I deal with bullies a lot in my line of work. I respect a good argument, but I hate when somebody makes a legal threat despite lacking any basis for their threat. These people usually assume that the subject of the threat willl not seek an attorney's advice. Sometimes the subjects are smart enough to obtain advice. Sometimes I am the attorney` they meet with. When that happens, I've written some of my favorite letters in response. I enjoy the feeling of putting a bully in their place.
WordPress also likes to take on bullies. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act – or DMCA - is intended to protect copyrighted work. There is a mechanism under the DMCA that allows the holder of a copyright to issue a takedown notice requiring a web hosting service to remove infringing content. This mechanism is well itended. Unfortunately, it is often abused. A growing number of bullies have issued DMCA takedown notices to remove content they don't like rather than content that violates of copyright protections. Simply put, these notices are fradulently issued to suppress free speech - and not to protect a copyrighted work. For that reason they should be sanctionable.
I believe censorship is bad. So does WordPress. Mosting hosting providers simply reinstate the content if the author is able to demonstrate that the content does not violate copyright protections. WordPress is taking it one step further. They have filed a lawsuits against persons that have issued bogus takedown notices to WordPress. The basis for these lawsuits is the provision in the DMCA that allows private causes of actions when a material misrepresentation is made in a takedown notice.
There are challenges to these lawsuits. Generally speaking, courts have very narrowly applied the "material misrepresentation" clause. Courts often restrict recovery to those cases in which a false statements is made concerning copyright ownership. They do not allow recovery when statements are made about the alleged infringing material are shown to be false. WordPress will have their work cut out for them. I wish them all the luck in the world. Even if they fail, I hope that this will result in a change to the law. It is sorely needed. The law should not allow abuse of the DMCA so long as you have a valid copyright. If you falsely state that content violates your copyright, you should be accountable for your abuse of the DMCA.