Adland Shuts Down After Web Host Complies With Bullshit DMCA Notice
from the a-bridgestone-too-far dept
Those of you familiar with Adland will know just how useful and interesting a site it was for anyone interested in the recent history of commercial advertising. Started in 1996, the site served as a repository of commercials and a place that commented on ads and their impact on the advertising world. Cool concept. Adland has also made a fair amount of noise in being pro-copyright, dismissive of the concepts of “free” anything, and has on at least one occasion given Techdirt some shit for our stances, in this case on allowing users to turn off ads on our site.
None of that changes the fact, however, that it’s a very real loss that the site has decided to shut down after its host complied with a bullshit DMCA notice from Bridgestone Tires over its hosting of an old commercial and the use of the Bridgestone name in commenting on that commercial.
So, I’m shutting down Adland right now. Why? Because the server host (for the webserver, not the data) just gave us 24 hours to leave. To “remove the domain adland.tv from our network within 24 hours” Why are they requesting this? Because Amy Tindell at Holland & Hart LLP in Boulder CO is demanding we remove a Thai Bridgestone ad from the archives. Remember “a Dog’s life”? The ad from BBDO Bangkok that won silver in the Asia-Pacific Adfest in 2003? Yes, it’s that one. They also claim that by writing the name “Bridgestone” we are infringing on Bridgestine’s trademark. And that is why we are unceremoniously thrown off our web server host with a demand to get out in 24 hours.
To be clear: This. Is. Bullshit. The DMCA notice calls out the hosting of the commercial from well over a decade ago, but the entire point of Adland is to archive and comment upon advertisements. This is squarely fair use. As is the use of the Bridgestone name and identifiers in the context of what Adland does. Not to mention that the entire point of ads is to get them seen. Sending a takedown notice to anyone distributing what is apparently an award-winning ad makes zero sense.
As for the host, they really should know better. It’s also odd to see the host demand the entire domain be removed from its services, rather than the specific content alleged to be infringing. Why in the world should Adland have to totally go over one DMCA complaint?
Interestingly, it appears that Bridgestone has been going around to other sites and DMCAing this specific commercial as well. YouTube had it, but now it has been removed. Notably, all of YouTube wasn’t taken down due to the DMCA notice.
Now, there are some comments on Adland’s LinkedIn posts suggesting that Bridgestone might be embarrassed at some of the content in that particular ad. But copyright is not the remedy for such embarrassment, if that is indeed what is occurring. And there was absolutely no reason that Adland should have had to shut down because of it.