Penis Pump Company Threatens To Report Techdirt To Interpol Because We Wrote About Its Bogus DMCA Demands

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Last summer, our writer Tim Cushing put together something of an omnibus post of stupid DMCA takedown requests, none of which probably deserved their own unique post. One of the individuals he highlighted later went on something of a wacky defamatory crusade against Tim, posting blatantly false information about him, and claiming that Techdirt is actually owned by some telecommunications company I’d never even heard of, that is also a patent troll, or something. But now another entity in that very same post has also decided it’s upset about the post, and has taken a slightly different strategy.

The company in question is Andromedical, makers of the creatively named “Andropenis,” which is (you guessed it) a penis pump. The company appears to do two things aggressively: push a highly questionable “study” claiming its device is effective… and issue questionable takedown demands. Tim was mocking the fact that Andromedical was asking Google to take down results from the competing Bing search engine, but also the fact that it appeared to be promotional images of the product. So, why are we subject to a takedown notice?

BRING ON THE KITCHEN SINK OF LEGAL THREATS!

In what is announced via email as a “DMCA notice,” (and sent to a personal email address of mine, rather than our publicly listed DMCA agent email address) is apparently a combination notice of all sorts of things we didn’t actually do:

I write on behalf of the Legal Department of Andromedical, S.L. Company, as an Intellectual Property abuse report to your company. This email is part of a Counterfeit Notification to INTERPOL and must be considered as an official Cease and Desist, Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notification. We have detected that your website is using our trademark Andropenis® and our copyrighted images without being licensed to do so. It is illegal to use Intellectual Property (IP) without license in your website, whether or not you are selling the actual device associated to our copyrighted properties. Thus, you are infringing the law by using trademarked and copyrighted properties of Andropenis® without license and without IP rights. Please, proceed to delete immediately the following pages and the images in them from your website:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150728/12010131782/all-ways-dmca-takedown-process-can-be-responsibly-used-these-are-none-them.shtml https://i.imgur.com/2SbufcE.png

Yeah, so, first of all, it’s a DMCA notice, which covers copyright and not trademark. The fact that we don’t have a license is meaningless either way. First of all, we can use the ridiculous Andromedical or Andropenis name as much as we want without violating the trademark, because we’re using it in a manner that is clearly descriptive of the product, and not in commerce. It’s also not being used in a manner to confuse consumers or dilute the brand. So, just the fact that it suggests merely mentioning the name without a license is infringing is ludicrous and wrong. You’re doing trademark law badly.

On the copyright question, we did post an image of some of Andromedical’s own promotional images, but in a manner that was clearly fair use. It was part of our news article, explaining Andromedical’s abusive DMCA practices, and as part of showing the kinds of images it was taking down, we showed a few thumbnails of those images. This is obviously fair use, so Andromedical can take its DMCA notice and pump it.

Then we get to the whole “Counterfeit Notice to INTERPOL” — to which I can only say… huh? There’s no counterfeiting. We’re not selling any products in our post — legitimate or counterfeit. We’re just posting a story about the company, which is perfectly legal to do.

Nevertheless, the company insists that if we don’t take down our article, it will follow through with a list of increasingly aggressive/ridiculous tactics:

You have one week after the reception of this email to delete any and all images of Andromedical and/or Andropenis® products, any and all Andromedical and/or Andropenis® trademarks, and any and all Andromedical and/or Andropenis® information and references from your websites. Legal actions against your company will be stopped if these actions are undertaken. If you fail to do so, our Legal Department will:

  • Remove your company?s visibility in GOOGLE, Yahoo and/or other search engines, such as Yahoo! or Bing, via DMCA notices. Please find attached to this email the DMCA notice in question. (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dmca-notice?rd=1&pli=1&authuser=1 )
  • Block your payment gateways via intellectual property abuse reports to your payment processors, VISA, PAYPAL. (http://usa.visa.com/about-visa/our-business/intellectual-property-rights.jsp?ep=v_sym_ReportBrandAbuse, https://www.paypalobjects.com/webstatic/ua/pdf/US/en_US/infringementreport.pdf)
  • Contact your web hosting service to have your website removed, as you are infringing their Terms of Service by using their server space for unlawful purposes.
  • Contact INTERPOL, as your company is committing an international crime by trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting. (http://www.interpol.int/Crime-areas/Trafficking-in-illicit-goods-and-counterfeiting/Trafficking-in-illicit-goods-and-counterfeiting).

