DMCA Take-Down Letter

Some time last week, the company that hosts my website received a sternly worded letter from Kilpatrick Stockton LLP, Attorneys at Law, instructing the data center to remove a file on my web site from their server. The file that the lawyers wanted taken down was a pdf version of a report called “US Banks: New Treasury Stress Tests Guidelines Do Not Appear Onerous,” prepared by Citi Investment Research Analysis, part of Citigroup, Kilpatrick Stockton’s client.

As I explained in an earlier post, Citigroup is invoking their rights under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act because the company seems to be a little embarrassed by having a public record of their early 2009 assessment of President Obama’s banking plans. Back then, it seemed straightforwardly correct and politically uncontroversial to say that Obama’s plans did not look like an attack on the financial sector. But, with the Republicans on the ascendancy lately, that kind of language might be sounding a bit off message about now. (Citigroup attorneys: is it OK that I quote the name of the report, which gets most of the point across anyway? Or is that off limits, too?)

I didn’t receive the notice until today. The email from my webhost, including a pdf copy of the letter from Kilpatrick Stockton, went straight to my spam filter –twice. I didn’t fish it out until my webhost called me at my office this morning. A few minutes after I got off the phone, I updated my earlier post and deleted the file.

My guess is that anyone with basic googling skills can still find a copy of the report somewhere on the interwebs. Which I’m sure thrills the folks at Kilpatrick Stockton, who must see this particular paper as a nice meal ticket. I’m guessing that they get to charge Citigroup real money to write “DMCA take down” letters to economists like me, Doug Henwood and, from the looks of it, Brad DeLong (who had the file posted, too, but it seems not any longer).

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