by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 11th 2007 6:34am
Greg Beck writes in to let us know about the latest example (in a long line) of DMCA abuses. In this case, a home building company, Powermark Homes, is upset about a website called Powermarkhomessucks.com. Now, there's a long legal history around the legality of so-called sucks sites -- and in most cases, they're perfectly legitimate. However, that battle hasn't even played out yet. While it's pending in court, the company took a second route to knock the sucks site completely offline with no judicial review whatsoever: filed a DMCA complaint with the ISP hosting the site, alleging copyright infringement on the site. The "infringing" content in question isn't even infringing. It's a photo that was included as part of the court filings in the case and is taken from a trade magazine (who most likely owns the copyright). However, thanks to the wonders of the notice and takedown system, the ISP is required to take the content down for at least 10 days to avoid liability. So down goes the site, despite no infringing content and without any kind of judicial review -- while the actual case sits and waits in court. As Beck notes, this is likely to come back to hurt Powermark Homes, because filing a false DMCA takedown notice can get you in all sorts of trouble. Then, of course, doing so also has a bit of a Streisand Effect as well, as a lot more folks are suddenly hearing that there are at least some folks out there quite unhappy with Powermark Homes.
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