Will they never learn? Issuing bogus DMCA takedowns to get content down that you don't like, rather than which is actually infringing, is going to backfire. Badly. Last week, the website Photoshop Disasters put up a post showing a ridiculous Ralph Lauren ad with a woman who was too skinny to be alive. Boing Boing put up a post about it, along with the tag line "Dude, her head's bigger than her pelvis
." While some have questioned whether the ad is even real, one thing is clear: Ralph Lauren was not pleased. The company's lawyers at Greenberg Traurig sent DMCA takedown notices concerning both posts. Despite Blogger's new DMCA policy
, Google still quickly took down the post at Photoshop Disasters, causing the site to ask whether or not Ralph Lauren or its lawyers have ever heard of the Streisand Effect
(yay). BoingBoing's host, however, doesn't automatically take content down and passed along the info to BoingBoing, who quickly pointed out that this was clearly fair use (commentary, criticism, etc.) and the DMCA takedown wasn't being used to stop infringing content, but to stifle speech.
So, not surprisingly, BoingBoing put up a nice post explaining the whole thing
, including a nice quote from lawyer Wendy Seltzer about fair use... and, of course, another version of the image, and dared Ralph Lauren to sue. Hopefully Ralph Lauren and its lawyers get the message and offer a quick apology. In the meantime, it makes you wonder what the hell anyone was thinking in sending out such a bogus DMCA. Do people really not recognize the consequences?