by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, dmca, photo, takedown


GoDaddy Takes Down Entire Site Of Copyright Attorney/Photographer Over Bogus DMCA Claim

from the life-under-SOPA dept

As much as I appreciate and highlight the importance of the DMCA's safe harbors, there remain many troubling parts of the law. The notice and takedown process is particularly questionable, in that it involves shooting first and asking questions later. When we're dealing with a system that gets so many false notices, taking down first seems kind of crazy. David Canton points us to the news of a copyright lawyer and photographer, who had her entire site shut down by GoDaddy (of course), after it received a single, totally bogus, DMCA claim. Apparently someone claimed copyright on a photograph that the blogger, Carolyn Wright, had taken herself. The DMCA claim was just wrong. And while GoDaddy is required to remove the specific infringing content if it wishes to retain safe harbor protections, it appears to have gone way beyond that in shutting the entire site down. Thankfully the situation was resolved when Wright reached out to the person sending the letter, who apologized and withdrew the claim.

That said, get ready for this kind of story becoming a lot more common if SOPA or PROTECT IP becomes law. Totally bogus takedowns happen all the time under the DMCA but are usually (though not in this case, apparently) limited specifically to the infringing content. Under SOPA you'll see a lot more drastic action, cutting off sites from ad revenue or payment processing -- with no requirement to turn them back on, even if a counternotice is filed. This is exactly why a private "notice" provision in SOPA is so scary.

Reader Comments

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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Nov 2011 @ 10:29am

    Let the punishment fit the crime.

    She has been on TechDirt before.
    She was the one saying Google was forcing her client to put the notice on Chilling Effects or not get the material taken down. g-dmca-to-chillingeffects.shtml

    This is what we call a callback.

    So I am guessing her radical approach to panic first, figure out what was actually said second might have earned her a fan.

    We shut her up in 3 posts, because she refused to back up the claims she was making about what "really" happened to her client.

    Given her questionable understanding of DMCA notices and the law, I would not be surprised she sent someone a nastygram that backfired.

    I remember digging into the "evil things" Google was doing to her poor client, He didn't want people to know he was removing a photo someone was using on Google+.

    I stick with the original protip assessment -
    Protip - Never take legal advice from a lawyer who pimps her photo sales on her website?

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