The Ares Rights saga is… bizarre. So, they’ve summoned Barbra Streisand to sing their song. After substantial attention to the firm’s abuse of copyright law to censor political dissidents (and, er, international oil conglomerates), Ares Rights has deployed a DMCA (copyright) takedown notice against an Ecuadorian news outlet targeting their coverage of Ares Rights’ censorious abuse of copyright.
The Saga of Ares Rights’ Abuse of American Copyright Law To Censor Critics of Ecuador
The Spanish firm, with apparent ties to a number of officials with the governments of Ecuador and Argentina, has a storied history of abusing DMCA takedown notices to delete content which is embarrassing to officials in the governments of Ecuador and Argentina. In so doing, Ares Rights has claimed to represent various Ecuadorian and Argentine officials, as well as Ecuador’s state-funded ECTV. In most — if not every — instance, the material Ares Rights targets is not owned at all by their purported clients, or is quite clearly fair use under U.S. copyright law.
Under U.S. law, a DMCA takedown notice requires a website to quickly remove content when a rights holder asserts that the content infringes upon their copyright. Ares Rights essentially claims, falsely, to own a copyright in embarrassing content, forcing the host of the content to temporarily disable access to it until the true owner — often unfamiliar with U.S. law — can figure out how to submit a DMCA counternotice. At that point, access to the content is restored. Each time Ares Rights has deployed this routine, the result is the same: they’re temporarily successful in hiding the material, but the content is re-established — and greater attention is drawn than if the content had been ignored entirely.