Remember how we mentioned yesterday that Rupert’s guilty verdict and prison sentence would most likely result in retaliatory behaviour from those who continue to believe that Hampstead is inhabited by a child-raping, baby-murdering-and-eating death cult?
As if on cue, yesterday morning one of our team members sent us a series of screenshots and links to Christine Ann Sands’ Facebook page, where she and Neelu have been attempting to launch a “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” attack on this blog.
Unsurprisingly, Neelu has jumped right on board. We say “unsurprisingly” because during Christine’s ill-fated trip to the UK in 2015, she and Neelu seemed to form a strong personal bond, and Christine has given over a section of her web page for Neelu’s use.
Oddly enough, during Rupert’s trial, Christine Ann Sands’ website figured rather prominently in the prosecution’s case. It seems that when Rupert’s computer was examined, “a Skype conversation between Sabine McNeill and the defendant was discovered, containing a link to the website http://www.hampsteadchristchurch.com. This site contained a link which contained the names of the five witnesses in this trial, as well as a reference to one of the witnesses being “constantly on the move”.
Whether Christine’s current attempt to take us down is linked to this, we really cannot say. However, the timing is certainly interesting.
What could possibly go wrong?
Before Christine and Neelu decided on this line of attack, it might have been a good plan to read the fine print.
First, there’s the question of copyright, and who owns it. We’re not aware of having made use of any copyrighted material from either Christine or Neelu, and when we’ve quoted them, we’ve always ensured that the attribution was clear.
We had a look at Automattic’s DMCA Notice page, just to satisfy ourselves that the blog is not vulnerable, and noted the following:
To be specific:
As such, before submitting a DMCA notice, it’s important to consider if the manner in which the material is used falls under fair use. If you are not sure whether material located on a WordPress.com site infringes your copyright, or if it is subject to fair use protections, you should first consider seeking legal advice.
It’s that term “fair use” which ought to have rung an alarm bell or two in what passes for the brains of Christine and Neelu. WordPress offers this brief summary of how fair use rules apply to a blog like this:
There aren’t hard and fast rules when it comes to defining fair use. However, the Copyright Act sets out four factors for courts to consider:
The purpose and character of the use: Why and how is the material used? Using content for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is usually fair. Additionally, using material in a transformative manner, that is to say, in a manner that adds new expression, meaning, or insight, is also more likely to be considered fair use over an exact reproduction of a work. What’s more, nonprofit use is favored over commercial use.
The nature of the copyrighted work: Is the original factual or fiction, published or unpublished? Factual and published works are less protected, so its use is more likely to be considered fair.
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: How much of the material is used? If the “heart” (the most memorable or significant portion) or the majority of a work wasn’t used, it’s more likely to be considered fair.
The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work: Does the use target a different market/audience? If so, it’s more likely to be fair use. It’s important to note that although criticism or parody may reduce a market, it still may be fair because of its transformative nature. In other words, if the criticism of a product influences people to stop buying the product, that doesn’t count as having an “effect on the market for the work” under copyright law.
We think that if Christine and Neelu had been arsed to look into the concept of “fair use” a bit more closely, they might have discovered that in fact, their DMCA report could backfire horribly on them. WordPress notes that they have filed lawsuits against DMCA notices they consider fraudulent. Seems they’re not terribly keen on misuse of the DMCA process.
However, as we know, Christine and Neelu have never allowed mere facts to stand in the way of their deranged campaigns. We’ll look forward with some interest to the outcome of this one.