I totally support every company’s right to go after those distributing their content by unauthorized means, but they must do it within the law. Unfortunately Lynda.com has hired a shell company “IP Arrow” to handle their takedowns, and that company is doing Lynda a great disservice by issuing bogus DMCA takedowns. (This is illegal but never prosecuted.)
Here’s the relevant part of Mike Masnicks take-down of IP Arrow’s bogus background and business practices. I find it a pity that Lynda.com would continue to support the work of someone who apparently still owes a $15 million judgement against him to the MPAA – for a warz site he used to run. That’s right, an “anti-piracy” organization run by someone proven to be a pirate.
For background, a bogus DMCA takedown notice will result in a site – doing absolutely nothing wrong – is taken off the internet. I know if that happened to me, I’d be taking up my rights to sue for the bogus takedown. The copyright system will remain broken until the penalties for a bogus takedown are the same as for the piracy. They both damage businesses, but damaging unrelated and innocent businesses is shameful and I believe even worse. Particularly when Lynda.com now knows they are supporting an organization that is ruining other businesses.
Shame Lynda.com, shame. Here’s the relevant section of the article.
Lynda.com, Zuffa and Liongate seem perfectly OK with IP Arrow (and Morganelli) sending out DMCA notices claiming ownership of other companies’ content. I contacted all three but only heard back from one: Lynda.com.
On the 19th, I spoke briefly with David Glaubke, Director of Corporate Communications for Lynda.com. He asked what I thought was going on and I told him that it looked like IP Arrow was running a rather lousy bot/crawler and not vetting the results before firing off DMCA notices — notices that are sworn statements that the company named owns the content listed. And presumably, Lynda.com was paying IP Arrow to issue false statements in its name.
He assured me that his CTO and IT team were looking into the issue and that he would get back to me with any further comments or statements.
This statement, emailed to me a day after our phone conversation, appears to be Lynda.com’s final word on the subject.
lynda.com retains the services of IP Arrow as a part of the company’s on-going anti-piracy program to mitigate the illegal download of our intellectual property on torrent sites. On our behalf, IP Arrow issues batch DMCA takedown notifications for links to directories containing our content. Those links often contain keywords designed to drive traffic to adult or illegal material in directories that happen to also contain lynda.com videos. Many of the URLs highlighted in this TechDirt story, implied to be targets of erroneous takedowns, at one time contained our files but no longer do.