Tough To Punish Those Who File Bogus DMCA Takedowns
from the little-punishment dept
Eric Goldman highlights a case where an ISP tried to use section (f) to go after a bunch of folks who issued questionable DMCA takedowns that were clearly designed to harass a couple of websites (and, at one point, were used to try to take down the entire ISP). The details are a bit convoluted, but basically, a group of people critical of what was being said on a website issued a series of DMCA takedowns to keep the site down every time it came back up following a counternotice. This seems like a perfect case where the takedown issuers should be hit with sanctions of some sort, but the case was dismissed on procedural grounds instead, which seem to be based on a misunderstanding of the DMCA itself.
But, more important is how this case demonstrates how the DMCA is abused not to prevent copyright infringement, but to try to silence speech that someone doesn't like. We've had plenty of discussions about the conflicts between the First Amendment and copyright law, but here is a case where Congress has made a law that is all too often used to stifle speech.