A couple months ago, Automattic made headlines with its public dismissal of Janet Jackson’s spurious claims of trademark and copyright infringement. Jackson is now a fixture in the company’s Hall of Shame, along with others who have issued abusive takedown demands. Automattic considers these a threat to freedom of speech and has even taken to the courts to protect users from DMCA abuse.
Today, the company is open sourcing its DMCA process docs under the Legalmattic repository on GitHub, which sports the tagline “Democratizing WordPress.com legalese since 2014.” This collection of documents contains more than two dozen ‘predefined replies’ that Automattic uses when corresponding to various parties in the event of a complaint. It also includes a copy of the DMCA Takedown Notice and Counter Notice documents.
The team at Automattic hopes that the open source DMCA process docs will help others to more easily implement their own processes for dealing with takedown notices. These documents are a valuable resource for small businesses and individuals who don’t have a legal team at their disposal to draft up appropriate replies to complaints. The DMCA process docs are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license and users are encouraged to re-use and edit them for their own purposes.
Whether you administer a large blogging network or simply maintain a small blog of your own, Automattic’s predefined responses may provide a good starting point for getting a grasp on the language and the process of dealing with DMCA complaints.