SimpleNote DMCA

Back in 2013, I wrote about Simplenote, a note-taking app that WordPress/Automattic had bought.

I used it for a while and then moved to Ulysses (which I still have) and more recently I started to use Bear. It’s the little things that make Bear more of a pleasure to use, and I will probably keep on using it.

I still get email updates about SimpleNote, though, and about three weeks ago, this arrived in my inbox.

Web Application Outage Details
Tuesday at about 4:50pm Pacific time our web application at went down, displaying a generic 404 error message. We discovered shortly after that Google Cloud Platform, which hosts the web application, had shut down the site due to a DMCA notice for allegedly infringing content that appeared in published notes. We worked with Google to rectify the issue as quickly as possible and they reinstated the app yesterday morning.

No data was lost during this outage. Thanks for your patience as we get everything up and running again! You may see some delays in sharing or publishing notes as the service gets back up to speed.

Happy noting,
The Simplenote Team

When I used SimpleNote, I didn’t publish my notes. My notes were for me, not for sharing with an audience. So when I asked the author of the notice what had happened, I knew I was referring to those SimpleNote users who published their notes – maybe like microblogging.

So were Google correct? Was some content removed? Did Google warn you before taking down the web app? Was it the action of an over-zealous Google employee?

No over-zealous employees! Just a situation that we weren’t prepared for. We have the process set up to handle these DMCA notices properly from now on.

So, it was a considered decision by Google. How bad would an infringement have to be for Google to take down the whole app with multiple authors?

It seems to me that such an infringement would have to be so egregious and so sensitive, and would have to be so widespread across so much of the app that it could be said to taint the whole before Google would take such an action.

I wonder what it was?


  1. nicklewis says:

    I never really used SimpleNote because, well, I tried it and wasn’t that keen. However Ulysses and Bear are great…. funnily enough I use Bear alongside my work, to keep not of things and a lot more.


    1. I have also started using Draftin more – – for versioning web copy. It’s easy to use and I don’t have to use Git or Subversion or anything. I recommend it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nicklewis says:

        Hmm that’s intriguing, will have a look


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