Today in DMCA Being A Great Idea That Is Working Really Well news, the journal-monitoring blog Retraction Watch had 10 of its posts taken down by it’s service provider, WordPress, after being on the receiving end of a meritless DMCA claim from a site that stole their content — and then had the massive stones to claim the copyright on it, demanding that WordPress remove the offending — and oh yeah, original — posts from Retraction Watch. Because the DMCA is working just the way it’s meant to, is why.
WordPress, which powers a good chunk of the Internet — including Geekosystem and our sibling sites — received a claim from upstanding news site NewsBulet.in claiming the copyright on 10 posts about Anil Potti, a cancer researcher with 19 retracted papers and counting. Of course, NewBulet.in had lifted these posts word for word from their original home at Retraction Watch and posted them on their site. Apparently under the impression that plagiraism wasn’t bad enough, though, they made the call to add injury to insult, demanding that WordPress 86 the posts they had plagiarized.
That WordPress — or Automattic, the company that owns the blogging service — rolled over in disappointing, but unsurprising. It’s much easier to take down a blog post than it is to confirm or deny a DMCA claim, and doing things right takes time and effort. After all, why expend either when it’s so much more convenient to do the convenient, sloppy, inaccurate thing that offends your customers and kicks sand in the face of common sense and basic decency?
And while we’re on the subject, Retraction Watch — run by Reuters health editor Ivan Oransky and science journalist Adam Marcus — is an excellent blog for keeping abreast of retractions and corrections in scientific and medical journals , which are more common than you might think. If anything good can come out of this dumb mess, it’s that more people will get exposed to the excellent — if a bit inside baseball — work the two do on the site.
- Take down your own links? Well, if you insist, HBO…
- Educating yourself? not if DMCA has anything to say about it