Root Wellness added to BehindMLM’s DMCA Wall of Shame
Following multiple attempts to suppress reporting, the latest of which is a series of bogus DMCA take-down notices, Root Wellness has been added to BehindMLM’s DMCA Wall of Shame.
On June 15th Don Bailey, acting as an “authorized representative of Root Wellness LLC, Clayton Thomas and Christina Rahm, filed a series of bogus DMCA takedown notices.
On LinkedIn Bailey cites himself as Director of Business Development for Local Map Co, a South Carolina SEO and marketing agency.
As per Local Map Co.’s filed DMCA notices, Bailey claims BehindMLM’s coverage of Root Wellness includes
unauthorized use and infringement of our brand’s intellectual property rights, which includes but is not limited to our trademarks, copyrighted material, and the likeness of our brands/persons.
Cited BehindMLM URLs in Local Map Co’s DMCA notice are:
- BehindMLM’s reporting of Root Wellness responding to a DSSRC compliance ruling, claiming they “weren’t responsible” for medical claims published on Root Wellness’ website (July 2022)
- BehindMLM’s reporting of Metron Nutraceuticals suing Root Wellness for intellectual property infringement (July 2020)
- BehindMLM’s original Root Wellness MLM review (April 2020)
- BehindMLM’s reporting of the SEC suing Root Wellness owner Clayton Thomas for securities fraud (May 2023)
Thomas settled the SEC’s alleged fraud charges for $844,706 on June 9th. Local Map Co’s DMCA notices were filed on June 15th.
You can put two and two together.
I don’t know why but Don Bailey appears to have filed the same DMCA take-down request three times.
In any event, under Fair Use BehindMLM doesn’t require permission from Root Wellness, Clayton Thomas or Christina Rahm to use “trademarks, copyrighted material, and the likeness of … brands/persons”.
Examples of fair use in United States copyright law include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship.
Fair use provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work.
This area of US copyright law is well-established when it comes to news reporting and reviews, which the above cited BehindMLM articles are clearly examples of.
US courts have upheld that DMCA notices issued without consideration of fair use are sent in bad faith.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, this constitutes perjury and leaves the filer open to being sued for damages.
In addition to DMCA abuse, Root Wellness engaged in a negative SEO spam campaign against BehindMLM in July 2022.
Like with the recent bogus DMCA notices, the intent was to suppress BehindMLM’s reporting of Root Wellness.