512(f) Plaintiff Must Pay $91k to the Defense-Digital Marketing v. McCandless

It’s typically pointless to bring a 512(f) claim because the law makes it almost impossible to win. Plus, 512(f) plaintiffs have to consider the possibility of a costly fee shift against them.

The plaintiff in this case claims that the defendant’s takedown notices got it permanently banned in Reddit. Nevertheless, the court concludes that the plaintiff’s 512(f) suit was objectively unreasonable because:

  • the state law claims had been previously dismissed in state court.
  • “Plaintiff asserted 512(f) without apparently having any evidence to support the ‘knowingly’ component of the first element.” As I’ve discussed many times, 512(f) plaintiffs rarely possess a smoking gun piece of evidence to show defendant scienter at the time of filing, so the pleadings must necessarily rely on inferences and circumstantial evidence.
  • the plaintiff’s Reddit account got reinstated and shut down several more times, and the plaintiff admitted the subsequent account drama wasn’t due to the defendant.
  • the plaintiff had gathered pre-filing evidence that a different party (Linktree), not the defendant, was responsible for the perma-ban but sued the defendant anyway.

The court awards $91k of fees to the defendant (how did this amount get so high?). A costly lesson in the reasons why plaintiffs usually don’t file 512(f) lawsuits.

Case Citation: Digital Marketing Advisors v. McCandless Group, LLC, 2022 WL 17403067 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 27, 2022)

Prior Posts on Section 512(f)

* Anti-Circumvention Takedowns Aren’t Covered by 512(f)–Yout v. RIAA
* 11th Circuit UPHOLDS a 512(f) Plaintiff Win on Appeal–Alper Automotive v. Day to Day Imports
* Court Mistakenly Thinks Copyright Owners Have a Duty to Police Infringement–Sunny Factory v. Chen
* Another 512(f) Claim Fails–Moonbug v. Babybus
* A 512(f) Plaintiff Wins at Trial! ?–Alper Automotive v. Day to Day Imports
* Satirical Depiction in YouTube Video Gets Rough Treatment in Court
* 512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal
* 512(f) Claim Against Robo-Notice Sender Can Proceed–Enttech v. Okularity
* Copyright Plaintiffs Can’t Figure Out What Copyrights They Own, Court Says ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
* A 512(f) Case Leads to a Rare Damages Award (on a Default Judgment)–California Beach v. Du
* 512(f) Claim Survives Motion to Dismiss–Brandyn Love v. Nuclear Blast America
* 512(f) Claim Fails in the 11th Circuit–Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center
* Court Orders Rightsowner to Withdraw DMCA Takedown Notices Sent to Amazon–Beyond Blond v. Heldman
* Another 512(f) Claim Fails–Ningbo Mizhihe v Doe
* Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)–Hughes v. Benjamin
* How Have Section 512(f) Cases Fared Since 2017? (Spoiler: Not Well)
* Another Section 512(f) Case Fails–ISE v. Longarzo
* Another 512(f) Case Fails–Handshoe v. Perret
* A DMCA Section 512(f) Case Survives Dismissal–ISE v. Longarzo
* DMCA’s Unhelpful 512(f) Preempts Helpful State Law Claims–Stevens v. Vodka and Milk
* Section 512(f) Complaint Survives Motion to Dismiss–Johnson v. New Destiny Church
* ‘Reaction’ Video Protected By Fair Use–Hosseinzadeh v. Klein
* 9th Circuit Sides With Fair Use in Dancing Baby Takedown Case–Lenz v. Universal
* Two 512(f) Rulings Where The Litigants Dispute Copyright Ownership
* It Takes a Default Judgment to Win a 17 USC 512(f) Case–Automattic v. Steiner
* Vague Takedown Notice Targeting Facebook Page Results in Possible Liability–CrossFit v. Alvies
* Another 512(f) Claim Fails–Tuteur v. Crosley-Corcoran
* 17 USC 512(f) Is Dead–Lenz v. Universal Music
* 512(f) Plaintiff Can’t Get Discovery to Back Up His Allegations of Bogus Takedowns–Ouellette v. Viacom
* Updates on Transborder Copyright Enforcement Over “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”–Shropshire v. Canning
* 17 USC 512(f) Preempts State Law Claims Over Bogus Copyright Takedown Notices–Amaretto v. Ozimals
* 17 USC 512(f) Claim Against “Twilight” Studio Survives Motion to Dismiss–Smith v. Summit Entertainment
* Cease & Desist Letter to iTunes Isn’t Covered by 17 USC 512(f)–Red Rock v. UMG
* Copyright Takedown Notice Isn’t Actionable Unless There’s an Actual Takedown–Amaretto v. Ozimals
* Second Life Ordered to Stop Honoring a Copyright Owner’s Takedown Notices–Amaretto Ranch Breedables v. Ozimals
* Another Copyright Owner Sent a Defective Takedown Notice and Faced 512(f) Liability–Rosen v. HSI
* Furniture Retailer Enjoined from Sending eBay VeRO Notices–Design Furnishings v. Zen Path
* Disclosure of the Substance of Privileged Communications via Email, Blog, and Chat Results in Waiver — Lenz v. Universal
* YouTube Uploader Can’t Sue Sender of Mistaken Takedown Notice–Cabell v. Zimmerman
* Rare Ruling on Damages for Sending Bogus Copyright Takedown Notice–Lenz v. Universal
* 512(f) Claim Dismissed on Jurisdictional Grounds–Project DoD v. Federici
* Biosafe-One v. Hawks Dismissed
* Michael Savage Takedown Letter Might Violate 512(f)–Brave New Media v. Weiner
* Fair Use – It’s the Law (for what it’s worth)–Lenz v. Universal
* Copyright Owner Enjoined from Sending DMCA Takedown Notices–Biosafe-One v. Hawks
* New(ish) Report on 512 Takedown Notices
* Can 512(f) Support an Injunction? Novotny v. Chapman
* Allegedly Wrong VeRO Notice of Claimed Infringement Not Actionable–Dudnikov v. MGA Entertainment

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