I’ve handled at least a dozen cases of plagiarism involving ezboard . However, until recently, none of those cases involved any members of the ezboard staff. Instead, they dealt with message board owners, moderators and administrators that took the issue seriously and resolved it themselves.
However, there are times in which ezboard itself will be required to step in and help with content theft issues. Boards get abandoned and forgotten by their operators, even as posts continue to flow in, other boards contain old infringements only recently detected by search engines, sometimes forum administrators may be uncooperative, and finally, as in my case, the operator him or herself might also be the plagiarist.
That makes it good to note that ezboard, despite a rough customer service reputation in other areas, seems to be about spot on when it comes to matters of copyright infringement.
Filing a Complaint
Filing a copyright infringement complaint with ezboard, compared to other providers, is relatively easy. All you have to do is locate their “Legal Issue Request Form“, fill out the pertinent information and then paste in your full DMCA notice and submit it.
For me, resolution came within about seven hours. Once the work was removed and I received confirmation of that, I tried to close out the ticket that is automatically created by submitting a legal complaint. However, the system would not let me for some reason.
While the process of filing a complaint is not as easy as LiveJournal or other services that help with the writing of the DMCA notice, it is still vastly easier, more efficient and friendlier than the bulk of Web hosts.
One Minor Problem
With all of that being said, there is one minor hangup that I have about ezboard. However, it is a simple thing to fix.
To make a long story short, their information on file (PDF) with the U.S. Copyright Office appears to be out of date, turning four years old yesterday, and no longer produces a response.
Thought heir Legal Issue Request Form is easy to locate from their home page, many still rely on the USCO’s database to guide them. It would seem prudent for ezboard to update their DMCA information as soon as possible, if for no other reason than to ensure safe harbor status.
All in all, I consider ezboard to be a borderline hero. There are a few things it could do better, but it is far beyond most Web hosts in this matter.
Though ezboard has taken a great deal of flak for recent problems, including a hack on its servers last year that resulted in a significant amount of data loss, this seems to be an area it excels in.
My only hope is that it is able to keep up this level of support as it transitions its services into Yuku and adds more social networking features. It’s likely that its role will become much more important after those changes are completed and administrators no longer control the vast majority of content posted.