Congratulations WordPress: Victory Gained In Blogging Censorship Case

I am extremely proud today that I chose WordPress as my blogging platform.  The Guardian is reporting today that Automattic, owners WordPress.com, have emerged victorious against an attempt to use an American copyright law to shut down criticism of a short-lived pressure group call “Straight Pride UK”.

In August 2013 Oliver Hotham, a student journalist, posted an interview on his WordPress blog with Nick Steiner, press officer for an anti-gay group called “Straight Pride UK”. In the interview, Steiner expressed his group’s support for homophobic policies enacted in Russia and a number of African nations, and praised Putin’s crackdown on LGBT rights.

“Straight Pride UK” then tried to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take the content offline.  Wordpress supported Hotham and have now won the case in a Californian district court because the article did not infringe copyright.  Critics of DMCA argue that it is often misused to shut down criticism.

Following Automattic’s legal victory against the group, activists hope that more web hosts will be emboldened to fight back against malicious takedown notices. Parker Higgins, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: “Wordpress going to bat was really unusual, and this could encourage others.”

WordPress was awarded $22,264 in legal fees and $1,860 for time spent working on the case, which should also go some way to encouraging others to fight similar cases.  Unfortunately “Straight Pride UK” has disappeared so it is unlikely that the money will ever be payed.

I applaud WordPress and Automattic for the stance they took in fighting this case.  It demonstrates a degree of integrity rarely seen in today’s business world.

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

3 thoughts on “Congratulations WordPress: Victory Gained In Blogging Censorship Case

  1. Anonymous

    We think there should be provision for those (such as in this case WordPress) who make a stand & who subsequently receive compensation for their efforts to still be paid the sum they have been awarded regardless (as in this case Straight Pride, UK) having disappeared.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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