Doane administration is under fire after filing a copyright claim against the faculty-made website, keepdoaneeducated.net.

The website was created by faculty members to share thoughts and concerns about the current prioritization process at Doane. The website has since been taken down by the host site due to a copyright complaint. Though the complaint was sent anonymously, Doane administration claimed to be behind it.

The complaint stated that the photos used on the faculty-made website were taken from Doane without permission. However, Kirsten Hetrick, the previous Honor program director, stated she took the photos herself and gave permission for them to be used on the website.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF, sent a notice to Jacque Carter on Tuesday about the false claim.

The letter states that the EFF found no support to Doane’s initial complaint.

“Neither alleged work provides a legitimate basis for Doane’s notice,” the letter says.

According to the letter sent to Carter, Doane was given until the end of Nov. 4 to retract the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claim.

The EFF said the false claim appeared to be a tactic to get the website taken down rather than to protect copyright.

“Based on these fundamental flaws and the surrounding circumstances, it appears that Doane’s takedown notice was motivated not by genuine concern for any copyright interest,” the letter says. “But rather by a desire to shut down criticism and prevent effective opposition to your proposed program cuts in the days leading up to the November 9 vote.”

Doane was given the choice to retract the claim or take responsibility for damages and costs.

“You are on notice that your claim of copyright infringement lacks any legitimate basisand that you can be held liable for any damages, including attorneys’ fees and costs, that result from misuse of DMCA procedures to shut down lawful speech,” the email said.

If Doane chooses not to retract the claim, Professor of Political Science Tim Hill will have the right to pursue legal action against the university.

“Professor Hill reserves the right to pursue these and other available legal remedies against you,” the letter says.

To see the official letter to Carter, click here.

To see the official letter to Carter, click here.

 

Update** 

Doane administration has since retracted its copyright claim. 

The university commented, saying “After further consideration, Doane University has contacted the hosting site, allowing the site to be live. In a misunderstanding that has now been falsely communicated, Doane's complaint dealt with the university's likeness being used on a third party site without permission. The photos used on the site was not specifically the origin of the DMCA claim. The university has a responsibility to dispute third party websites attempting to use Doane's name, likeness, and private information without permission.”

The site has been put back online.