When web hosts roll over their customers: DMCA complaints

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Here is something we don’t think about for our websites and blogs: How do they respond to DMCA complaints? As critics of those who HATE to be criticized, we are GOING to get this kind of nonsense threat and intimidation.

michael mcgurk photo-illo

I spent a harrowing Friday and Saturday moving my Doubtful News site to a new host after a crapload of issues from my existing host: InMotion Hosting. I was using VPS which made me a mid-tier customer. Because of the site traffic, we had to add on Cloud Flare to help ease the server load. Nearly every week, I was logging into chat or calling InMotion support to inform them that the website was down. They gave me tips on cache plugins (which sometimes messed up the site or didn’t help at all), told me my plugins were problems, that Apache had crashed on the server or that there was up and down load. Obviously, this was not a great fit but it was better than the 3 previous hosts we outgrew within months.

The final straw came from their horrendous and incompetent response to a bogus copyright complaint by a “psychic” businesswoman who claimed infringement by use of her trademark in our web post. This was regarding a news story that was NOT about her in any way. I didn’t even know she existed. Not only is that not applicable to copyright law (none of us would be able to write about Apple or Microsoft or any name brand), but we didn’t even use her damn trademark in the post. You can read about it here and have a look at what kind of person does this sort of thing.

roll-over-dogThe psilly psychic-harasser, fake-named “Rose”, deserves charges for false claims.  But I’ve got better things to do than battle with someone that’s far out of her… focus area. There is no way that I could ever change her mind or feel good about revenge. She is not famous, does not deserve even bad publicity and lives in a fantasy world. I can’t be bothered.

The main point is how disappointed I was with InMotion Hosting’s response in this matter. I was advised by several IT professionals to drop InMotionHosting. They rolled over like a dead possum! I told them so but their legal response was inept and appeared to not even grasp the basic concept of the copyright law. They wanted no part of it no matter what trouble that meant for me.

We couldn’t ditch them fast enough. Customer first? Hardly. I hope they read my rage tweets… I would not recommend this company for blog sites.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in with advice and support. I sure know who my friends are!  We are now at a managed WordPress host and things are back to normal, more or less. I’m sorry I made some people nervous that I was going to quit. (Hissy fits of “RAGE QUIT” variety are mighty common in the skepto-atheist circles.) My explosion, however, was due to being frustrated with web stuff that I couldn’t comprehend. It’s easy to lose it over things that feel too far outside our comfort zone. I just want to produce content for the site – the legal and technical distractions this week really wore on me. But, I am no quitter. I’ve identified as a skeptic for some 20 years now and I’m not going anywhere.

There is no way to tell when you are going to be targeted by mean, vindictive or litigious people. The best you can do is be prepared. And one of the best preparations is to have a network of fine people around you to count on.

Go do something positive!

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2 thoughts on “When web hosts roll over their customers: DMCA complaints

  1. David W

    I feel for u over bogus complaints. Phil Poling at Parabreakdown on YouTube had his profile banned over an attack made by someone citing copyright complaints. Its as if its easier to shut down sites and profiles than to deal with it. Whatever the reason its difficult to referee so hosts do not seem complicit with copyright plagiarists.

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