On July 28, 2016, we learned about a report on WebActivism on a reputation management strategy involving fake DMCA takedown requests. The group identified over 5000 counts of fake DMCA reports filed. The twist of this new strategy is that some reputation management or law firm has created fake news websites who claim to hold the copyright to the content being removed by the fake DMCA request. One of the incidents outlined involved a former Status Labs executive, Jordan French, who we know, via communications with him that confirmed this, used this fake DMCA takedown process in an attempt rewrite history and remove multiple articles about his involvement demolishing a piñata store in Austin.

As outlined in a post our CEO wrote on Huffington Post just 3 months ago, we stand behind the history of that incident, and as a company, we strongly condemn any reputation management or law firms using these fraudulent DMCA practices to remove information from the internet. The practice is illegal and should be avoided by any reputable agency.

Good reputation management firms work with clients to change behavior and communicate these changes to stakeholders via content creation and earned media coverage. Sending fake DMCA requests like those outlined in this report ultimately lead to negative consequences for clients; an outcome any reputable reputation management firm would hope to avoid.

We’re glad WebActivism is bringing this shady practice to light and look forward to helping assist them clean up the reputation management industry.