Abstract Sequential Stephanie Hobson's abstract thoughts in the sequence she has them.

Imperfect Pitch

There’s been a lot of talk about copyright in Canada lately since we’ve been trying to perfect the updates the Conservatives are pitching to our outdated copyright legislation – so reading about Jeremy’s copyright woes in his recent post Perfect Pitch really struck a chord.

He discovered a page in The Sessions’s discussion form about perfect pitch had been removed from Google search results due to a copyright infringement accusation by a company that makes a product called Perfect Pitch – the page isn’t about the product and, in fact, barely mentions it. So there wasn’t a copyright infringement but fighting it might require someone to show up in a California court room.

The usual method for dealing with DMCA complaints is to contact the ISP, not search engines. So why did this company without a valid complaint go to Google? Well, one goes to Google to get sites removed from search results. Maybe… search results where it is pushing down your company’s results?

Screen capture of search results for perfect pitch - showing DMCA take down notice.

We don’t know, we don’t have the full story here, but it wouldn’t be the first time a DMCA has been filed to remove content which isn’t infringing on anyone’s copyrights. It happened to political videos during the US Presidential elections and it scares me.

This is a poignant example of why we need to think our new legislation through very carefully, and why I support a “notice and notice” system instead of the DMCA’s “notice and take down” one.

UPDATE: The Perfect Pitch people contacted Jeremy with an explanation and are attempting to reverse their submission. It was laziness, not malice, which in some ways makes it even scarier.