Using a DMCA takedown to censor SOPA/PIPA arguments

SOPA burningflickr/Yogesh Mhatre

Techdirt finds that a popular post outlining the problems with SOPA/PIPA cut from Google search listings by a protest from the porn industry.

From the DMCA Abuse department at Techdirt comes the story of how their "Definitive Post" on why SOPA and PIPA are bad ideas, with 327 comments, disappeared from Google's search listings. Turns out a DMCA takedown notice hired gun Armovore listed their post as number 253 in a list of 555 instances of copyright abuse. Google, restrained by DMCA, eliminated the post but put their notice explaining why, along with the official complaint. This allowed Techdirt to find out what happened.

No, Techdirt didn't include stolen porn photos in their anti-SOPA and PIPA explanation. But Paper Street Cash included them in their complaint in support of their website TeamSkeet. Purely accidental? Perhaps, but the takedown order was filed on January 20, the day SOPA supporters waved the white flag. Fans of coincidence hiding conspiracies should be delighted. At least the post is back up after Google's review of the takedown notice.

The system is broken

Don't settle. We need precedent.

Anonymous Coward on

I wonder if they've simply done a search (presumably on Google) for certain terms (possibly including "torrent" and "innocent", both of which appear in the Independent article) and submitted that list to Google.

Duke on

And this is why there needs to be automatic punishment of bogus DMCA claims, once they have to pay when they screw up they might actually try and do a much better job.

That_Anonymous_Coward on

What I read between the lines: The MAFIAA is setting up porn companies in order to use them to discredit opponents through bogus DMCA take down notices.

Anonymous Coward on

The fact that Google was notified, while Techdirt was not is extremely dubious in itself.

saulgoode on

The system works

Someone tried to give them the soft-SOPA!

SoItBegins on

This would be a great case study; see how the DMCA provisions for wrongful takedowns play out. Couldn't be better subject matter.

GMacGuffin on

It's good that the US is still the land of "Innocent until proven guilty" and not vice-versa or even secretly guilty while it's convenient.

mindstab on


Abusive Copyright used to censor articles on Copyright Abuse!

Lobo Santo on

I think the copymight maximalists really believe they have the 'right' to own ideas in perpetuity. I suppose they look at limited copymight terms, fair use, and the public domain as encroachments on their divine right to control other people's thoughts.

Marja Erwin on

The DMCA complaint on behalf of Paper Street Cash also ordered one of their own websites taken down for infringement. Either these guys are clueless or the DMCA system is rife with abuse. Or both.

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