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Wordpress hits false DMCA takedown with demand for $10k

Sues for compensation
Mon Jun 16 2014, 09:39
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BLOGGING OUTFIT Wordpress is standing up for one of its users who lost content to a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request and demanding $10,000 in damages.

Torrentfreak reports that the blog provider believes it can prove that the takedown notice was false, and wants satisfaction in the courts.

The company has already spoken out against censorship and the reach of DMCA takedown requests, and last autumn it reported two bogus takedown requests and rallied its users against them.

"The mission of is to democratise publishing," wrote Wordpress general counsel Paul Sieminski then.

"One area where we've seen a number of problems is the censoring of criticism through abuse of copyright law.... A common form of censorship by copyright stems from improper use of legal creations called DMCA takedown notices. The DMCA system works pretty well, but has a few overlooked flaws that have made it too easy to abuse."

Torrentfreak reports that Wordpress has revisited this theme in a trip to the California courts. There, it and blogger Oliver Hotham, who is mentioned in the earlier blog post, will fight a lawsuit over a DMCA takedown notice on a reported, correct comment that the quoted source did not like and wanted removed.

"The information in the press release that Hotham published on his blog did not infringe any copyright because Hotham had permission to publish it. It was a press release, which by its very nature conveys the intent to 'release' information to the 'press'," said Wordpress in its complaint.

"[The] fraudulent takedown notice forced Wordpress to take down Hotham's post under threat of losing the protection of the DMCA safe harbor."

The website is asking for $10,000 in compensation for Hotham. µ


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