Not worth the pain…

I received this in my email this morning:

Dear Tim,

We are contacting you in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy and as a result of having received a complaint in relation to the following content:

Ryoko Kombat : http://www.redbubble.com/works/show/12000184

As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:

  • the relevant content is specifically named;
  • the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and
  • they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by content owner, its agent or the law.

On the basis of that information and in accordance with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we’ve removed the above-mentioned content from Redbubble.

If you believe that removal of the above content is the result of a mistake (for example, that you have authorization to use the relevant content from the content owner) or misidentification, you can send us a counter notice. Such counter notice must provide the following information:

  • an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the relevant matter;
  • a description of the content which we have removed, including the URL on which the content was located on the Redbubble site;
  • your address, telephone number, and email address;
  • a statement by you that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court, Santa Clara County, California, United States and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification described above or an agent of such person;
  • a statement by you that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;

If you would like to send a counter notice please email the required information above to dmca@redbubble.com.

Please note that in some circumstances, if the work does not comply with our User Agreement and/or IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we may not be able to send your counter notice on to the complainant, rather we may inform you at the time of receipt that we cannot reinstate the work. We may also request further information from you in order to determine whether the work can be reinstated.

However, you should be aware that in most circumstances we will inform the complainant that you have provided a counter notice, as well as provide the complainant with a copy of your counter notice, which will include your personal contact information. The complainant will have 14 days to bring legal action against you in the United States. After 14 days, if they do not bring legal action and you would like your content restored to the Redbubble site, you may contact us to request that we reinstate your work. Redbubble may restore the content at that time if it otherwise complies with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Further information regarding Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy can be found here: http://support.redbubble.com/kb/top20/copyright-trademark-and-dmca

Regards, Redbubble Content Team

I hate this sad excuse of a law.

I was just accused of a crime. In the United States of America, when you’re accused of a crime, you have the right to face your accuser. But, we’re dealing with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.  A law that is designed to stifle any type of creativity, despite the silly arguments to the contrary. A law where you’re guilty until found innocent: a direct contradiction to the process of the legal system in the United States for over 200 years. A law where you have no right to know who accused you until you’ve been sued.

And I hate that websites like Redbubble have the audacity to even think that they’re protected by this sad excuse of a law.

Sites like Redbubble are littered by thousands, if not millions, of pieces of art and I dare say that a huge percentage of them are direct and BLATANT copyright violations. These violations (that somehow are ok under this same DMCA that just removed a completely OBVIOUS parody) make Redbubble PILES of money. Redbubble, every time it sells an item with, say a piece of fan art on it, is making money as a facilitator of a crime. They know that the pieces they produce are copyright infringements and they produce and sell them anyhow, making money from the copyright infringing works. A CRIME. Yet they conveniently hide behind U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 512(1)(a):

(a) Transitory Digital Network Communications.— A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the provider’s transmitting, routing, or providing connections for, material through a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider, or by reason of the intermediate and transient storage of that material in the course of such transmitting, routing, or providing connections, if—

(1) the transmission of the material was initiated by or at the direction of a person other than the service provider;

(2) the transmission, routing, provision of connections, or storage is carried out through an automatic technical process without selection of the material by the service provider;

(3) the service provider does not select the recipients of the material except as an automatic response to the request of another person;

(4) no copy of the material made by the service provider in the course of such intermediate or transient storage is maintained on the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to anyone other than anticipated recipients, and no such copy is maintained on the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to such anticipated recipients for a longer period than is reasonably necessary for the transmission, routing, or provision of connections; and

(5) the material is transmitted through the system or network without modification of its content.

I’m sure their rational is “Oh, we’re a ‘service provider’ and we’re not responsible for the stuff people post.”

I call total BS on that one. If you were just a place where people posted things, I could understand it. But if you’re MAKING MONEY on the things people post, you, as a retailer selling copyright infringing materials, are just as guilty if you want to play that game. You can’t hide being Section 512. You’re not a “service provider.” You’re an accomplice. To a crime.

The DMCA is abused. Constantly. And there’s nothing the little guy can do about it. Except give up.