Seems to me most DMCA takedown notices are acted upon pretty swiftly and in favor of the one asserting the copyright infringement. This one went the other way, and the first of its kind to do so. Automattic, Inc., owner of WordPress.com, turned the tables and sued the author of the take-down notice and won on a default judgment.
For the first time, a party which received a DMCA takedown notice with material misrepresentations has been awarded money damages.
Automattic Inc. v. Steiner, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182295 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 6, 2014). Apparently, the court saw through defendant’s attempt to get an offending blog post removed:
[T]here can be no dispute that Defendant knew, and indeed, specifically intended, that the takedown notice would result in the disabling of Hotham’s article…
Magistrate judge Joseph Spero wrote in the opinion.
The take-away from this? Be sure you have a legitimate reason for issuing a DMCA takedown notice. Otherwise, the courts may see through your ruse and you may be slapped with damages.
Joni Mueller has been designing web sites for hire since 2003, when she first blew up her web host’s server by insisting on running Greymatter. Since then, Joni has designed for Blogger and Movable Type, TextPattern, WordPress and CMS Made Simple. She lives with her cat and shoe collection in a bucolic old section of Houston called Idylwood. For some strange reason, Joni likes to refer to herself in the third person. When she’s not working on web design, she’s ordering lawyers around. And blogging about it. Or both.