Big studios like Lionsgate are using thing like DMCA to bully little people around. I am including myself in the “little people”. Here is my story.. that you won’t find on the internet because Lionsgate filed a FALSE claim against this site.
As most of you know I mainly use this site to share information about my time being a Google Glass Explorer. There is other miscellaneous content as well. One of the tools that I employ is something called IFTTT, If This Then That. It is handy utility that allows me to post something one time and have it show up on multiple different platforms.
August 1st 2015
One of the IFTTT recipies I utilize is a script that says IF “Google Glass” is mentioned on Mashable.com THEN post the information on my site. The reason I set up this script was all so I could keep track of articles being written about Google Glass. Well my little automated script found “Google Glass” in an article on Mashable about Lionsgate going after pirates of their movie. Original story on Mashable.
Here is a screenshot of the article as it was seen on my website. I have since taken down the article for the purposes of having my site indexed again.
August 10th 2015
Lionsgate studios files DMCA take down notices against sites distributing Expendables 3 … but not just sites illegally distributing the movie. They also filed take down notices against everyone that mentioned they were coming after the pirates. Way to shut down freedom of speech Lionsgate studio!
Here is a link to the notice they filed. As you can clearly see they mostly report the offending URL but for some reason they submitted the root domain lizagere.com. So they have cut off all search traffic to my domain from Google because I just spoke about them going after pirates. I am being treated like a pirate for doing nothing wrong!
As you can see unlike other domains they submitted my whole domain!
By submitting my root domain they made it impossible for me to use the automated form Google provides. How can I remove a root domain?!
August 14th 2015
I received this email from Google.
Webmaster Tools sent you the following important messages about sites in your account. To keep your site healthy, we recommend regularly reviewing these messages and addressing any critical issues.
Notice of DMCA removal from Google Search
Google has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that some of your materials allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. The URLs of the allegedly infringing materials may be found at the end of this message. The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, may be found at http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=1932198.
Please note that it may take several weeks for the notice to be posted on the above page.
The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. We are in the process of removing from our Google Search results the materials that allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. See http://chillingeffects.org/dmca512/faq.cgi for more information about the DMCA, and see http://www.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1114905 for the process that Google requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.
If you feel that your sites or pages were mistakenly removed due to a DMCA request filed against you, or you have taken the necessary steps to remove the infringing content, Google can reinstate these materials into its search results upon receipt of either a DMCA Counter Notification form, or a Content Removed form.
To request reinstatement for a URL where the allegedly infringing content is still available, please fill out our DMCA Counter Notification form:
If you have removed the allegedly infringing content, you may fill out our Content Removed Notification form:
If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel. If you have any other questions about this notification, please let us know.
The affected URLs are listed below:
The Google Team
This email wasn’t discovered until a few weeks after I received it. So I immediately submitted a counter response to Google. By submitting a request for reinstatement I also had to agree to deal with this in court if Lionsgate still accuses me of piracy.
September 14th 2015
I submitted a request for reinstatement of my domain to Google Search and this was the response:
Thanks for reaching out to us!
We have received your legal request. We receive many such complaints each day; your message is in our queue, and we’ll get to it as quickly as our workload permits.
Due to the large volume of requests that we experience, please note that we will only be able to provide you with a response if we determine your request may be a valid and actionable legal complaint, and we may respond with questions or requests for clarification. For more information on Google’s Terms of Service, please visit http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS
The Google Team
October 6th 2015
I received this follow up from Google:
Thanks for Reaching out to us.
As described in 17 U.S.C. 512(g), we will forward the counter notification to the complainant. If we do not receive notice that the complainant has brought a court action within 10 to 14 days, we will reinstate the material in question.
October 23rd 2015
So now I wait. Maybe at this very moment Lionsgate studios is going to file a lawsuit against me for something I had zero part it. I can also prove this as I have all the traffic files from the web server since it was first turned on.
This is a prime example of abuse of power. Everyone said this wouldn’t happen when the DMCA was passed in congress. So I ask, where are my rights?
Where is my right to free speech? Why didn’t the studio contact me or have to provide some sort of request or even show a burden of proof that I had done something wrong. Also if I had contemplated distribution of pirated material I most definitely would not have used my personal web site that has my very name in the domain. That would just be idiotic. Also why did they submit my whole domain? Does someone at the studio have a personal vendetta against me?
Here is another piece of irony. Anyone that knows me can attest to the fact that I don’t watch many movies. I never download them off the internet. Every once in a while I will watch a movie on Netflix but even that is rare. If I am in front of my TV it is to play video games as I much prefer an interactive experience. My friends find it impossibly hilarious that I got accused of pirating movies. Here is another fact: I haven’t even seen the movie “The Expendables 3”! Nor will I ever.
I know I am just one small consumer among many but now I am going to let my voice be heard. I will no longer watch any Lionsgate content! Maybe just maybe some other people out there will vote with their dollars as well.
SAY NO TO EVILCORP! #LionsgateGate
Lesson: Say the words Lionsgate and piracy in the same sentence and you will be made to pay!