Monster Cable Gets Classifieds Search Engine Taken Down With Bogus DMCA Notice

from the abuse-of-the-dmca dept

It's no secret that Monster Cable is a notorious abuser of intellectual property laws often just to try to get any other company using "Monster" anywhere in its name to pay up. Of course, it's normally trademark law that it abuses. However, it looks like it may be abusing copyright law as well. Reader Archbishop pointed us to the news that the website Jaxed, which is a meta-classifieds search engine (it searches Craigslist, eBay and a few other sites via a single interface) recently had its entire site taken down after Monster Cable filed a DMCA notice against the site.
On Nov 2 2010 Monster Cable filed a DMCA copyright infringement notice to jaXed.com for "infringing" on Monster Cable Products copyrights. For unknown reasons, Monster Cable is upset that images of their products appeared on jaXed.com in classified and auction listings.

On Nov 4 2010 GoDaddy.com has taken down jaXed.com due to this complaint.

We will be working to bring the site back up as soon as we can.
Jaxed is back online now, saying that they removed the ability to do searches in the Electronics category. They're not entirely sure if that was the problem, because the takedown does not say, but the company believes that it has something to do with the fact that some of the searches in that category showed Monster Cable products. Of course, it's difficult to see how this was an infringement in any way, shape or form. First, the actual content was posted to other sites (Craigslist, eBay, etc.). Jaxed is just a search engine. Second, even if the content were on Jaxed, it's people selling their products -- which is unlikely to be a copyright violation (yes, it's possible if they were using official photos there may be a slight issue, but hardly one worth issuing a DMCA takedown over). Jaxed suggests that Monster wanted it to police the site for counterfeit offerings, but as various cases against eBay over counterfeit goods have shown, the auction sites are not liable for any counterfeit goods listed directly. And it seems like an even further stretch to then say a search engine would be liable when the auction site itself is not.

Of course, even more disturbing is the fact that GoDaddy, the registrar for Jaxed, immediately pulled down the entire Jaxed site, over what seems like a clearly bogus DMCA notice. You would hope that a company like GoDaddy wouldn't be quite so quick to pull the trigger. It's also pretty weak that Monster Cable apparently went straight to GoDaddy, rather than complaining to Jaxed first (at which point, Jaxed could explain that they were just a search engine). Unfortunately, we've been seeing more and more examples of companies going straight to domain registrars with their takedown notices.

It's not clear if Jaxed is fighting back against this, but the situation seems so ridiculous, that I'd imagine there are plenty of lawyers who would be interested in helping the site explain to Monster Cable that this is an abuse of the DMCA process.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Everything after "are not liable" shows up as a link for me when I hover over it.

    It could be my issue, but you might want to check for errant code

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    Yeah, it's happening here too.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    halley (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    when when when

    When will we see some use of the slapp-back provisions of DMCA? The law has penalties for abuse, use them. They're watered down with wiggle room for "good faith" but there are plenty of cases like this one where there's obviously no good faith, just unleashed attack-dog lawyers who need the law explained in the form of penalties.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:00am

    GoDaddy

    GoDaddy was founded by a lawyer. The entire corporate model amounts to:
    1) Legal stuff (always being in the right)
    2) Salesmanship! (have a problem? buy this service, that will fix it!)
    3) Other stuff (customer service, whatnot)

    Until it is for some reason illegal to pull down somebody's entire website for some bullshit reason, GoDaddy will likely continue to do so on the flimsiest of pretexts--as long as they always appear to be in the "right" (legally speaking).

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    Re: GoDaddy

    I've seen GoDaddy fold like a house of wet cards like this in a gaming community (third party user made content sharing via links, totally bogus DMCA notice).

    All it culminated in was one more lost customer for GoDaddy.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Obligatory Monster satire.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    Polite chuckle.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    cc (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Hold on, was GoDaddy just the address registrar or also the host for the search engine?

    If GoDaddy was only the registrar like TFA seems to suggest, then I don't see how on earth they should accept *any* DMCA requests, let alone take sites offline.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    If GoDaddy was only the registrar like TFA seems to suggest, then I don't see how on earth they should accept *any* DMCA requests, let alone take sites offline.

