Coketalk, the anonymous writer responsible for the advice column Dear Coquette, among others, has had a dramatic week: Tumblr deleted the archives of her blog hosted there because of what they say was one too many DMCA violations, though she believes something more sinister is afoot, calling the action “rather targeted.”
On Monday, Coketalk tweeted that Tumblr had taken down years worth of her work without notice, even her backup site.
As the Daily Dot points out, Coketalk had dealt with DMCA violation issues before.
In August, after garnering multiple DMCA claims, her Tumblr was deleted but quickly reinstated. “Within ten minutes of sounding the alarm via Twitter, my account had been restored, but I’m one of the lucky ones,” she wrote at the time. The crux of the issue was her refusal to file a counter-claim for the music she legally owned, because doing so might compromise her anonymity.
But on Tuesday, Tumblr founder David Karp said in response to a question about why she was kicked off the platform (probably prompted by Coketalk from a fan) that there was nothing they could do about the takedown.
This SUCKS. This particular takedown happened because of a US law called The Digital Millennium Copyright Act which requires us to remove unauthorized copyrighted material whenever the copyright holder reports it. It also requires that “repeat infringers”—the person, not just their account—be permanently banned from the platform.
In Coketalk’s case, we repeatedly warned her not to post unauthorized copyrighted material (all music posts in her case) and offered to walk her through the issues by phone last year. She declined to counter-notify the notices that she received on her account, which would have rolled those strikes back. We unfortunately received a third notice against her account yesterday, and were required by law to terminate all of her accounts.
I badly wish we had more flexibility in these cases. If you’re concerned about how the DMCA works, please reach out to your House Rep and Senator and tell them you want copyright reform that addresses issues like this.
The issue here is one of anonymity: Tumblr would have supposedly allowed Coketalk to keep blogging if she had revealed, even just to them, who she was in handling these DMCA violations. But Coketalk, who has a book, Notes to My Future Husband: A Bitch’s Guide to Our Happily Ever After, and has had her work published by places like Playboy, The Daily and Nerve, said in an interview in 2010 that making sure people don’t know who she is is not something she’s willing to compromise on. “Privacy is very important to me,” she told Guest of a Guest.
“Certain key facts are changed, but everything I write on Coke Talk is fundamentally true. That alone could get me into all kinds of trouble with friends, family, and potential employers,” she added, referencing her years of writing about the entertainment industry (she’s had a diverse set of careers).
Coketalk has spent the past few days retweeting supportive messages from her fans, and is in the process of setting up a new website, sans Tumblr, which you can sign up to receive notifications about here.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.