WordPress has released a new report that reveals it takes action on only a small portion of the piracy takedown notices it receives. About 86% of the notices it receives do not result in any content removals. This high rejection rate is mainly due to incomplete notices sent by takedown companies.
Automattic, the company that owns WordPress, receives thousands of takedown requests from copyright holders.
The number of notices received had been increasing for several years, reaching its peak in 2018, and has slowly decreased since then.
WordPress Transparency Report
According to the new WordPress Transparency Report, In the first six months of this year, the platform processed 2,412 takedown notices, which is a significant decrease compared to the previous year’s 3,321 notices.
These numbers specifically refer to the DMCA notices directed at WordPress.com services. Each notice can include multiple URLs, sometimes even dozens. Automattic plans to provide more detailed data in the future.
Abusive and incomplete takedown requests are a notable issue. The rejection rate is high, with only 14% of the notices resulting in content removals. The majority of notices (77%) are rejected because they are incomplete, and an additional 9% are dismissed as ‘abusive.’ The remaining 14% are processed as usual.
The number of rejections is significantly higher than the previous year, primarily due to the increase in incomplete notices sent by specialized removal companies.
These incomplete notices are often submitted through automated processes that charge content creators for exercising their rights.
These faulty notices also include requests to remove content cached by other hosting providers, such as through WordPress’ Jetpack service. Since WordPress is not the original host, it does not take action on these requests.
The high percentage of faulty notices is frustrating for Automattic, which indirectly criticizes companies that heavily rely on takedown bots and automated processes.
Tumblr Transparency Report
Automattic also owns the blogging platform Tumblr and publishes a separate transparency report for it.
The report shows a similar decline in DMCA takedown notices on Tumblr, with 2,278 notices sent in the first half of 2023, compared to 3,362 requests the previous year.
A detailed breakdown shows that these notices targeted 2,369 posts and 11,146 other pieces of content. The majority (78%) of these notices were valid and processed accordingly.
Automattic emphasizes that while the surge in DMCA takedowns has decreased, it is important to remain vigilant to prevent unnecessary content removal.
The company carefully reviews each takedown notice to assess its validity, address abuse, and help users understand their rights, such as Fair Use.