Universal Use DMCA Takedown To Pull Marginally Negative Drake Review

More shocking Universal fuckery, via Techdirt:

We keep talking about how the DMCA takedown process, all too frequently, is used to stifle speech, and defenders of the system claim that it's ridiculous to bring up the First Amendment in a discussion on copyright. But here's yet another (in a very long list) of examples. Henry Adaso wrote a short, but marginally negative review of Drake's album Take Care. The review was posted to About.com last November. The entire review reads:

Drake - 'Take Care'

A briefly entertaining, occasionally ponderous, sometimes lazy, sometimes brilliant, slow-rolling, rap-singy, bulls-eye missing, kitten-friendly, runway-ready, mega corny, lip-smacking, self-conscious, self-correcting, self-indulging, finely tuned, Houston infatuated, crowd pleasing, delightfully weird, emotionally raw, limp, wet, innocuous, cute, plush, brooding, musical, whimsical, exotic, pensive, V-necked, quasi-American, strutting, doting, cloying, safe alternative to sleeping pills.

Best Song: "Lord Knows"

Release Date: November 15, 2011Not particularly positive, but not particularly scathing either. He also posted another post on About.com that merely pointed to that review, but included no additional content other than that he wrote a 50-word review.

Either way, both of those links are gone from Google's search. Why? Because just as someone filed a bogus DMCA to take down one of our key SOPA posts, Universal Music, via the BPI (British RIAA) filed a DMCA notice with Google claiming that both of those pages were infringing. That's clearly a false takedown, and pretty clearly designed to stifle a negative review.

Adaso discusses all of this in his own blog post, in which he suggests that perhaps Universal and BMI are purposely trying to take down negative reviews, though it's equally likely that they're just incredibly incompetent. Still, whether incompetence or malice, it's clear that the DMCA is being used to censor and stifle speech, and in this case it just so happens to be speech in the form of a negative review of a Universal Music Artist (a Universal Music artist who has alsoexpressed displeasure with how Universal has used copyright law against his own best interests).

But, no, there's no free speech concerns around the DMCA, right?