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Ceasing and Desisting. received it’s first-ever cease-and-desist letter today. The folks at Proquest were none too happy that I pointed out a backdoor to their database.

I’ve decided to take that link down, but I’m also going to tell you how I found it through rather innocent clicking around on the publicly available Web.

UC Berkeley features “Pathfinder”, a web-based search engine for the library’s materials. I am an alumnus of UC Berkeley, and can check out materials from the library, so I occasionally see if they have stuff I want.

I’m doing some research on design issues, and discovered that the Design Management Journal had stuff that I was interested in. So I typed “design management journal” into Pathfinder.

The fourth result, for “Design Management Journal”, is what I wanted. You’ll notice a link to “Selected article text for 2001: link removed due to DMCA Gestapo at ProQuest“.

I clicked on that link, which popped open a new window, and then redirected me to the authenticated ProQuest site. I cut and paste the URL from the address bar, and provided the link.

If you click on the link removed due to DMCA Gestapo at ProQuest link now, you’ll see that they’ve blocked that redirect. So, someone woke up.

I’m still not quite sure how I feel about all this. I mean, I like getting stuff for free. Though, I’m also willing to pay for it at a reasonable price (as my burgeoning “Purchased Music” folder in iTunes shows). I also don’t think I should be held responsible for someone else’s thoughtlessness. It’s as if a box of Design Management Journals had been left, open, with no one around.

Since the redirect no longer works, I’ve taken the direct link down — it’s clear now that that door was not meant to be gone through.