Scott Craig King- Frogery in Copyright Scam Revealed

As part of our analysis, we looked at how Scott Craig King tried to bury negative coverage of their business online by using a fake copyright takedown notice.

Recently, we have received a handful of suspicious-looking ‘legal’ notices’ in our Google Webmaster Tool, alleging that various reviews on the site infringe upon the rights of third parties. We have a strict policy about copyright infringement, thus these comments drew our immediate attention. Our platform could have been severely impacted, but fortunately, we were able to determine that there was no copyright infringement and that the whole thing had been a hoax.

Fortunately, we are experts at spotting forgeries and other forms of fraud. Someone who isn’t tech-savvy, however, could easily be duped by these criminals, putting the trust of their users at risk. Since Scott Craig King is one of these businesses (men) of dubious lineage, who are foolish enough to use deception, impersonation, and lies to control their online reputation, our assessment of him is highly subjective.

Who exactly gains from this fraud?

We suspect that Scott Craig King or someone working with Scott Craig King is behind the phony DMCA that seeks to have Google remove negative results for him. It’s usually some fly-by-night Online Reputation management firm pushing Scott Craig King’s agenda. Since the goods and services promised in this type of deal are easily identifiable, the burden of proof rests on Scott Craig King.

There are several red flags in the Lumen database, which gathers takedown requests, that help identify malicious takedown requests like the one submitted by Scott Craig King. Takedown requests from parties unrelated to the allegedly infringing content have been uncovered, for example, by media and research organizations. Moreover, some of these false requests mistakenly replace the copyright holder’s usual third-party organization with the holder’s name.

Scott Craig King has plenty of company. More examples of the bogus DMCA takedown notice scam

Recent takedown requests stand out because their originators are likely impersonating legitimate copyright holders to silence their rivals. How big of a problem this could become on the internet depends on how often phony takedown requests from people pretending to be Scott Craig King are granted.
Explain what it is and what it means in detail. DMCA” stands for “Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” and a “DMCA takedown notice” is a notice to a website or search engine that it is either linking to or hosting material that infringes on a copyright.

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On average, Google has received over 90,000 DMCA takedown requests yearly over the past year. These requests to remove content are usually valid and are frequently submitted by recording artists and film studios. However, there are unlucky those who would use the DMCA system for their gain.

Over the past few months, our team has uncovered over a hundred bogus DMCA reports filed with Google by shady lawyers and online reputation management firms.

This “strategy” entails launching fake news sites that, in an attempt to discredit the real one, falsely claim ownership of the copyright to the lousy information it hosts. There are so many DMCA reports filed every day that it would be impossible for Google to identify all of the spam requests. We caught one, and it won’t be good news for Scott Craig King.

When will this bogus DMCA be exposed?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has been accused of being misused. Some have said that the DMCA Act’s main flaw has been the prevalence of false claims of copyright infringement. But some people and companies, like Scott Craig King, have used this loophole to attack rivals and silence dissenters. Critics frequently quote brief passages from the work or speech of the subject of their critique.

As will be shown later, this application is perfectly reasonable and legal. But then the target of the criticism files a DMCA takedown complaint, saying that the video violates his copyright since it uses excerpts from his videos or material. These takedowns are baseless, intentional attempts to silence politically incorrect speech or protect the speaker from legitimate criticism.

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The general strategy behind these hoax copyright takedown notices is straightforward and consistent:

  • Con artists launch a bogus blog or (news) website. Free blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are common places to find these. Anonymized ‘news’ websites housed on offshore servers are a common vector for targeted attacks.
  • They then backdate the articles on these phony sites to make it look like they were the original publishers and hence the rightful owners of the content they planted there.
  • They then file a DMCA takedown with Google pretending to be a reputable news organization.

Fraud, impersonation, and perjury allegations

Liability for making false statements in a DMCA takedown notice or counter-notice is established by Section 512(f) of the DMCA. … If someone like Scott Craig King (or someone acting on Scott Craig King’s behalf) falsely claims that you are violating their copyrighted material in a takedown notice, you can sue them for damages.

