Someone Under Federal Indictment Impersonates A Journalist To File Bogus DMCA Notice

from the system-still-works! dept

Everyone's favorite abusable statute is back at it. Anyone can file a DMCA takedown request. Not everyone gets theirs granted. But it's a zero-cost, mostly-zero risk effort that takes about five minutes from start to finish. It's no wonder it's been abused by a handful of ex-cons and, very memorably, by a revenge porn purveyor who suddenly developed concerns about personal privacy.

In this case, it's someone named in an Albuquerque Journal article about a federal fraud indictment. The most obvious pick would be the couple named early on in the article by Nicole Perez: Michael Jacobs and/or Ruth Handler-Jacobs. But there are others listed as well, co-conspirators Rienzie Edwards (of Sri Lanka), F.K. Ho (a broker located in Singapore), and a couple of other Americans, Laurence Lester and Rachel Gendrau.

It could be any one of these people (though the fractured English in the takedown request would seem to point overseas), but there's no way to know for sure because the DMCA notice is clearly falsely filed in the name of the journalist who wrote the article. This appropriation of someone else's name and profession leads to one of the most unlikely claims ever made in a DMCA notice: that journalists refer to publishing articles as "posting a content."

Here's the whole BS claim:

I am Nicole Perez. I posted a content about Michael Jacobs's fraud cases on abqjournal.com. I personally investigated that my original content is copied and posted on different websites. I contacted the webmaster team of the websites to remove it, but did not get any positive response. I request you to remove it from online searches.

It's extremely likely none of what's said here is true, starting with the name used. I find it incredibly hard to believe someone impersonating a journalist "contacted webmasters" to have these articles removed. (The lack of positive response is the only believable part, but that relies on the original contact taking place.) It's even harder to believe when one of the websites is the Albuquerque Journal's Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/TheAlbuquerqueJournal/posts/10154300263908237

It's impossible to believe when one of the targeted URLs is the DOJ's indictment press release.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-charges-against-six-individuals-international-high

Others targeted include Ripoff Report, Courthouse News Service, and Sri Lankan news site The Sunday Times. The inclusion of this site shifts the needle of blame towards Reinzie Edwards. This story includes a photo of Edwards as well as details of his run-ins with local authorities over apparent financial fraud.

Again, nothing can be said conclusively about the origin of this DMCA notice, other than it obviously wasn't Nicole Perez, who would likely prefer her "content" to be spread as far as possible across the internet. The people written about, not so much. When you're already facing federal fraud charges, what's a little perjury?

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Filed Under: censorship, copyright, dmca, takedowns


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 May 2017 @ 12:18pm

    What (who) is the Sri Lankan equivalent to Barbara Streisand?

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

  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 23 May 2017 @ 1:10pm

    Looking forward to a lucrative retirement career buffing up the English in bogus DMCA takedown requests. No one need know you have no legitimate interests to protect. Asian and Eastern European pigeon-syntax a specialty! Call today, and I'll tweak the Nigerian twang out of your 419 letters, too.

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

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 23 May 2017 @ 5:33pm

    When I first read the title, I thought what the hell is John Steele up to this time?

    But this article does raise a question for all those "take down and stay down" supporters. What's going to be the recourse if somebody falsely claims to be from a big media label and demands that the content be removed from the big media company website?

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

  • icon
    Damien Bizeau (profile), 23 May 2017 @ 9:17pm

    Legitimate anti digital piracy reporting of mine.

    Am in a case which started in December 2003; in early 2004 I reported to NASA digital piracy via pseudonymous peer to peer file sharing and bootlegging acts. Being primarily a musician who has quite a few personal music creations works to his background I belong mainly to the artists' category who don't see how piracy could actually be good for the sake of the music industry: digital piracy of music is a growing issue causing constantly losses of revenues globally; let's not forget it. Since I didn't have any contract with the authorities in charge of investigating my anti digital piracy lead and because prosecution for my case did not happen because the piracy acts were impossible to verify technically, I think I possibly would have been better off just gambling at the casino for a living LOL.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2017 @ 2:21am

    Wow, look at that! Another instance of DMCA notice abuse. It's almost as if a system that doesn't have any incentive or punishment to discourage abuse will... routinely be abused. How shocking!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2017 @ 5:05am

    Ahh well NASA was very busy doing space-stuff in 2004. Taht may have been your problem.

    https://science.nasa.gov/about-us/organization-and-leadership/accomplishments/2004-year-in-r eview

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

    • icon
      Damien Bizeau (profile), 24 May 2017 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      After reading your post on NASA's high busyness back in 2004 I thought immediately there still might be an important need for improvement in terms of mutual respect over IP and Copyrights across sectors or industries with different/separate main interests; I believe I am being polite here. Best, Damien Y. Bizeau.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2017 @ 11:14am

        Re: Re:

        ahh well it was supposed to be in reply to Damien Bizeau's comment..
        "Am in a case which started in December 2003; in early 2004 I reported to NASA digital piracy via pseudonymous peer to peer file sharing and bootlegging acts. "

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

        • identicon
          Damien Y. Bizeau, 27 May 2017 @ 3:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It may be too that as an artist my case hurt me a lot and made me sick. This morning I woke up thinking a man may suffer from an illness but have his symptoms totally rejected by certain US Government employees. In 2004 my issues with NASA lead me to incarceration at the mental health program of a Maryland correctional facility, this for me having sent faxes; few days after I got there my father died from a heart attack just after having learned it...my problem may be additionally that I miss my father and don't accept his death don't you think?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2017 @ 5:23am

    Its not the tool its the person that uses it.

    Thats your excuse for torrents so why not cut dmca the same slack?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2017 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      Have torrents been cut the same slack as the DMCA has?

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 24 May 2017 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re:

        "Hey, I didn't mean to download all those songs that I don't own, I just set my bot to download files that fit certain criteria and it happened to flag and download those, completely without my input!"

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

        • identicon
          Damien Y. Bizeau, 27 May 2017 @ 2:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The problem you are describing seems to constitute an odd coincidence to me.

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

          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 28 May 2017 @ 4:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

            He was quoting what an imaginary person being charged with copyright violation over downloaded songs might say, with the phrasing chosen to point out the problems with bots that automatically file DMCA notices against URLs that meet certain criteria.

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

  • icon
    cKarlGo (profile), 24 May 2017 @ 8:15am

    Well...

    Well, people have been impersonating journalists at Fox News for decades and nobody has done anything about it, so what's one more?

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

  • icon
    Damien Bizeau (profile), 24 May 2017 @ 10:37am

    Your post.

    I personally impersonated no journalist from any employer/publisher. I don't feel concerned about your opinion; thank you for your good understanding. Game over.

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


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