Fox Uses Bogus DMCA Claims To Censor Cory Doctorow's Book About Censorship

from the but-of-course dept

Torrentfreak has discovered that News Corp's Fox studios has been sending DMCA notices taking down Cory Doctorow's latest book, Homeland, which is available under a Creative Commons (Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs) license, and can be freely shared. The issue? Fox is trying to take down unauthorized copies of its TV show that goes by the same name. And, in its rush to take down anything and everything that might possibly be its TV show, Doctorow's authorized novel is collateral damage. The really crazy thing is that it should be obvious to any human looking over these takedowns that it's not the TV show, as all of the links tend to have Doctorow's name in them:
This is not a one-off thing. It is happening over and over and over and over and over again. It's also worth pointing out that the actual takedowns are being sent by DTecNet. The same DTecNet that powers the infamous six strikes copyright alert system. I wonder if anyone's been getting any strikes for downloading Cory's novel....

When TorrentFreak asked Doctorow for comment, he joked, "I think you can safely say I’m incandescent with rage. BRING ME THE SEVERED HEAD OF RUPERT MURDOCH!" But, perhaps there's a more serious response. In response to Doctorow tweeting about this last week, Paul Levy from Public Citizen -- famous for defending people on the internet (including, at times, us) from bad things -- responded by asking Doctorow if he wanted to litigate.
Stay tuned, because this might get interesting. Considering that these takedowns are happening at a critical moment for the book, just as it's been launched, a very strong argument can be made that Fox has created tremendous damage for Doctorow and the success of the book. While the few attempts to go after those who send bogus DMCA takedowns haven't had much success, an argument could be made that Doctorow's situation presents a much stronger case.

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 23 Apr 2013 @ 2:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not necessarily, although he wouldn't be able to use the idiotic "I'll assume that my losses are equal to full retail price x number of copies downloaded" used by the corporates. Doctorow does make money from his books, he just gives people to option to access a free copy. I'd presume that he'd be able to use figures from previous releases under the same model. plus, he makes income from speaking on copyright issues, etc. He could conceivably claim damages there if his reputation has been damaged by takedowns on his work without his permission.

    Sadly, it's not only tough, but a direction he's unlikely to follow, since he's someone that doesn't depend on court action and fantasy figures to make a living. A pity, because what's really needed is some push back from the people being negatively affected by the corporate push to "protect" their product at all costs.

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