WordPress sues for wrongful copyright takedown

The company behind the weblog tool WordPress, which itself operates a blogging platform, wants $10,000 in damages from a group that wrongly requested that a blog post be taken offline. The group did so on the basis of American copyright law.

The now defunct group Straight Pride UK, which believed that gay rights received too much attention, had an article by a novice journalist taken offline on the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act under the guise of copyright infringement. In practice, the request was an attempt to censor negative publicity, writes the journalist himself.

Under the DMCA, intermediaries such as search engines, blogging platforms, and uploading sites are free from legal trouble provided they remove copyrighted material when a DMCA request is made. This often happens automatically, due to the large numbers of DMCA requests that are submitted.

Initially, Automattic, the company behind WordPress, took the blog post offline, but the company has decided not to leave it at that. In court, the company is seeking $10,000 in damages from the group, as well as nearly $15,000 in attorney fees, TorrentFreak writes.

Straight Pride UK claimed that the text published contained copyrighted quotes from the organization, but Automattic argues that it was a press release intended to be published. According to the company, Straight Pride forced WordPress to remove legal content, leading to reputational damage.