This is a bizarre case taking copyright law and take-down notices to an extreme. According to this article, lawyers representing doctors have found in copyright law a way to discourage bad reviews.

By assigning copyright to your doctor on all reviews about his services, the medical professional’s lawyers could then send a takedown notice if you post a poor review on a site like Yelp.

Thankfully, “the former general counsel of review site Epinions, said he’s contacted roughly a dozen websites that publish patient reviews, and all of them said that if a doctor sent a “take-down” notice based on copyright issues, they would not honor it.”

Yet, legally, the review sites could lose their safe-harbor status and suffer the same fate as PirateBay or MegaUploads. (The safe-harbor exempts hosting providers and sites that use user-submitted content from lawsuits as long as they remove copyrighted material when asked to do so by the copyright owners).

So next time you visit a healthcare professional, make sure to read the fine print.