Citing two recent cases of copyright law abuse, WordPress.com-owner Automattic has announced it’s backing ‘censorship’ victims by filing two lawsuits to deter future misuses.

According to the blog-hosting company, a common form of censorship it encounters relates to the improper use of ‘DMCA’ takedowns – DMCA standing for the ‘Digital Millennium Copyright Act’, a US federal law designed to protect copyright in the Internet age. While Automattic can’t be legally held responsible for copyright infringement if it follows the correct takedown protocol, it does rely on the good faith of copyright owners.

The good folks behind the Retraction Watch and Oliver Hotham blogs, according to Automattic, were both the victims of improper takedown notices. And a legal provision that allows victims of fraudulent DMCA notices recourse is now being tested by the bloggers in question here…backed by the might of Automattic. It says:

We’ve filed two lawsuits for damages under Section 512(f) of the DMCA, which allows for suits against those who ‘knowingly materially misrepresent’ a case of copyright infringement.

While this is about helping the victims in question here, it’s more about the bigger picture – a reminder for “copyright abusers to think twice before submitting fraudulent takedown notices.”

You can read the full WordPress announcement on the link below, and more about the Oliver Hotham case here and Retraction Watch case here.

WordPress.com Blog | Striking Back Against Censorship

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