Wordpress Names and Shames Ridiculous Takedown Requests

By Gary Cutlack on at

Wordpress owner Automattic has been quietly raging against some of the more creative abuses of the DMCA takedown procedures and general attempts to control the internet, maintaining a "Hall of Shame" tag on its official blog to out some of the worst attempts to get it to remove content.

One I've been on the end of is featured, too. Portakabin really hates it when people use the brand name Portakabin to refer to any old prefabricated building, so much so that it sends out emails to authors asking them to edit copy and remove the word Portakabin should the writer have actually been talking about a non-branded rival moveable shed. Imagine that being your job.

The Wordpress maker, back in 2014, outlined a case where Portakabin had seemingly bullied a blogger into deleting their entire site with a legally threatening email, then asked Wordpress' bosses to have even the offending URL and holding page deleted -- because the URL and its use of the word "portacabin" was deemed a breach of a trademark.

Wordpress said no, which is nice of it. Other entries under the Hall of Shame tag archive include one where Subaru claimed trademark infringement and cybersquatting because someone entered one of its own competitions and talked about the brand, the case of a copyright holder who received an automated takedown request for his own content, and a request by Janet Jackson's people to have that famous wardrobe malfunction photo removed from the internet for about the 1,000,000th time. [Hall of Shame]

Image credit: Not a Portakabin from Shutterstock


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