WordPress: Standing up against “Takedown Requests”

WordPress World.

The growing use by copyright holders of “Takedown Requests” is starting to backfire.

From https://www.flickr.com/photos/takomabibelot/4640771798/

A take down is a process operated by online hosts such as Google, Facebook in response to court orders or allegations that content is illegal – often this is a copyright infringement and trademark protection issue.

Frequently this is “big corporation” trying to stamp on “the little man” by using heavy-handed legal tactics under the guise of “aggressive trademark protection”. As a general rule, most folks don’t like draconian copyright protection and we’re starting to see socially responsible organisations fight back.

Recently, WordPress.com decides a heavy-handed takedown request from Subaru was just that, heavy handed and ill-thought out. So rather than complying with the request they denied it and went on to publish Subaru’s clumsy move on their wall of shame. Way to go WordPress!

Copyright, trademarks and patents are widely used by corporations to bulk up their wallets, frequently at the expense of mankind, and this raises very real moral and ethical issues. There are movements afoot to address copyright issues and make the sharing of information simpler and less legally onerous. Creative Commons is a good example, and fight keep the internet open and free. If you’ve ever been chased by the evil that is Getty Images, you’ll understand this.

We are huge fans of Creative Commons and freely license ALL of our content to allow it to be freely available, edited and reworked (even for commercial use) via an Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. As a result our content, articles and other work is freely available and freely copied by many others. The image used above is under a CC license courtesy of a contributor on Flickr who shares their work.

This sharing approach is embedded deep in our DNA and, we believe, sets us apart form every other WordPress Agency in the UK, all of whom operate blanket copyright control (check out the “All Rights Reserved” or “Copyright” tags at the foot of pages). The now quaint and rather old-fashioned approach appeared in the 1660’s (“All Rights Reserved” is also over 100 years old) and it seems odd that such an archaic concept still exists at the heart of the digital industry, especially when better alternatives are available.