Hentai Sites Plan Class-Action Lawsuit Against Google Over False DMCA Claims
Gelbooru Google Lawsuit

During the summer various hentai sites were falsely DMCA’d by a mysterious corporation known as the Right Protect Corporation. The false claims were filed throughout June, July, and August. Well, after initially announcing that they would be exploring legal options regarding the false claims, some sites are now looking to move forward with a class-action lawsuit against Google.

The administrator of Gelbooru discussed the legal possibilities in a post on the Gelbooru forums back on September 1st, 2019, writing…

“Months ago, Google delisted hundreds of websites from their search engine. Every counter DMCA we sent for our domain was rejected, with Google stating they will not be taking action. This is not how the counter DMCA notification system is supposed to work. Upon receipt of a counter DMCA notice, you are required to forward the notice to the original sender, and restore content within 10 days. Google has proven multiple times, over the course of a few years, that they are incapable of doing this. We are going to drag them to court to reveal the original sender of the notices that delisted our site, get an injunction preventing our main domain, and other related pages from being targeted by notices in the future, and hopefully set a good precedent in making sure Google, and others like them, comply with the law in the future.

 

“If we can manage to locate at least 3 other admins of websites who were affected by this we can start a class action lawsuit, which will hold a lot of more weight in future instances of this company failing to adhere to a fairly straightforward DMCA law of taking down and restoring content.”

In an e-mail exchange, the owner of Gelbooru noted that they had been in contact with a lawyer and that right now they’re looking to gather more support from other sites that have been impacted by these false claims.

They also made a tweet on September 1st, 2019, requesting other H-sites to contact them so that they could explore options regarding a class-action lawsuit.

I did reach out to the Gelbooru site owner, asking if they had been in contact with other websites who were impacted by the false DMCA claims. MangaDex has been in contact with Gelbooru, along the owner of Rule34 and Konachan.

Gelbooru also reached out to Fakku!, the owner of Hentai Haven, but they didn’t receive a response, while the owner of Phael didn’t want to file a counter-claim due to wanting to maintain his privacy. Danbooru’s administrator was also said to be “hands off”.

Several other webmasters have also been contacted to see if they would be willing to get involved in a class-action suit to at least discover who has been falsely making DMCA claims against their sites and the content in order to get them delisted. The Gelbooru admin explained via e-mail…

“[…] We need to get in touch with a few more admins still, but it’s proven fairly difficult. But, if we can get the community involved in spreading the word, maybe other admins will be more inclined to join in.”

As we reported previously, some of the site owners have been able to successfully file counter-claims and have the DMCA penalties lifted, but not every site has been so lucky, and some of them are still being affected by the Right Protect Corporation’s DMCA claims.

Google is a tech giant, though, and so far they’ve managed to evade a lot of accountability for overstepping their bounds when it comes to content curation and censorship. On the upside they did recently incur a $170 million penalty from the FTC for violating the privacy rights of children, but for a multi-billion dollar tech giant their size, that’s little more than a drop in the bucket for them. We’ll see if the hentai sites have a better outcome when it comes to getting Google to disclose the party behind the recent DMCA claims.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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