Perfect Pitch Accused Of DMCA Abuse To Censor Criticism [Update]

from the copyfraud dept

Michael Scott points us to yet another (yes, another) case of copyfraud, where someone sends a DMCA takedown notice to stop criticism, rather than actual infringement. In this case, the party accused of misusing the DMCA in this manner (which is illegal) is whoever is behind the website, who offers a fee-based training program that is supposed to help people learn to have (surprise, surprise) perfect pitch. Mac Donn had put up a blog post on, asking about the general concept of having perfect pitch (not the course specifically) leading to a relatively tame discussion in the comments. However, one comment sorta kinda maybe referred negatively (barely) to the website, suggesting that that there are plenty of free resources to help train your ears. In response, it certainly appears that the owner of, Gary Boucherle, sent a DMCA takedown request to Google, who removed all links for that supposedly-offending page from its search index.

But, of course, that makes no sense. Nothing on the page violates the copyright of Boucherle at all. There isn't any content from his website. There is just a reference to it (and it's basically an aside, rather than a direct discussion). From what's presented, it's difficult to see how this isn't a violation of the DMCA with Boucherle claiming copyright on content that he has no rights (at all) over, in attempt to remove from Google's index a webpage that suggests that there are free alternatives that are better than paying for expensive courses.

We see this kind of abuse of the DMCA all too frequently, as various parties use it as a sledgehammer to censor content they dislike, rather than for anything having to do with copyright infringement. It's a massive problem with the DMCA's notice and takedown process, which puts tremendous pressure on services like Google to simply remove the content first, before there's any actual evidence of infringement.

Update: To his credit, Gary Boucherle stopped by and wrote up what appears to be a very sincere apology. We'll take him at his word that this was just a big accident for which he feels bad, and will work to prevent from happening again.

Filed Under: copyrfraud, dmca, gary boucherle, perfect pitch, takedown

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  1. identicon
    Tone Deaf (No relation to Tone Loc), 5 Nov 2009 @ 7:19am

    And thought they had negative comments before. Their lawyer is going to get some overtime tracking down everything on this story.

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