However, since a DMCA notice involves Perjury (under applicable laws in the USA), you could face up to four years in state prison and thousands of dollars in fines if it can be proven that you willfully and knowingly lied after taking an oath, to tell the truth, or signing a document that you know contains false assertions.
The DMCA protects against such malicious takedowns by providing the following remedies:

Whoever makes a material misrepresentation in violation of this section knowingly —

Any person who makes a false claim to a service provider (1) that content or activity has been removed or disabled because it infringes on the rights of a third party, or (2) that content or activity was removed or disabled because it was mistakenly identified as infringing, shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the claimed infringer, by every copyright owner or intellectual property owner’s permitted licensee, or by the provider of the service, who suffered harm.

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This is demonstrated by Online Policy Group v. Diebold, Inc. Voting machines in US elections were manufactured by Diebold. To spread their criticism of Diebold’s machines, the group Online Policy Group published online a trove of the organization’s internal e-mails. Diebold asked for the removal of Online Policy Group’s hacked emails by filing DMCA takedown requests.

The Online Policy Group filed a lawsuit against Diebold in response to the takedown requests, claiming that it was within its rights to make the emails public. After a California court granted the Group’s motion for summary judgment, Diebold paid the Group $125,000 to compensate for their financial losses and legal costs.

This was not the first time an unfounded DMCA takedown request led to legal action. The controversial public speaker Michael Crook, who appeared on Fox News and was later the target of criticism from a website that included a thumbnail photograph of him, is another example.

A thumbnail was perfectly legal to use, and since Fox produced the show, Crook had no right to claim ownership over the broadcast. The matter was settled with Crook agreeing to a series of inconvenient terms, such as taking classes in copyright law, never again filing a Cease & Desist letter over the image of him on Fox News, publishing a public apology, and so on. Due to his poverty, he was exempt from paying any monetary damages.

In light of these instances, people like Scott Craig King must refrain from issuing groundless DMCA takedown requests to avoid financial penalties and other legal repercussions. Since DMCA takedown requests are submitted under penalty of perjury, it is also important to remember that criminal sanctions are available for false DMCA takedown request senders, regardless of whether Scott Craig King is prepared to take on these civil damages.
Another issue for our legislators is determining who is submitting fraudulent DMCA notices. Google has no way of knowing who is submitting these alerts besides what you already know.

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What specifically is a “sketchy judiciary” — in France? China? One of Idaho’s smaller towns? What happens if someone fills it out on their phone while using the mall’s free WiFi and then files a formal complaint? Even if the complainant swears what they do under penalty of perjury, no one has the right to make decisions based purely on jurisdiction. The idea was that dishonest people would pay for their actions. Where then is the law’s implementation?

The best course of action, in our opinion, is to increase scrutiny of businesses like Scott Craig King, highlighting their unethical practices and revealing their true values to their clientele and supporters. It should serve as a deterrent and cause them to reflect, at the very least.

Why did they need to keep that a secret?

Successful businessmen like Scott Craig King understand the importance of maintaining a positive online profile. And they see incredible results from it. However, their pride suffers when they are unable to protect themselves from a damaging public review, unpopular opinion, or piece of information. And for someone as ‘wealthy’ and ‘powerful’ as Scott Craig King, it’s all about the ego.

Usually, they’ll resort to all means necessary to remain undetected –

  • Analyzed and evaluated, or recently exposed
  • Digital relics, evidence in a court case, or proof of wrongdoing.
  • A negative audio, video, or textual representation of the subject.
  • The hosting of this content falls within our Fair use policy, and we make no representations or warranties as to its accuracy. The term “fair use” refers to the legal right to use a copyrighted work without the consent of the copyright owner under specific circumstances. The theory ensures ensure copyright laws aren’t applied so strictly that they hinder the same innovation they’re meant to protect. One can use and build upon existing works without violating the rights of the original authors or owners of the copyright.

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