Perfect Pitch

Jeremy Keith’s thesession.org has fallen foul of a possibly dastardly use of the DMCA – either a huge and unwarranted over-reaction by the owner of perfectpitch.com or a very sneaky way of getting a page with a better search engine ranking for his ‘key phrase’ removed from the Google listing.

So let’s get this straight. In a discussion about perfect pitch, someone mentions the website perfectpitch.com. They don’t repost any materials from the site. They don’t even link to the site. They don’t really say anything particularly disparaging. But it all takes is for the owner of perfectpitch.com to abuse the Digitial Millenium Copyright Act with a spurious complaint and just like that, Google removes the discussion from its search index.

Jeremey’s post about this is well worth a read, and his call-to-action for other bloggers re-publish this story seems to me to be a very good idea. Fight the machine.

Update 6th November ’09

So it seems the reason for this spurious DMCA claim from Perfect Pitch was not as malicious as assumed – because it was just plain moronic and misinformed instead.

From Jeremy’s follow up post ‘Burge Pitch Torrent’ which explains what has happened since the initial post:

So here’s what’s happening: A company is doing a search for a phrase on Google, making a list of all the URLs returned by that search and then submitting that list to Google as part of a DMCA claim. Google then removes all those URLs from its search index without verifying any infringement.

I subsequently had a phone conversation with Gary and he was quite contrite about his actions— although he did try to claim that the mere mention of torrents in an online discussion might be justification for a take down (a completely indefensible attitude).

The more I talked to him, the more I realised that he simply had no idea about the DMCA. He was completely oblivious to the potential consequences of his actions were he to lose a counter-claim in court.

Update 8th November ’09

Also see the comment below – Gary Boucherle (perfectpitch.com) has posted in his apology as sent to Jeremy.

Written by , Thursday 5th November 2009

Comments

Gravatar
Gary Boucherle

November 6, 2009

Official Statement from PerfectPitch.com

Re: Google DMCA Removal of a Blog Page

To All Readers:

Here at PerfectPitch.com we made a big mistake.

We instructed Google to block a blog site managed by Jeremy Keith, citing that they were in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DMCA). As per our request, Google did indeed remove this page from their search listings.

We wish to formally apologize to Mr. Keith and his bloggers for this mistake, for which we are deeply regretful.

Please understand that we had no intention whatsoever to suppress the speech on Mr. Keith’s page. Please know that we are ardent supporters and advocates of free speech for everyone.

We recognize this was a careless error, and there is really no excuse for this. Nevertheless, please permit us a moment to explain.

Here’s what happened:

We were actually submitting to Google a list of sites that were illegally distributing copies of our copyrighted intellectual property. We of course have every right to request that Google have these sites removed from their search engine results because we believe these sites violate the DMCA, which prohibits the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials over the internet.

To our shock and horror, an employee of ours mistakenly included Mr. Keith’s site in our list, merely because it made a reference to illegal copies of our course. Naturally, this is not grounds for removal of this page at Google. Our intention was only to remove actual pages where the course is being illegally distributed, and not any pages of free speech, such as Mr. Keith’s blog. This was a misjudgment and error on our employee’s side, and on behalf of our company, we sincerely apologize.

This event has never happened to us before when reporting illegal distribution of our materials. Please rest assured that we will redouble our efforts to ensure this never happens again.

We have requested that Google immediately reinstate this page in their search results, along with our apology to Google as well.

If we have offended any potential musicians who wished to purchase our best-selling, university verified ear training methods, again, we sincerely apologize. To make it up to you, we would invite you to try our courses at a substantial discount not offered to the general public, valid until the end of this month. Please go here to retrieve your special offer with our apologies:

http://www.discount-offer.perfectpitch.com

Again, please accept our sincere regrets for this goof.

Happy blogging, everyone.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Boucherle

http://www.PerfectPitch.com

Contact: http://www.PerfectPitch.com/contactus.htm

Posting comments after three months has been disabled.