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Science Your Rights Online

Site Copies Content and Uses the DMCA to Take Down the Original Articles 241

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the everyone's-favorite-law dept.
First time accepted submitter ios and web coder writes "From the article: 'A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher's career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.' This is extremely worrying. Even though the original story is careful not to make accusations, I will. This sure smells like a 'Reputation Defense' dirty trick."
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Site Copies Content and Uses the DMCA to Take Down the Original Articles

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:11PM (#42810021)

    We really have to start requiring the DMCA takedown notice sources to bring the burden of proof, or this will just become business as usual. Particularly as you don't even have to be resident in the country to abuse the system.

    Alternatively, HUGE fines for incorrect takedowns and use of the perjury provisions for submitting an incorrect takedown notice need to be assessed / used. Actually, in a just world, this would be in addition to requiring burden of proof from the takedown notice source.

    Nothing less than our entire culture is at stake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:12PM (#42810035)

    copy content and say its yours,
    now what you have to hope is those indian doctors/engineers didnt do the same on their exams

  • Anti-DMCA activism? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quirkz (1206400) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:12PM (#42810047) Homepage
    Could this also be a case of anti-DMCA activism, where someone is fabricating this scenario just to demonstrate how abusable the system is?

    Of course if it's not, I'm sure this will give some people that kind of idea.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:13PM (#42810061)

    This is absurd. It clearly looks like the Reputation Firm hired by this guy works with some nameless organization in India. For WordPress to honor this DMCA take down request blindly makes me more reluctant to ever use them. Sure I see blog posts hosted by them all the time but seriously why would a reputable organization (if you can call WordPress that) would remove the content without first checking with the blog owners or verifying the claims, then they are truly the bad guys here.

    Is this something where the wayback machine [archive.org] could help?

  • by johnncyber (1478117) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:22PM (#42810201)

    now what you have to hope is those indian doctors/engineers didnt do the same on their exams

    Sadly as somebody who is a CS graduate student at a university whose CS graduate program is dominated by Indian students, I can tell you that this is absolutely the case. They see no problem with cheating, even after the professor has told them that he knows they are cheating and explains the consequences. Doesn't matter if it was homework, projects or tests they always cheat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:32PM (#42810379)

    People in countries outside the jurisdiction of the United States should immediately start issuing as many DMCA notices for *AA works and sites as possible. Flood the system. Let them lost access to their own work using the legal framework they've created. The tail may be long, but the bite still hurts.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:32PM (#42810381) Homepage Journal

    For WordPress to honor this DMCA take down request blindly makes me more reluctant to ever use them.

    This is standard operating procedure for every major website right now. Doing due diligence can land you in legal trouble with the DMCA. The industry wrote the law, why would they add a concept of checks and balances? That's something the congress would have to do, but that's not going to happen when the industry is there reminding them about how expensive elections are and now easy it is for a few major news outlets to pump up some other candidate to oust you in the primary. Many won't even need a reminder because that's how they got the seat in the first place.

  • by Glass Goldfish (1492293) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:40PM (#42810483)
    While this is certainly outrageous behavior, could this lead to the demise of the DMCA? If this practice becomes common, you can certainly see court challenges against the DMCA in the future. If the DMCA can be portrayed as taking away original speech, that would be a direct violation of the freedom of speech in the United States. All it would take is a court to determine that it does not sufficiently safeguard the First Amendment and it could be struck down. It could be re-written, but it wouldn't be as easy to mass issue takedown notices. While I do acknowledge that there is a corporate mindset in the American judiciary, the First Amendment is a very explicit right and this would be an infringement on the property rights of the original creators.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:45PM (#42810541) Homepage Journal

    No proof is required on the side of the claimant, but the accused can immediately lose their stuff.

    A few survivors of home invasions have reported that the killers break in and shout, "Police! This is a raid! Get on the floor with your hands behind your back!" or something similar before executing their victims.

    Now there's an example of a hopelessly broken authentication system - that the same government sets up something similar for duplication of text is hardly surprising.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:54PM (#42810683)

    at what point is someone going to create a random site, copy and paste the contents of the RIAA or MPAA homepages onto it and then file DMCA takedowns on the original sites?

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:56PM (#42810701) Homepage

    "Reputation defense" on Wikipedia has become an issue. Here's a wash cycle [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia, carried out on behalf of Michael Milken, one of the notorious financial crooks of the 1980s. [nytimes.com] ("Biggest fraud case in the history of the securities industry." back in 1990.) He has a self-admitted paid editor on Wikipedia editing his article to make him look good.

  • by mjr167 (2477430) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @02:51PM (#42811491)
    New Orleans had a rash of real cops pulling people over and robbing them...
  • by mrops (927562) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:07PM (#42811749)

    Sounds like Anonymous can have loads of fun with this and point out the ridiculousness of DMCA. Few dozen anonymous activists can create havoc and force congress to think the law again.

    Of fun times.

  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:10PM (#42812629)

    In my experience it's only the top caste Indians that habitually cheat. They feel it's their right. In some American schools that might be all the Guptas.

    Back in India their parents would send a lower caste boy to school with their son as a 'helper'.

    Over hear the trick is to hire the former 'helpers' not the 'Top Brahmen'. I flush them out during interviews by pretending to be a Eurotrash blue blood. That always gets the brahmen to out themselves, with talk of how important their family is. I then don't hire them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:24PM (#42815607)

    This may be an isolated indecent but my company recently hired a Cisco engineer that had quite a few recent Cisco certifications and was previously employed doing router and switch work for a similar sized company. By the third day it was obvious he was TOTALLY clueless, he had no concept of routing or switching. We got rid of him a few days later when he took down our test lab with an STP issue. His initial interview with us about a month earlier was via a video conference at one of our remote US offices and he spoke perfect English. After he was let go it occurred to us that the person we actually just let go spoke broken English. We were we duped.

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