Ares Rights Adopts Matroyshka Doll Approach To Censorious DMCA Takedown Notices

I wrote about Ares Rights last week, criticizing (again) their use of frivolous DMCA takedown notices to attempt to remove content criticizing their firm or government officials in Ecuador and Argentina.

Ares Rights, answering my prayers, has now sent a frivolous DMCA takedown notice demanding the removal of my entire post, citing my alleged violation of Spanish privacy law for posting their address (which I didn’t)..  That’s right: Ares Rights is using an abusive DMCA notice to attempt to take down my post criticizing their use of DMCA notices to take down criticism of their censorious DMCA notices.  When you recover from reading that sentence, the DMCA notice (and my response) is below.

Update (9/3/2014): Ares actually sent three takedown notices at the same time, but my tech guy was laughing so hard at the first that he missed the other two, which are even more funny. As far as I can tell, the other two are identical, and based on the same, purposefully flawed logic (and content) of the takedown notice sent to Ecuadorian outlet PlanV.  The second and third DMCA — that is, Digital Millennium Copyright Act — notices claim that my use of this image, which had been created and posted by PlanV, constitutes trademark infringement:

censura-internet-interior_0

To make transparent their purposes, Ares Rights’ Luis Martinez says in these notices (“client” referring to me):

Your client acts as bad faith, since my logo is recognizable brand. Now,
your client makes a word game.

Your client acts in bad faith.

My tech guy had, thankfully, not yet sent my counter-notice.  So I’ve updated it with some more word games.

The first takedown notice:

Type of Abuse: Copyright & DMCA
Name: Luis Martinez
Email: [redacted]
Phone Number: [redacted]
Infringing URLs: http://adamsteinbaugh.com/2014/08/29/ares-rights-wants-ecuador-journalists-to-stop-talking-about-ares-rights-censorious-abuse-of-copyright/
Description of original work: Dear Mr. Head Report Abuse
http://adamsteinbaugh.com Host Ip 107.170.67.183

As Luis Martínez representatives, we notify of the existence of files on your servers that violate the rights of our client, Luis Martínez.

a) My electronic signature as authorized person acting on behalf of the owner of the content, in this case, Luis Martínez.

L. Martínez #Ares Rights
[Contact information redacted]

b) Copyrighted work or other intellectual property that we are claiming to be infringed:

Your customer shows private and not public data.
Your customer displays a document with copyright.
Note strictly private use with contact address, email and telephone. This data
is private and not public use only.
Your customer violates privacy laws Spain and CEE.

Please, delete this url.

c) A description of where the infringing material is located on your Site:

http://adamsteinbaugh.com/2014/08/29/ares-rights-wants-ecuador-journalists-to-stop-talking-about-ares-rights-censorious-abuse-of-copyright/

d) The name, address, telephone number and email address of the Complainant:

Referred in section “a” (Electronic Signature).

e) I have a good faith belief that the disputed use of the material or activity is not authorized by the copyright or intellectual property owner and that the information provided in the notice is accurate.

f) I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the Complainant is the copyright or intellectual property owner or is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright or intellectual property owner and that the information provided in the notice is accurate.

Should you have any further questions, please contact us at [redacted]

Thank for you cooperation.

Best Regards,
L. Martínez

IMPORTANT:THIS EMAIL TRANSMISSION CONTAINS INFORMATION INTENDED FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY TO WHOM IT IS ADDRESSED. AND MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT IS PROPRIETARY, PRIVILEGED, CONFIDENTIAL AND/OR EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER APPLICABLE LAW. IF YOU ARE NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT (OR ANY EMPLOYEE OR AGENT RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERING THIS EMAIL TRANSMISSION TO THE INTENDED RECIPIENT), OR HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN ERROR, YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT ANY COPYING, DISCLOSURE OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS INFORMATION MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL RESTRICTION OR SANCTION.

