A month ago, we received an electronic letter from a person calling himself Nate Bihldorff, stating he is a legal representative from Nintendo. It was a DMCA Takedown Notice.
The end of the letter stated,
“Please notice that if you do not reply to this email within the given amount of 30 days we will be forced to take legal action.”We haven't replied to the e-mail. Sure, I wrote an entire article, but never sent a reply to the e-mail (or his weird follow-up where he attached a decade-old picture of himself that he didn't take). Therefore, legal action must be imminent, right?
After all, Nate Bihldorff doesn't have a choice. He specifically said he would be “forced”. That leaves no flexibility that something WILL happen, though what exactly the “legal action” is could be anything.
That said, their specific request was,
“Take down the website with the associated content that we own.”The website being the entire www.koopatv.org. So whatever they do will come to that end. Let's think about this a bit.
This one first-search-engine-results-page guy sent a follow-up e-mail to someone he sent a DMCA takedown request to, threatening criminal charges and a police report, hoping the police would seize infringers’ computers. They also would contact their domain registrar (Google for us).
In the case of KoopaTV, we're not legally obligated to reply to Nate Bihldorff if we believe that the DMCA takedown notice wasn't legitimate. The hyperlinked sentence at the beginning of this article is full of reasons why we wouldn't think Nate Bihldorff's notice was legitimate. Additionally, we're not legally obligated to respond to it since DMCA notices are for hosts (Google), not users (us). The DMCA e-mail on our Contact Us page is just there as a... joke. Kind of like our logo policy.
Wouldn't it be fun if we survived through the minuscule chance that we could make it through Inauguration Day 2017, to be shut down by a poorly-written DMCA takedown notice written by someone fraudulently claiming to represent Nintendo?
KoopaTV supports law & order (and so we're happy that Jeff Sessions was just confirmed to be President Donald John Trump's Attorney General!), but that support also means we are against frivolous and fake legal actions. We won't be intimidated by those!
As of publishing, we haven't received a follow-up threat. Though it's certainly possible they just went to Google directly. Based on horror stories and Google's product forums, it seems to be a common occurrence that Google will just delete whole websites without telling anyone, including the website owner, why.
We could disappear without warning any moment now. Do you think Google would bother to look into the validity of a fake DMCA request, or would they just pull the trigger? I'm leaning towards trigger-happy, personally. That's bad! This could be our last article. Pay your respects.
Just to be clear, this article exists the way it does because absolutely nothing new happened between a month ago and today, but KoopaTV thought following up was extremely important and necessary.