DigitalRev removed the review of GoPro Hero 3 and replaced it with the text of a DMCA takedown notice that they’ve received from GoPro. DigitalRev also tweeted a message ‘@GoPro is bullying us with DMCA. We’ll have to remove this article soon”. This created an unwanted attention towards GoPro almost instantaneously.
DigitalRev is a blog/photography store/Youtube channel/photo sharing social network community which made a review of GoPro and compared it with Sony HDR-AS15. But they claimed a foul over GoPro as the company claims that DigitalRev illegally used the trademarks “GoPro” and “Hero”. Tweets started pouring in by angry fans and non DigitalRev fans alike, promising that they’ll never buy a GoPro product.
These messages also ended up in relevant sub-Reddit sections as well.
But GoPro quickly clarified (or tried to) that they weren’t trying to take down the review- which showed the product in a positive light. The problem is that the company didn’t want them to use the images that they’ve put up on the e-commerce part of the website, which doesn’t really make sense for many.
GoPro posted a reply on Reddit:
The letter that was posted next to the review on DigitalRev was not sent in response to the review. Obviously, we welcome editorial reviews of our products. This letter was sent because DigitalRev is not an authorized reseller of GoPro products and they were using images and had incorrect branding and representation of our product in their online commerce store. As part of our program – we ask merchants who are selling our product to use authorized images. That is why DigitalRev was contacted. But – our letter did not clearly communicate this and that is something we will correct.
It didn’t explain why was the review was asked to be taken down via a DMCA notice rather than simply asking to correct the image on the e-commerce part of the site using a friendly email?
GoPro tried to do damage control by posting their links that expressed their detailed clarification on Reddit, although (and as expected) turned out to be a futile attempt. The company even replied to tweets of many angry commenters:
Whatever the case, its obvious that reviewers will take photos of products as we fit to show the device to its readers and not just use media shots all the time.
DigitalRev stated that its most likely because GoPro didn’t like to be compared with Sony AS15 and implied that the DMCA takedown is an excuse to make sure the comparative review was removed. They mentioned:
It appears that our friend at San Mateo doesn’t like us comparing their latest product to the Sony AS15. Earlier today we have received a DMCA take down notice from GoPro for mentioning their trademarks “GoPro” and “Hero” without their authorisation. They say “you learn something new everyday”, and this is clearly an eye-opener for us here. It appears that we’ll need their authorisation to review their products.
While GoPro tried to link the e-commerce part of DigitalRev and sidebar pictures and the actual content, it shows that throwing the DMCA notice as a weapon to product your brand to “protect” it can do more harm than good (if there was any good at all in the first place). Hopefully, GoPro’s lawyers will go easy before they start tossing around DMCA takedown notices unless they want their client’s brand look bad.