Wait, we’re “committing an international crime by trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting” because we posted a story mocking your stupid DMCA takedown requests… and your response is to send an even stupider and more ridiculous takedown demand? Yeah, that’s not very smart. You’re also lying, which may be an issue for you given that the DMCA forbids making false statements in DMCA takedowns.

And, just to be clear: we’re not selling any stupid penis pumps, counterfeit or not. Did you miss that simple fact? I imagine Interpol might wonder why you’re wasting their time making false reports.

Also, note that it tells us we have a week to respond before it will do all of this stuff, but according to the Lumen Database, it has already sent a DMCA to Google falsely claiming that we’re infringing on its copyright.

Next up, the email lists out the various trademarks in different jurisdictions that the company has — all of which is totally meaningless and unimportant because writing about your company is not violating your trademark in any way, shape or form. That’s not how trademark works.

And then the closing:

Andromedical S.L has not signed a valid license contract in this seller?s favor to use the trademarks of Andropenis® or its copyright. The names referred and its images pertain, only and exclusively, to Andromedical S.L.

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Sincerely,
Eduardo Gomez de Diego

Yeah, that’s great. Except, again, we’re not selling anything, and we’re not violating your trademark or your copyright. Your “good faith belief” is either not in good faith at all, or just wrong. Our use is clearly authorized by the law.

Finally, note that the opening of the email threat said that it was coming from “the Legal Department of Andromedical.” So, that would imply that our friend Eduardo Gomez de Diego is a lawyer, no? So, then, why does he show up as a doctor stumping for an Andropenis penis pump? And the author of the “study” that claims that Andromedical’s penis pump actually “works”?

In summary, I’d argue that Eduardo’s legal claims are about as strong as his scientific and medical claims.

Filed Under: , , , , , , , , , ,
Companies: andromedical

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Penis Pump Company Threatens To Report Techdirt To Interpol Because We Wrote About Its Bogus DMCA Demands”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
84 Comments
sorrykb (profile) says:

Andromedical wrote:

I write on behalf of the Legal Department of Andromedical, S.L. Company, as an Intellectual Property abuse report to your company. This email is part of a Counterfeit Notification to INTERPOL and must be considered as an official Cease and Desist, Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notification. We have detected that your website is using our trademark Andropenis® and our copyrighted images without being licensed to do so. It is illegal to use Intellectual Property (IP) without license in your website, whether or not you are selling the actual device associated to our copyrighted properties. Thus, you are infringing the law by using trademarked and copyrighted properties of Andropenis® without license and without IP rights. Please, proceed to delete immediately the following pages and the images in them from your website:

I would like to nominate Andromedical for funniest comment of the week.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Unfair competition

You’re also lying, which may be an issue for you given that the DMCA forbids making false statements in DMCA takedowns.

No fair trying to get funniest comment of the weak like that, everyone knows that the DMCA is more toothless than a gummy bear, so the idea that blatantly lying in a DMCA notice could ‘be an issue’ is beyond a joke.

Bob says:

“I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and…”

Please expand on what would be the consequences for these fraudsters, (that operate their businesses and abuse the legal system the same way the Italian Mafia does), if this moves forward.

I’d guess that your first legal recourse is to file criminal charges against these people that clearly and beyond any reasonable doubt engage in criminal practices.

COMMENT DISCLAIMER: as per Ken White’s advice, and considering the kind of people we’re dealing with here, the following statement is in order:

This comment was written metaphorically speaking, in the hopes there is a special place in hell reserved for he who engages in the malicious practices described and on whom I am entitled to comment, purely as hyperbole, on a matter of public concern under my First Amendment rights to free speech and I petition the Government for redress of grievances.

😀

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Please expand on what would be the consequences for these fraudsters, (that operate their businesses and abuse the legal system the same way the Italian Mafia does), if this moves forward.

That’s easy: None whatsoever.

There’s absolutely no penalty whatsoever for filing fraudulent DMCA claims, so anyone can claim whatever they want without fear of being punished for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Wait a minute.

