Here’s a case of first impression in Oregon. Plaintiff, developer of the popular online game Divergence: Online, has brought an action against a disgruntled designer for a violation of 17 U.S.C. § 512(f). In other words, Plaintiff claims that Defendant filed a fraudulent DMCA takedown notice. The allegedly false takedown notice had resulted in Plaintiff’s game being removed from Steam (a game distribution platform) for several days, costing Plaintiff “potentially thousands of dollars in sales.”
As general information, a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Takedown is a procedure by which copyright owners can have infringing content removed from a website by providing notice to the internet service provider/hosting company. 512(f) was included in the DMCA to prevent fraudulent takedown reports, but it has rarely been enforced until recently. Copyright owners making a false DMCA notice are responsible for “any damages” incurred as a result of their action.
The Steam takedown (and eventual return) made gaming news and this lawsuit will likely do the same, as fraudulent DMCA takedowns have become a recurring problem in the online realm. Last year saw the first-ever award of damages for a fraudulent DMCA takedown under 512(f).
Stay tuned for updates.
Stained Glass Llama, Corp. v. Bonner
Court Case Number: 3:16-cv-00253-MO
File Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Plaintiff: Stained Glass Llama, Corp.
Plaintiff Counsel: Carl D. Crowell, Drew P. Taylor of Crowell Law
Defendant: Robert William Bonner
Cause: Violation of 17 U.S.C. § 512(f) (False DMCA Notice)
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Michael W. Mosman