Key Techdirt SOPA/PIPA Post Censored By Bogus DMCA Takedown Notice
from the dmca-abuse dept
We’ve talked a lot about how copyright law and the DMCA can be abused to take down legitimate, non-infringing content, interfering with one’s free speech rights. And we’re always brushed off by copyright maximalists, who insist that any complaints about taking down legitimate speech are overblown.
So isn’t it interesting that we’ve just discovered that our own key anti-SOPA blog post and discussion… have been blocked thanks to a bogus DMCA takedown?
Last November, in the heat of the SOPA fight, I wrote a blog post, where I tried to pull together a bunch of the different reasons why SOPA and PIPA were really bad ideas. It was a very popular post for us, and I heard directly from many people that it was quite helpful in getting them to understand the real problems of these two bills.
Well, as I just discovered, that post cannot be found directly via Google any more.
I actually discovered this entirely by accident. I was looking for a totally different old Techdirt post, and was scrolling through Google results, when I saw a note at the bottom of the Google page saying that results had been removed due to a DMCA takedown:
If you’re scratching your head, you’re not the only one. There’s clearly nothing infringing in our post. I just wasted too much time going through all 300+ comments on that post and I don’t see anything that includes any porn or even links to any porn as far as I can tell. Instead, it seems that Armovore and Paper Street Cash sent a clearly bogus DMCA takedown notice, which served the purpose of censoring our key blog post in the SOPA fight. And they did it on January 20th… the day that SOPA was officially shelved.
There are some other oddities in that list as well, including TorrentFreak’s article about how ICE took down 84,000 websites illegally by seizing the mooo.com domain and saying that all 84,000 of those sites were involved in child porn.
In other words, two separate articles that have been key to the discussion concerning abuses of copyright law… both taken out of Google’s index due to a bogus DMCA takedown. Hmm….
While many of the other links do appear to go to sites that may offer up infringing content, just looking at the URLs alone make you wonder what most of them have to do with Paper Street Cash or TeamSkeet. Some of the links talk about top Christian albums. One is to some Dave Matthews songs. Another is to Wiz Khalifa music. There’s another one that appears to be a link to downloads of the TV show Prison Break. Obviously those things may be infringing, but the notice itself only talks about TeamSkeet, and if Armovore doesn’t represent those other artists, it may have broken the law in pretending to.
Then there’s a really bizarre one. Entry 533 on the list is… TeamSkeet’s own website. I don’t know how much Armovore charges Paper Street Cash, but they deserve a refund.
Most importantly, though, our page clearly is not infringing. This is a 100% bogus DMCA takedown — something we only discovered by complete accident over a month later — hiding one of our key articles in an important fight about abusing copyright law to take down free speech. Seems like a perfect example of how copyright can be — and is — abused to suppress free speech.
In the meantime, we’ll be exploring our options for responding to this obviously bogus takedown from both Armovore and Paper Street Cash.
Update: After “further review,” Google has reinstated our story to its index….