The law requires:

“A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

This allows people to weasel out, because the only thing under penalty of perjury is that the own the right. So if they merely own the copyright but the claim is bogus, they can still get in some trouble like paying attorney fees, but not perjury trouble.

But this person uses a different word order:

“I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

They are declaring the accuracy of the entire notification under penalty of perjury, not just that they are the owner. I wonder if this could lead anywhere?

Dr. Wanker says:

LoL, I actually know this company from adult fairs in USA and EU

They mostly make knock off products previously designed by other companies. Like their penis pumps and penis extenders. Nothing to worry about their bothersome blabber, should they end up with a slap on face for duplicating others’ designs and passing them off as their own ingenuity. If you want a decent pump, get a Bathmate from UK. If you want an extender, get a Jes-extender from Netherlands. Andromedicals products are for really under-informed fellas.

ArkieGuy (profile) says:

Virgin territory...

This is a gripping story that penetrates the veil of copyright and trademark law and brings satisfaction to people lusting for more information. A story that inflates the pulsing underbelly of international intrigue and enlarges the knowledge base of all of your breathless readers. A story whose breath and girth can only increase as your opponent tries harder and harder to control your gushing flow of commentary.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Pinocchio

The reason he wrote that to you is that…ever since he was a made as a little wooden boy, when Eduardo Gomez de Pinocchio tells a lie, his penis grows.

Apparently, his father wasn’t a puppet maker, but rather worked in the forestry industry and was seeking a source of cheap wood. When he’s particularly knotty, then he gets a big spotted dick.

Jimminy Crickets! It’s a whale of a tale.

I can keep this up all day, but imma cease and desist for now. I’m worried I’m gonna get a patent infringement call from Disney. Or trademark…or whatever, yada yada DMCA>

radarmonkey (profile) says:

"Legal Department"

(open scene: board room with dozen people sitting around table)

CEO: “Alright. Someones written something on the internet we don’t like. Have the Legal Department send them a threatening letter!”

SECRETARY: “Who’s our Legal Department?”

(all voice but one) : “1-2-3-NOT IT!”

Eduardo Gomez de Diego: “Huh? …. DAMMIT!”

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Oh look another case proving that the DMCA and other laws are being abused because there is no downside to lying.
There needs to be financial penalties for doing these sorts of things.

The amount of bluster involved also shows that this is a bluff, someone hoping that the fear of the law will make people do what they want.
Holding ones self out to be a lawyer should be more of a crime with more penalties.

We have reached a point where the mere mention of copyright is a magic key to get you what you want. You don’t even have to be serious, just invoke the power word and watch the world bow down before you. Even the courts will clear your path and if your target tries to fight back will allow you to run away facing none of the penalties so richly deserved.

(what you expected me to go for the easy penis puns?)

Eldakka (profile) says:

* Block your payment gateways via intellectual property abuse reports to your payment processors, VISA, PAYPAL. (http://usa.visa.com/about-visa/our-business/intellectual-property-rights.jsp?ep=v_sym_ReportBrandAbuse, https://www.paypalobjects.com/webstatic/ua/pdf/US/en_US/infringementreport.pdf)
* Contact your web hosting service to have your website removed, as you are infringing their Terms of Service by using their server space for unlawful purposes.

Tortious Interference?

Starke (profile) says:

I came here looking for a post in the original article that Interpol has no law enforcement powers whatsoever, and is only an international police liaison agency… and I’ve left disappointed.

For those of you that are unaware: Interpol has no law enforcement powers. The only thing they do is facilitate communication between police in different countries.

Interpol cannot arrest you. Interpol cannot even investigate you. They’re not some transnational FBI. They can’t actually do anything.

IANAL says:

But

Techdirt fell for it. This person is a fricking genius. I’m sure some of the Techdirt posters could use this product, judging by some of the tiny thoughts I see posted here occasionaly. FREE Advertising??

But, lets discus the bigger issue here.. The Streisand Effect is not costing Andropenis a cent making itself out to be (of course) larger than life. Well, not costing anything yet!

Anonymous Coward says:

“I write on behalf of the Legal Department of Andromedical, S.L. Company, as an Intellectual Property abuse report to your company. This email is part of a Counterfeit Notification to INTERPOL and must be considered as an official Cease and Desist, Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notification…”

Fucking Geigner, always trying to be funny.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...