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WordPress Reports Surge in 'Abusive' DMCA Notices

Posted by: , 15:29 AEST, Tue September 12, 2017

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Number of total requests more than double, but number of legitimate requests actually down due to DMCA abuse
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The company behind the massively popular WordPress platform has also been subject to a massive spike in received DMCA take down notices, and unfortunately, most of them appears to be bogus.

Automattic, the makers of WordPress, has previously called for the introduction of statutory damages for sending incomplete or false DMCA notices, anticipating the future headache of service providers who are forced to deal with thousands of notices, most of which are created by automated bots.

Their apprehension at that time now appears to have merit, as the company reported a huge surge in the number of DMCA notices it has received the first half of 2017, double that from the same period a year ago.

Worst of all, 78% of these notices were rejected on the grounds of them being incomplete, or in many cases, abusive of the DMCA legislation used to protect copyrighted works online.

Despite the number of notices more than doubling, the number of legitimate notices actually dropped. This is because Automattic rejected "only" 42% of notices last year, compared to 78% this year.

Fortunately for users of Automattic's services, including the hosted WordPress platform, the company still goes through each and every take-down request (that's 9,273 of them, for the first half of 2017 alone) manually to weed out the bad ones. Not all service providers do this, and instead use automated means to process these requests and remove content, leading to many cases of false positives.

The high number of invalid DMCA requests are due to the increasing use of automated bots to locate and compile these requests, and also increasingly, the abusive use of the DMCA take-down process to silence critics or stifle competition.

[via TorrentFreak]


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