A lighting company called Rotolight had Vimeo take down a video review they didn’t like the outcome of. They used the DMCA (law against copyright infringement) to do this. Then admitted their behavior on the reviewer’s Facebook page. The video reviewer, Den Lennie of F-Stop Academy, posted a video on Vimeo comparing the Rotolight Anova to a similar product. Lennie has 20 years experience as a filmmaker and Rotolight basically said that Lennie (who claimed their lights had a green cast) didn’t know what he was doing setting up the lights.
Here is the original post on NoFilmSchool (it’s now been picked up by boingboing and many other tech/photography blogs.
Let’s talk corporate social media 101: If you get negative press, you don’t have it deleted, you deal with it maturely. You rationally explain your side of things and let it sort itself out. This type of overzealous knee-jerk reaction is now called the Streisand Effect. Rotolight has been all apologetic on Den’s Facebook, but the damage to their brand is done. Sadly the DMCA is being abused here. Media services are too quick to pull something issued a DMCA takedown, then ask questions later, if at all. Often the target of these takedowns doesn’t get to explain themselves. Worse, there are no penalties for companies who falsely issue these takedowns (as Rotolight has admitted to).
As a gear reviewer, I’m disappointed in both Rotolift and Vimeo. We as consumers have a right to critique the products we purchase. It’s called free speech. Hopefully two things will happen with this, one that other companies learn from Rotolift’s mistake, and that our government fixes the obviously flawed DMCA law.