Major studios send legal threats to Google demanding removal of links to their own Facebook pages and more

One things the movie studios say in copyright takedown discussions is that they're very careful when they send legal threats to Google demanding removal of links to pirated copies of their work. I mean, maybe some little guys out there play fast and loose, but the Big Five? They're grownups, man.

Then, this happened:

On behalf of Lionsgate a DMCA notice was sent to Google, asking the search engine to remove links to infringing copies of the movie “Cabin in the Woods”. The notice in question only lists two dozen URLs, but still manages to include perfectly legal copies of the film on Amazon, iTunes, Blockbuster and Xfinity.

20th Century Fox sent in a DMCA notice to protect the movie “Prometheus”. However, as collateral damage it also took down a link to a legal copy on Verizon on demand, the collection of the Prometheus Watch Company, and a Huffington Post article.

And what about a DMCA takedown request for the Wikipedia entry of “Family Guy” that is supposedly infringing?

Perhaps even more crazy is another request sent on behalf of 20th Century Fox for “How I Met Your Mother”. The DMCA notice lists a CBS URL as the official source of the copyrighted material, but the same URL later appears in the list of infringing links.

There's lots more. For example, BBC Films sent Google a notice demanding removal of links to its own Facebook page.

Movie Studios Ask Google To Censor Their Own Films, Facebook and Wikipedia [TorrentFreak]



  1. If you declare yourself to be infringing copyright, you are, by definition, declaring that you do not own the copyright.

    And if they don’t own it, who does?

    I move that this intellectual property be ruled to be abandoned.

          1. Don’t worry, I have a perfect out.  If the show starts getting stale, I’ll have a zombie apocalypse happen, and turn the show into that.  I’ll probably do the same for HIMYM…
            turns out, he met her fighting off zombies!

            (And continuity to the following will be explained as him being an unreliable narrator, wanting to spare his kids the horror of the two years of zombie apocalypse that the world has tried to forget)

      1.  Why you gotta step on my dreams, man?

        (Although I think there might be a difference between an orphaned work, where the copyright holder can’t be located, and one where the actual owner has abandoned all claim to it, the latter could be argued to be deliberately placed into the public domain which means anybody can use it… assuming that’s possible in the country in question, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not the case in the US)

        1. Could. Then again if that were the case wouldn’t ‘Song of the South’ be Pub Domain rather than Disney owned? I mean they’ve been denying they had anything to do with it for how long now?

    1. Google could remove all links to anything advertising the products in question, especially links to places that would make money for the studios. Reason? They’re scared of infringement.

  2. This is starting to remind me of the War on Drugs.  They don’t seem to care how badly they hurt people – and hurt themselves – because the only alternative is to appear “soft.”  Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of an effective strategy to allow people like this to deescalate.  They’re like adrenalin junkies, except with hundreds of lawyers.

  3. Torrentfreak site has updated stating that the source of the takedown notices was probably not authorized to issue those notices, as their homepage has been taken down.

    So it’s starting to appear this is less about content owners being idiots and more of a “point and laugh at how easy it is to exploit the DMCA.”

  4. All good examples to someday be used before a judge to illustrate how careless the major studios are when they send DMCA notices.

    1. And yet this same kind of crack research is being used to push 6 strikes into the US.
      No wonder they don’t dare do with with laws, people would expect there to be real proof.

      1. Hey, it’s totally valid!  The lawyer’s teenage secretary ran the software and that link came up!  Computers don’t make mistakes!

  5. If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.  Apparently the flip side is that if it was a stupid idea to start, you might as well do the most inept, shitty job of which you are capable.

  6. I hope they diligently remove all the  offensive links, legit or no. That way, hopefully, someone, somewhere might learn something.

  7. Yes, I agree, the internet would be far better of if we completely erased the existence of those MAFIAA affiliates from the internet. It will be like they never existed.

  8. For symmetry, I suggest a 3 strikes DMCA approach. Make 3 incorrect DMCA takedown notices and the source is blacklisted so that all future DMCA takedowns from them are automatically discarded.

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