against a perceived competitor. This good faith claim crap is what’s bogus, no proof required unless the victim wants to spend the cash to take it further. It’s easier and cheaper to up and leave for better, more secure hosting.

The penalties for false claims should be much stiffer than they are.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If GoDaddy was only the registrar like TFA seems to suggest, then I don’t see how on earth they should accept *any* DMCA requests, let alone take sites offline.

Maybe GoDaddy is taking the COICA as a done deal? They must know something we only think we know…

My Senator apparently co-authored that tripe and does not know IANA or have any inkling of the possible effects this bill may have on DNS as a globally viable naming system.

Anonymous Coward says:

“often just to try to get any other company using “Monster” anywhere in its name to pay up”

What we need to do is create some “open” language, a language released under a license that makes it inabusable to trademark and IP laws. Anything said in that language, any word used in that language, is non trademarkable. You can not, in any way, prevent others from using such words.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ever since I first read of Monster’s abuses (I think it involved suing a miniature golf course because it had Monster in it’s name), I have never bought another Monster product. I have shared that with other people I know and asked them to not purchase any either.

That’s all apart from their products being overpriced and not substantially any better than a product costing 10% as much.

Newport Trial Group (profile) says:

If you have purchased a 120, 240, or 480 Hz HDMI cable from Monster, you may have certain legal rights based on California Consumer Protection laws. If you would like to learn more about this, please contact Scott Ferrell of Newport Trial Group at Newport Trial Group, 610 Newport Center Drive, Suite 700, Newport Beach, CA 92660 (949) 706-6464. (commercial announcement).

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