DMCA Defender – Big Fat Warning!

Today I received the following email:

Contact Information:
DMCA Defender
1100 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106

Department and / or Legal Support,
We are writing on behalf of our client. Note that this communication is in reference to a serious legal issue. You are the owner or hosting company to:

The website mentioned above is violating the copyrights of our client. Our client is the copyright owner of the images being infringed:
We are writing to inform you that our client owns the copyright to all images listed above. We are asking that all of the copyright protected images be removed from the sites listed above, as well as completely removed from their servers immediately. The images are private works created by our clients. No person or entity may copy, publish or distribute the work privately without the written authorization of our client. Our client chooses to exercise their right to keep their work private.

The following information is provided for the purpose of removing web content that allegedly infringes our copyright by the Law of Copyright in the Digital Millennium. We appreciate your application of the law of copyright and the support of our rights in this matter.

This is an official notification under the provisions of Section 512 (c) of the Act on Copyright in the Digital Millennium (“DMCA”) to effect the removal of the violations reported. We request that you immediately sends a cancellation message as specified in RFC 1036 and immediately cease the use of the infringing photographs and videos to your servers. Please note that the law requires you, as a service provider, to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the images upon receipt of this notification. Failure to comply may result in loss of immunity from liability under the DMCA.

We have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of herein is not authorized by our client, the owner of the copyright, or the law.

The information provided here is correct to the best of our knowledge. We swear under penalty of perjury that legally represent the official holder of the copyright.

Please send to the email address indicated below a quick response indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter. Thank you for your help!

/ S / Regina Moore

This email is so absurd that I simply have to respond to it in public.

  1. Who is your client or actual owner of the material in question?  If you want to claim copyright infringement that would be a quite important piece of information.
  2. The page listed didn’t exist at the time I received this email.  My guess would be the owner of the site in question removed it as a result of a polite request or it was simply removed from SpankWiki because the content had already been removed.
  3. No images was ever hosted on SpankWiki’s servers, so it is quite insane to request removal.
  4. RFC 1036 deals with cancellation requests on USENET.  Now, the administrator of SpankWiki is actually old enough to remember what USENET was and it is completely irrelevant to this situation.
  5. You keep referring to “the law”.  DMCA is an American legislation and it is completely and utterly irrelevant for SpankWiki or any other entity that operates in the European Union.
  6. You write: “We swear under penalty of perjury that legally represent the official holder of the copyright”.  I am not a native English speaker, but I do not understand that sentence.  Please fix your grammar.
  7. Only action I have taken is to make this information public.  Only thing you have done is to request removal of a page that does not exist.

My problem with an email such as this is that I am sure DMCA Defender is charging their clients quite an absurd amount of money (according to a post on Yahoo that is US$ 200) and that, in my personal opinion, is pretty close to being fraudulent.

Who in their right mind would pay someone to send out template letters such as the above and that is ALL that DMCA Defender is doing.  They did not bother to check if the page had been removed, they did not bother to check if SpankWiki was under American jurisdiction and they are quoting standards that have been largely irrelevant for the past 15 years.

Now, I am quite certain DMCA Defender will either ignore this response completely or they will go ballistic with all kinds of legal threats.  Rest assured that I will post any updates here.  Meanwhile, the following video is quite appropriate:

//SpankWiki Administrator

Update 1:

Just received the following reply:

How professional of you. 😉

The fact is that when you link to video clips the thumbnails to the video WHICH WERE ON YOUR SERVER, violate the rights of the copyright owner. If it’s on your server, you host it. Read a book.

Regina Moore

Dear Regina,

Yes, my reply was quite professional and you pretty much ignored all of the relevant parts.  The fact is you asked for a non-existent page to be removed, but even if the page had been removed, no copyrighted contents were actually hosted on my server.  No amount of capitalization is going to change that fact.

I am struggling to figure out what is the relevance of my reading habits.  I am currently reading Neal Stephenson’s amazing Cryptonomicon if that can help you.

Since you seem to possess quite an in-depth technical knowledge, could you please explain to me the relevance of RFC 1036 from your original email.  I quite frankly don’t get it.

//SpankWiki Administrator

Update 2:

I just noticed this:

It would appear that DMCA Defender copied that sample email word for word, except modifying a few paragraphs and introducing a few grammatical errors in the process.

So, they are charging $200 to send a template email they didn’t even bother to write themselves.  Hilarious.