Tumblr is bending over to claims of copyright violations without giving users a chance to respond. The multiple claims from one New Age organization are disputed by the writers but Tumblr is not allowing them to show proof the work is their own.
Tumblr’s GIF artists are upset, and rightfully so: Their works are being pulled off the Web due to rogue copyright claims signed by a man who claims to have spent the past 30 years channeling an alien from the future.
At least nine artists say that in recent months, their original works have been taken down from Tumblr, replaced by a DMCA notice.
Each of the notices was signed by Darryl Anka or Bashar Communications. And who is Darryl Anka, you might ask? He is, according to his official website, a man chosen as “channel” to Bashar, who’s “of extraterrestrial origin, a friend from the future.” Here’s an example of Anka channeling Bashar, the aforementioned alien confidant.
A spokesperson for Bashar is quoted as saying it was unintentional and they only filed DMCA requests on legitimate claims but other work got included. However, they seem to have a habit of doing it according to a followup by the Daily Dot.
Some DMCA notices are certainly legitimate. But a logical first step would be to contact the suspected infringing writer and ask for it to be taken down if you can prove it is your work. From DN’s experience, those who go straight to the legal route have a less than thoughtful or logical agenda. It’s not good for Tumblr’s reputation to be so unreasonable and diss their users. But, it doesn’t matter that the underlying interest of the Bashar group is incredibly strange and ridiculous. A claim is a claim. In this case, the claims are well disputed.
Anka’s Bashar site says his cutting-edge philosophy is based on physics and that his perspectives “can change the way you view “reality” and help you get in touch with the beliefs and ideas that are presently guiding your life so that you can change them if you decide to.” He might want to apply some of his DMCA notice preparation time to changing his website. It’s terrible.