WordPress goes to bat for blogger in censorship case

Real quick from PBS MediaShift: WordPress Goes to Court to Defend Censored Bloggers by Parker Higgins.

The blogging platform WordPress.com has taken the unusual — and welcome — step of going to court to defend its users against bogus copyright claims aimed at silencing their speech on the platform. Automattic, WordPress’s parent company, has joined two separate lawsuits that seek to hold the would-be censors of legitimate lawful speech accountable for their attempts.

WordPress is suing Straight Pride UK for sending bogus takedowns.

One of the targeted bloggers, Oliver Hotham, is a U.K. student journalist who wrote about a group called Straight Pride UK. That group issued a press statement explaining its concerns about the “homosexual agenda” and holding up Vladimir Putin as symbol of straight pride. When Hotham’s article quoting that press statement started to get attention, he was slapped with a takedown notice and told his quotes constituted copyright infringement.

The other case involved a website called “Retraction Watch,” run by two noted science journalists. The site tracks instances of published scientific papers being criticized or retracted, for reasons ranging from honest error to falsified data, and covering some controversial situations that may be embarrassing for the scientists involved.

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