DMCA takedown notices have grown notoriously common in that they are commonly served to different websites and are seen as a tool to contain free speech. GoPro recently served one to DigitalRev but it ensued a social media backlash and the vendor was on the defensive pretty soon.
Apparently, the whole issue was about a GoPro Hero 3 review on DigitalRev. The website tweeted, “@GoPro is bullying us with DMCA. We’ll have to remove this article soon.” Apparently, GoPro had stated that the use of ‘GoPro’ and ‘Hero’ trademarks by the reviewing website were illegal.
As soon as the tweet went out, the social media stirred into a debate. Users were shocked and started expressing their anger by vowing that they would never buy a GoPro product again. Before soon, sub-Reddits such as r/gopro and r/photography were already discussing the issue in full heat.
GoPro was sensible enough to discern the backlash soon enough and was quick to come up with a subtle apology, citing that some sort of miscommunication had taken place. The company posted an official statement on the r/gopro sub-Reddit. The content of the post is reproduced below:
“Hey all- I’m out at X Games Tignes right now with the Director of PR for GoPro. I showed this to him as soon as I saw it (it had 3 comments). He dropped everything to address this issue, and it’s an unfortunate miscommunication. Below is the blurb he just wrote out for my favorite GoPro community.
Thanks for the heads up on this issue. The letter that was posted next to the review on DigitalRev was not sent in response to the review. Obviously, we welcome editorial reviews of our products. This letter was sent because DigitalRev is not an authorized reseller of GoPro products and they were using images and had incorrect branding and representation of our product in their online commerce store. As part of our program – we ask merchants who are selling our product to use authorized images. That is why DigitalRev was contacted. But – our letter did not clearly communicate this and that is something we will correct.”
Not only that, GoPro actively sent out the links of this post to virtually everyone who tweeted about the issue. In other words, the company was in the process of damage-control. While that did placate some, the ‘excuse’ touted by the vendor didn’t exactly sit well with many. After all, why didn’t the company simply email DigitalRev to take down the contentious content rather than serving them with a DMCA takedown notice.