Designer Knockoff Enthusiast Issues DMCA Notice Targeting Half The Internet, Fails To Remove A Single URL
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed,-repeat-yourself-ad-nauseum dept
Eva Knox runs a site dedicated to the discussion of knockoff designer goods. This is probably not the best launching pad for infringement accusations, but whatever. Knox is a very prolific issuer of DMCA takedown notices. She issued 276 notices over a two-week period in May, targeting (used only in the vaguest sense) over 8,500 URLs.
Her fourth notice was a monster: 486 URLs targeted. How many did Google delist? ZERO.
Knox went after everybody, claiming somewhat incomprehensibly that some sort of infringement was happening, possibly due to "hacking."
The article that was published on my blog together with the layout and design features of my blog have been copied and published elsewhere to manipulate Search Engine results and to redirect traffic to another website. A snippet of the article I wrote and published on my blog and that was copied and published on a hacked website can be found below: "Do You Only Love It Because You Can’t Afford It? There’s a reason that I wholeheartedly say ‘I love replica handbags’, and it’s not just the price point. Replica is created because someone wants to buy it, not because some designer skipped his morning coffee and went a little haywire with his designs! Now don’t get offended we have all seen the ugly Frankenstein creations that some of our favourite designers have turned out. My haute couture senses are tingling. This clutch is a little on the ‘arty’ side, so perhaps I can give designer Kathleen Dustin a break and … oh, pardon? What was that you said? You’ve made a clutch shaped like an artichoke and you’d like me to pay exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege of storing my car keys and in a vegetable? Right" Please note that some webpages appearing in Google’s search results, and presently notified, have been hacked in order to redirect to other websites.Who did she claim was copying and publishing her work, either intentionally or through "hacked webpages?" Well, Techdirt was named twice, for two posts having nothing to do with knockoff handbags or anything listed in her takedown notice.
That's how I came across the DMCA notice. But it's not just Techdirt being accused of infringement. It's a veritable cross-section of the internet. Personal blogs, dodgier fashion sites and a variety of established internet entities were listed in her takedown notice. Here's a short list of some of the more notable inclusions:
Archive.org (targeting five books archived in .txt format)Now, not only does the DMCA takedown target sites that don't contain anything approaching the disputed content (not even in the form of "CHEAP DESIGNER REPLICA BAG" spam comments), but in some cases asks for the takedown of entire sites, rather than individual posts. Of the 14 URLs listed at Wordpress.com, five ask for the takedown of entire blogs. Another site is targeted for the delisting of search results for eleven different individual letters. (ex: "http://sitesrv.tank.jp/css/us/brands/Babyliss/?Search=Y")
Barnes & Noble
New York Times
Nothing about the takedown notices makes sense, much less Knox's decision to keep issuing them after going 0-486 on her fourth request. She doesn't seem to be deterred in the slightest, despite a success rate of only about 20%.
I'm not sure how Knox's internet works, but here in the unhacked world, nearly everything she has asked to be delisted doesn't infringe on her blog posts.
But that's only the tip of the WTF iceberg. Eva Knox has also targeted her own website for delisting 55 times, with one takedown notice asking for the removal of 23 of her own posts.
On top of that, this same takedown request asks for the removal of two of her previous takedown requests (as spotbags.cn) at Chilling Effects. This is something she has done repeatedly -- although it's tough to tell whether this is an attempt to bury her notices or just another fundamental misunderstanding of her search results.
WAIT. THERE'S MORE.
Knox is also apparently issuing takedown requests under the name "Aida Brown," targeting 1,900 URLs with 58 notices. If this isn't her real name (and information on her website leads me to believe it isn't), then this is plain old perjury.
I've reached out to Knox for some clarification as to how she comes to the conclusion that all these sites are ripping off her content. I'm not really expecting an answer. Someone is seeing something very strange on their end of the internet but I have a feeling this "proprietary view" won't be shared with the rest of us. Strangely, her blog posts are competently written and she's very responsive in her comment section, so this doesn't seem to be "crazy person has keyboard" sort of thing. But there's no logical connection between the requests and the posts targeted, other than discussions of replica designer goods, at best. Many of those targeted in the 0-486 takedown notice aren't even remotely connected to the blog post in question.
I'll update if more information comes my way. In the meantime, everyone's welcome to play Internet Detective and compile their own theories.