Abuser Of DMCA Rescinds Bunk Takedown Notices

from the aptronym dept

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone who did things like send specious cease and desist letters or hollow DMCA takedown notices had to pay a price for their abuse of the law? Typically, those on the receiving end of these notices don't find it worth their time or money to fight back, so those who abuse the system rarely face any consequences. Last November, we linked to the story of Michael Crook, who sent a bunch of takedown notices to websites that posted a screenshot of his appearance on Fox News. His complaint was obviously rubbish since not only were the sites well within their fair use rights, but he didn't even own the copyright on the screenshot. Fortunately, the EFF sued Crook for abusing the DMCA, and has won a settlement from him. The exact terms are unclear, but apparently he agreed to write all of the websites that he threatened and rescind his takedown notice. That, in itself, isn't much of a punishment, but it's still nice that he's been rebuked, especially since he vowed to take down the EFF after they announced their lawsuit. So now that he's been dealt with, we just need to do something about all the other illegitimate DMCA takedown notices that get sent out.Update: A reader writes in to let us know that technically the lawsuit against Crook was brought by Jeff Diehl and 10 Zen Monkeys, with legal assistance from the EFF. Also, there's apparently more to the settlement that hasn't been publicized yet, and that when these details come out, internet users should be "extremely surprised and satisfied".

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Micheal Crook, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 5:36am

    I am not a crook!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Richard Nixon, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 6:26am

    Neither am I!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Bill Clinton (profile), Feb 13th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    I did not copyright sex with that woman!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    John Doe, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 7:14am

    How embarrasing for this man Crook, I would not want to be him ....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Joshua, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:17am

    How to punish them for bogus takedown notices?

    It's simple. Make abusing the system in that fashion a criminal offense. There should not be a possibility of settling or of not being sued for it because the real copyright holder is lazy, it should be a court fine and/or prison. That way, script generated takedown notices are also affected. Maybe we could bring in a bit of that "ignorance is no excuse" stuff to it as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Spartacus, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 8:26am


    Why do "posted a screenshot" and "rescind his takedown notice" link to the same TD article from November? This article just links to old techdirt articles... link mistake?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Shiek Yerbooty, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:07am

    I think this is the same Mike Crook from "forsakethetroops.com" and "forsakethecops.com" infamey. I'm not positive, but on michaelcrook.com, he discusses his DCMA suit but calls it "ongoing", perhaps he's just a slow blogger.

    Whatever he is, he's a moron and it's nice to see a warm cup of comeuppance come his way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Joe, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 9:49am

    Re: links?

    Thanks for the catch. I've added in the proper link.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    quasidan, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 12:59pm


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Monty Python, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 1:24pm

    Is your wife into photography?

    Click Click Nudge Nudge Say no more? MP

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    KEN DIRUBIS, Feb 13th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

    Take a look at this guy....

    He actually looks kinda cute. Can't he just get a girlfriend or something and stop being such a jerk?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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