Adobe Asked Google To Censor Techdirt's Story On How Adobe's DRM Got Cracked
from the oh-really-now? dept
Another day, another example of copyright being a tool for censorship. MarkMonitor is one of the largest companies out there in the “IP protection” business — and they also have a decently long history of filing bogus DMCA notices. And in one of its recent ones… they targeted a Techdirt news story. You see, three years ago, our own Tim Cushing wrote a little story about how Adobe launched its Creative Cloud subscription offering and had the DRM on it cracked within 24 hours. It was a fun (yet all too predictable) story.
And apparently Adobe/MarkMonitor would like it to disappear from the web. With copyright. Here’s the actual DMCA notice filed by MarkMonitor on behalf of Adobe:
Google, thankfully, has a team who reviews these things and rejected the demand. Of course, Adobe/MarkMonitor isn’t really trying to censor a story that makes fun of Adobe. That’s just collateral damage for the shitty job they do in trying to “protect copyright” by running automated scans. Who knows what actually set this one off, but likely some sort of combination of “creative cloud” and “cracked” — and then (unlike Google, who actually bothers to review this stuff), MarkMonitor just sent it off without any actual human review.
So, yes, any “censorship” that came out of this would likely have been accidental, but just because censorship is accidental, it doesn’t mean that it’s inconsequential. The fact that companies that hire MarkMonitor have been rushing around demanding more automated takedown systems, and ridiculous notions like “notice and staydown” that would have created even more harm should be a warning as to why those ideas are a dangerous path.
Oh, and coincidentally, just as this was happening, MarkMonitor had a PR person reach out to see if an exec could speak to me on an unrelated (and uninteresting) story. I’ve asked them for a comment on their use of copyright to try to censor one of our stories instead. If I hear back, I’ll add an update here… Update: And… here’s the response from MarkMonitor:
We would like to assure you that MarkMonitor in no way condones censorship, nor does it intentionally take any action that would result in same. Our actions focus on enforcing brand infringements on behalf of our clients and acting in their best interests. In this case, the site in question came into our result set erroneously but the process we have with the search engines ensured that it was not taken down and is still live now.
I like how they claim that it’s MarkMonitor’s process that stopped the site from being blocked, rather than Google staffers looking over MarkMonitor’s bogus takedown notice and saying “nah.”