    Maybe GoDaddy is taking the COICA as a done deal? They must know something we only think we know...

    My Senator apparently co-authored that tripe and does not know IANA or have any inkling of the possible effects this bill may have on DNS as a globally viable naming system.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    Everything after "are not liable" shows up as a link for me when I hover over it.


    Oops. Fixed.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    byte^me (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: GoDaddy

    GoDaddy also shutdown the security email list aggregator site SecLists.org a few years back. Full details can be found at http://seclists.org/nmap-hackers/2007/2.

    Ever since that incident, I refuse to use GoDaddy for anything.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    A question

    Wasn't this the exact thing that Grooveshark won a lawsuit over? Bogus DMCA claims?

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Jeremy7600 (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Yet another reason I won't buy their overpriced and over-engineered crap.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    SlowCanuck, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    I see a lot going after GoDaddy.. but maybe we should be mad at Monster

    Monster Cable can charge $300 for a 12 foot HDMI cable
    and $99 for a 6 foot network cable!!!

    Are they not making enough money? Personally I will never buy any of their crap!!

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    That's why you don't buy domains at Godaddy. They can (and will) suspend it for ridiculous things as saying "Godaddy sucks". Anyone bothered to read their TOS runs away as fast as possible. They are the Nazis of the domain world.

     

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

  16.  
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    framitz (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    Remembering Go Daddy

    My first experience with Go Daddy was several years ago when I was investigating Fake AV sites. At that time 3 of 4 fake AV sites that I investigated were hosted by Go Daddy.

    Since that time I consider Go Daddy to be TOXIC and to be avoided like the plague.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: GoDaddy

    Yeah, I wouldn't use them either knowing what I do.

    It points up flaws in the DMCA takedown system more than the relative spinelessness of a webhost. In my above example, the complaint came from a site that literally has zero copyrights on what they wanted removed (and it was only links anyway, downloading directly from the victimized site was impossible). It was purely an intimidation/silencing/troublemaking measure against a perceived competitor. This good faith claim crap is what's bogus, no proof required unless the victim wants to spend the cash to take it further. It's easier and cheaper to up and leave for better, more secure hosting.

    The penalties for false claims should be much stiffer than they are.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    With such bad faith DMCA takedowns happening so frequently and taking whole businesses offline, I'm still waiting for the issuers of the takedowns to get sued for something like unfair competition or tortious interference.

    Has this already happened in some cases?

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Coward (Anon), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Just one more reason...

    ...why I won't buy anything from Monster or GoDaddy. Both are scum of the earth.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Just one more reason...

    Thats certainly true: GoDaddy is the first choice of spammers for some very good reasons.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Monster Cable

    ... just lost me as their customer.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    "often just to try to get any other company using "Monster" anywhere in its name to pay up"

    What we need to do is create some "open" language, a language released under a license that makes it inabusable to trademark and IP laws. Anything said in that language, any word used in that language, is non trademarkable. You can not, in any way, prevent others from using such words.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 4:06pm

    Ever since I first read of Monster's abuses (I think it involved suing a miniature golf course because it had Monster in it's name), I have never bought another Monster product. I have shared that with other people I know and asked them to not purchase any either.

    That's all apart from their products being overpriced and not substantially any better than a product costing 10% as much.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Andrew F, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Does jaXed have a registered DMCA agent? Does the DMCA mandate delivering a DMCA notice to one agent over another.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Newport Trial Group (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    If you have purchased a 120, 240, or 480 Hz HDMI cable from Monster, you may have certain legal rights based on California Consumer Protection laws. If you would like to learn more about this, please contact Scott Ferrell of Newport Trial Group at info@trialnewport.com. Newport Trial Group, 610 Newport Center Drive, Suite 700, Newport Beach, CA 92660 (949) 706-6464. (commercial announcement).

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Tom, Jan 10th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: I see a lot going after GoDaddy.. but maybe we should be mad at Monster

    Don't Buy OVERPRICED Monster Cable. Get the equivalent cables at about 2% the price at Monoprice.com. All of the HDMI and eSATA cables I've bought there work 100% as well as the Monster cables but I can afford to feed my family too.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    eazyteleshop, Jul 17th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    eazyteleshop

    a place of indian products

     

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


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