We've (Stack Exchange Inc.) recently received a DMCA takedown notice for several posts from this community. As a result of that, I'm taking down around 15 posts at this very moment (got a script running), but many more might need to be removed over the coming week. This means some reputation is probably gonna be lost, and also that some good content is gonna vanish. The DMCA process tells us we must notify the author of the content, which means the author of the questions will get a comment notifying them of the occurrence — however, whoever answered any of the deleted questions is just gonna be left wondering why they lost rep, and why the post was even deleted in the first place. So here I am, preemptively notifying the community as a whole as a courtesy.
So what can I do if my question was deleted due to this?
If you own one of the posts that were removed, you will have a comment left on it by me notifying you of why the post was deleted. You can then, if you believe you are the wrongful subject of a copyright takedown notice, file a DMCA counter-notice through the proper channels — and hopefully we'll be able to restore the content!
You can find the DMCA notice here, at Lumen database (or here, since Lumen lost the original one for some reason, and are trying to make this new one point to the older link).
Given that most of the posts are over 60 days old, they won't show up in your profiles at all — so feel free to reach out to the Community Team using /contact if you require any assistance.
Disclaimer: none of this is official legal guidance; it's just provided as a courtesy :)
Update: concerns & questions
BIG thanks to everyone who responded here - as you can probably tell, this isn't something we've had a lot of experience dealing with, so identifying areas for improvement is extremely helpful.
We're not done working on this. As you noticed, only 17 of the 190+ links have been removed as of this time, and we're hoping this whole thing will have a happy outcome. Hopefully, we'll be able to resolve this in a way that's acceptable to both the folks sending this take-down notice and the authors who've donated their time and knowledge here; as with most legal things, this isn't likely to be fast, but we'll do our best to keep you updated.
Here are the open questions you've asked that we're gonna try & figure out answers to. Again, no guarantees on when (or even if) we'll actually be able to do that - but, we're gonna try:
- Who is responsible for DMCA takedown counterclaims on authorless / disassociated / CW posts?
- Given that a lot of our content is collaborative, it’s not obvious who can legally challenge DMCA notices, so:
- Who "owns" the content, and can file counter-notices?
- A question author only?
- Or is an answerer or editor entitled to that too?
- Can the posts on which no action was taken (yet) be edited to try to minimize this (by editing out links or properly attributing images)?
- Can the post owner edit their deleted post before filing the counter-claim to aid its validity?
- Given the shared ownership of the content (asker, answerers, editors) who are we (SE) required to notify?
- Are users who file a counter-notice required to give out details like their real name, or can they use their online pseudonym?
- And how much of the information provided in the counter-notice will be made public vs how much of it will just be used internally to assess validity of the counter-notice?
Again, thank you all for your patience and insights.