There are provisions for this type of thing in the DMCA. I'm not sure to what extent these damages have been enforced, but it appears that the company that submitted these DMCA requests to Google has committed perjury by doing so in bad faith.
Penalties for bad faith DMCA takedowns have ranged from awarding lawyer's fees, &c, to the folks whose content was taken down, to having the party that issued the takedown issue a public apology and take a class on copyright law. It's also perjury, so criminal sanction is an option, though I don't know how likely that is to succeed, or how often it's been pursued.
Forget ill intent. Just make it punishable. The same way they wanted to make sites responsible for what users post, by taking down the entire (DNS removal). It should be equally as dangerous for them to make those accusations with such harsh consequences.
I don't think a DMCA takedown request is related to DNS removal. And I really don't think it's a good idea to punish people making good faith efforts to stop people pirating their content -- even if it turns out they're wrong about e.g. some gray area of fair use.
They do, but when you file a counter notice, you swear on penalty of perjury that you believe the original notice was filed "in error". IANAL either, but it seems like that means that if you want to take the most expeditious means of getting your content back up, you effectively surrender any recourse to call them on their perjury.
The headline seems a little alarmist; the article in question wasn't "censored" completely, it was just removed from Google. (I'll preemptively disagree with the argument that if a page is not Googleable it doesn't exist.)
This is a wonderful linguistic cul-de-sac you've steered into, but the fact remains that "censor" means "suppress"; it does not mean "eradicate". When the government of China or Acela's internet filtering vendor block a site, they are censoring it, without removing it from the internet. The same principle applies here.
Indeed - it was only eradicated from Google's search results. My point is that that's a modifier, therefore the use of it is defensible...? That's an objective claim that's completely ridiculous when taken to other contexts.
Whether it's alarmist / excessive is subjective. And, since either would be technically correct, it probably has more to do with implied meanings or the common use of a word, and not the dictionary definition. Their usage of it is certainly defensible, but that has little to do with whether or not a modifier would make it more accurate.
I think we agree that the people who issued this DMCA notice have taken action to suppress content they find objectionable. I can also understand that 'censorship' is a Bad Thing (TM) and people want to limit its use to only the most extreme cases.
But that leaves a problem: what do you call behavior like this?