My response, which I would not recommend that anyone else send when facing a DMCA takedown notice:

Dear Mr. Martínez:

I am writing in response to your censorious DMCA takedown notices sent on or about September 2, 2014. The first demands that I remove the entirety of my post about your firm’s censorious abuse of DMCA notices to intimidate or censor your critics and political dissidents, which is located here: http://adamsteinbaugh.com/2014/08/29/ares-rights-wants-ecuador-journalists-to-stop-talking-about-ares-rights-censorious-abuse-of-copyright/. The second and third demand removal of the graphic on that page under the auspices of trademark infringement.

This communication to you is a DMCA counter notification letter as defined in 17 USC § 512(g)(3).

My response is this: fuck off.

In more delicate terms:

First, your first notice is defective in that it fails to identify the specific work claimed to be infringed, as required by 17 USC § 512(c)(3)(A)(i).

Second, the material at issue is not protected by copyright, and in the unlikely event that it’s protected at the barest margins of copyright law, my use of the material — which is still unidentified — is a fair use under 17 USC § 107.

Third, the use of the purported trademark is unquestionably protected by the First Amendment and, even were it not, its use could not possibly confuse anyone as to its origin. Certainly you don’t believe that your prospective clientele are likely to think that you’ve published an article criticizing yourself. Or maybe you do, which would speak volumes about your customer base.
Fourth, your abuse of the DMCA to attempt to remove criticism of your censorious abuse of the DMCA can, by definition, only be knowing, purposeful, and malicious. That you decry the use of “word games” makes your motivation transparent.
Please note that I have written about your latest bumbling foray into this arena here: http://adamsteinbaugh.com/2014/09/02/ares-rights-adopts-matroyshka-doll-approach-to-censorious-dmca-takedown-notices/I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the complaint of copyright violation is based on mistaken information, misidentification of the material in question, or deliberate misreading of the law.  And, to be sure, your reading of the law to demand removal of your abuse of the DMCA is unmistakably deliberate.  To encourage the re-calibration of your interpretation of copyright law, please refer to 17 USC § 512(f), which provides for attorneys fees should a content provider be hoodwinked into temporarily disabling access to material on the basis of your fraudulent DMCA takedown notices.My name, address, and telephone number are as follows:Adam Steinbaugh
[redacted]I hereby consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which I reside, which is the Federal District Court for the Central District of California, conveniently located six blocks away from the foregoing address.

I agree to accept service of process from the complainant.

My actual or electronic signature follows:

XOXO, Adam Steinbaugh

9 comments

  1. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    *cries* I thought I was the only one you signed off with using XOXO!!

  2. James Fletcher says:

    “My response is this: fuck off.”

    Dammit I think I need a new monitor after that!

    • Melvin Hagerman says:

      Or, if you wanted to be historic….how about this response to them: “Nuts.”
      See how long–of IF–they can figure that one out and compare it to the German Army in 1944/45…

  3. James Carlson says:

    Nicely done!

  4. Sparky says:

    Ah, I see you’re following the esteemed precedent set in Arkell v. Pressdram.

  5. Dave Crisp says:

    I thought the usual way of saying “fuck off” in legalese was to refer to the defendant’s response in Arkell v. Pressdram (1971). Although that may just be in the UK.

    • Kratoklastes says:

      The “Arkell” response is far more elegant than “vade et caca [snip]” that Tukewitz penned in response to Rakofsky.

      It seems that the jury is still out (HA!) as to whether Arkell is a genuine unreported case: I hasten to add that its unreportedness doesn’t per se make it a myth (e.g., if it happened in the Magi’s court or VCAT here in Victoria, it would not be reported).

      I so fucking hope it happened, but it’s not in Halsbury or any of our other reference works – and The Lovely is a member of the “barristocracy” so between the members of her chambers they get the full bottle, subscriptions-wise.

      • Dave Crisp says:

        It was a real dispute, but it never made it to court. The exchange of letters went on for a bit longer than the initial salvo that’s often quoted, but Arkell quickly realised he didn’t have a leg to stand on and crawled back into whatever hole he came out of in the first place.

        Calling it “the case of Arkell v. Pressdram” is just Private Eye humour.

  6. dese1ect says:

    You forgot to tell them to snort your taint. It might cost you some royalties to Ken, but it’s a great ending regards.

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