When NOT to File a DMCA Notice

Ben Sheffner, on his excellent Copyrights and Campaigns blog, outlines the story of an Australian photographer Ted Szukalski, who took a picture of a picture of a homeless man shining a woman’s shoes. Much to his understandable chagrin, the photo was later altered, though by whom seems to be unclear, to put Barack Obama’s face on the shoe shiner and Sarah Palin’s face on the woman.

This led the photographer, to file a takedown notice with a blogger, Patrick Frey of Patterico.com, to have the image removed. This despite the fact that Frey was neither the original one to alter the image and was, in fact, using it to discuss the stir the image had caused.

Frey has since refused to remove the post and has actually posted the image again in the discussion about his refusal to remove it.

This case is a classic example of a DMCA notice gone wrong. Such notices are designed to compel hosts and search engines to disable access to infringing material to keep their safe harbor, however that was not the case with this notice — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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