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Guardian for Content / Attributor Corp.

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

AnneMarble

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I don't know if this belongs on the Bewares board, but I'm curious about this company.

Their site says "Protecting Publishers And Their Authors From Digital Piracy." That's all well and good (although I'd lowercase the "and" and "from" :tongue). But last month, I got a DMCA takedown notice from Scribd.com that a copy of Venus in Furs I posted there had been removed because of a third party complaint about copy infringement. Today, I got a takedown notice from Scribd about a copy of A Little Princess I had posted. (Although this one did not say DMCA takedown notice, so maybe they were a tad more careful?) In both cases, when I clicked the link to the Scribd site, the link said "This content was removed at the request of Attributor, Inc."

So does anyone know who runs Attributor, Inc., and who they are working for? The author of Venus in Furs died in 1895, so I'm pretty sure they aren't protecting his rights. And how can a publisher have the right to demand Venus in Furs be taken down if it's out of copyright? What kind of anti-piracy company is Attributor, Inc. if they can't get that much straight? I was assuming that a company that helps Macmillan, Random House, and others protect themselves against piracy knew how to Google. Was I wrong?

Also, is there anyone I should report these bogus notices to? At the very least, the Venus in Furs notice was listed as a DMCA notice, so is there a way to report that? I sent the Counter Notification notice to Scribd, and they restored the work, but I was wondering if there was another step that should be taken.

Attributor has contact information on the site, and I am withholding the fist of doom for now. But I might send them an e-mail that says "Next time use Google!!!"
 

Mac H.

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I wish that there were more 'Diebold' type decisions where those who file false DMCA notices were penalized.

It seems that Attributor Inc have a reputation for being incredibly sloppy - but since this is no penalty for abusive behaviour there is no financial reason for them to stop being abusive.

The problem is that they are abusing so many small people rather than a single large company who has the resources to stop them. It sounds like this is something a class action lawsuit is designed to stop.

Of course -that helps stop the abuse and makes lawyers rich, but at least the people who suffer because of Attributor Inc's sloppy work would have the satisfaction of knowing that Attributor Inc have incentives not to harm small authors and publishers.

Mac
(PS: Another thought - we keep hearing about how lots of lawyers are unemployed ... why doesn't one simply set up an assembly line operation to file lawsuits whenever this happens? The DMCA rules cover this, as all legal fees would end up being paid by Attributor Inc - so there would be no cost for the small author or publisher that Attributor Inc is harassing. The lawyer would have a steady stream of income for simply filing a lawsuit each time. It would be very cookie-cutter so very efficient work. Any enterprising lawyers out there?)
 
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AnneMarble

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I wish that there were more 'Diebold' type decisions where those who file false DMCA notices were penalized.

It seems that Attributor Inc have a reputation for being incredibly sloppy - but since this is no penalty for abusive behaviour there is no financial reason for them to stop being abusive.

Thanks! I wondered about that. I Googled them after the first incident, but I couldn't find a lot of specific information, except for something on Chilling Effects about takedown notices sent to Google (http://chillingeffects.org/N/117660). Plus a lot of rah-rah stuff about how wonderful the company was for protecting copyrights. It would help if they read the laws before doing that.

They should be visited by the Wanda von Dunajew, the dominatrix from Venus in Furs... Or better yet, Miss Minchin from A Little Princess. She was at least as cruel. :D
 

AnneMarble

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Here's an update. I never heard back from Scribd.com about the Venus in Furs takedown. However, just today, I got yet anothr takedown notice from Scribd, this time for... Get this! ... The House of the Seven Gables!!!! Published in 1851.

And once again it was Attributor, Inc., that was pooping all over the Internet. Either that, or they have Nathaniel Hawthorne in suspended animation locked in their offices. Eww, must be smelly there.

It annoys me to get e-malls from Scribd. Can't their copyright attorney use Google? Can't they at least refuse to let Attributor get away with the most egregious claims? I could understand doing nothing on borderlinr cases, but this is so far over the border that I want to scream. I'd post the Constitution on Scribd, but Attributor probably thinks they own that, too. :(
 

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