Doctors Started Using DMCA to Filter Bad ReviewsAdded: Thursday, April 21st, 2011
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Medical Justice Company started using the DMCA in order to filter critical reviews of doctors. Meanwhile, a number of legal experts have set up a site aimed at challenging this practice by letting bad reviews to be published on their website instead.
Nowadays critics often point out that tightening copyright legislation would lead to general censorship. From time to time, supporters of strict copyright laws object that illegal copyrighted content isn’t a free speech matter, and therefore dismiss the entire argument. Today the things prove that copyright legislation is once again being used as a censorship instrument.
A company named Medical Justice is reportedly using the DMCA in its attempts to silence critics of doctors. The doctors simply make their patients sign a contract handing over the copyright of any review they might publish online afterwards. So, if the patients post any bad review, the company is able to send a DMCA notice demanding that the content be removed immediately. Actually, it seems to be the quickest way to remove content. The company has defended this practice by saying that the doctors themselves are not able to rebut any bad reviews because of doctor patient confidentiality.
In response, a couple of critics started up a site named Doctored Reviews with the sole purpose to explain why such practice is not just illegal, but also unethical. They say that if all other companies started using similar contracts, it would become a nightmare. People will end up with realizing they could be demanded to keep quiet and never post their opinion on the Internet about any product or service they bought, whether it is a haircut or a meal at the restaurant. Many would agree that it’s just ridiculous to let doctors require this of their patients. Currently, one site is refusing to honor these DMCA take-downs, while RateMD is creating a so-called “Wall of Shame” for those who employ such contracts.
Unfortunately, using the DMCA for such purpose is not new. Back in 2007, anti-creationists found themselves banned from YouTube for copyright violation after the DMCA notices had been issued by creationists that weren’t quite happy with their views. So the latest incident was just another proof of how copyright legislation can be used to violate the right of free speech.
April 21st,2011Posted by:
Thursday, April 21st, 2011
|Not sure the copyright "violation" would hold up in court. The doctor would have to show that he gave some consideration to the patient for signing over any future copyrights AND there is the matter of prior restraint. You can't force someone to not do something in the future they would otherwise have the right to do. Also, this reeks of bit of extortion: "Yes, I can see you are in a great deal of pain - sign this paper and I'll take care of you..."|
|Is not a review most time an opinion of some one?|
Any contract as mentioned would it not be a form of censorship?
Also it is not mentioned what happened to the patients that did not sign this contract? Were they then refused treatment? If so I would think that would be a clear case of malpractice?
Me as a patient would have very serious thoughts about seeing a doctor who is requiring me to sign a contract like this? Why would they require this contract to be signed? Are they hiding something?
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