Earlier in the week TorrentFreak posted an article that highlighted some of the biggest epic fails committed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) on behalf of some major movie studios. In a serious case of copyright crazy, the DMCA sent search engine giants Google numerous requests to take down sites allegedly hosting infringing material, but many of the links they sent were actually legal links to their movies and official Facebook and Wikipedia pages!!!
Since Google said that they would be publishing all of the DMCA requests they receive as part of their transparency report, the number of notices they have been getting has skyrocketed. Most of these requests are legitimate, however that is not to say that there is a few mistakes – many of which are caused by automated filters. As TorrentFreak points out, there is always going to be a small margin of error, however when you look at the examples presented in their article, it really does make you wonder what the hell is going on!
They point to a few epically error-laden DMCA notices sent out last month loaded with takedown requests for legal links and official pages. Here are just a few of the examples that they elaborated on.
The DMCA contacted Google on behalf Lionsgate film “Cabin in the Woods” – the notice lists just over 20 URLs but somehow still managed to include the completely legitimate links to the movie on Blockbuster, Xfinity, iTunes and Amazon. Me thinks the people responsible for this one should be sent to said Cabin to think about what they’ve done!
20th Century Fox
In an attempt to safeguard the copyright of “Prometheus” the DMCA sent Google a number of URLs that requested the takedown of the legal copy of the movie on Verizon on demand, the collection of the Prometheus Watch Company and a Huffington Post article about the film too! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more preposterous the 20th Century Fox request cites a CBS URL as the official source of “How I Met Your Mother” yet somehow, the very same URL manages to appear on the list of infringing links that the DMCA want removed just a few inches down the page!!
BBC Films also went gunning for their own official links to their films, with the movie “Ill Manors” requesting that Google take down reviews of the film by renowned publications like The Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror and The Daily Mail. WTF? Perhaps the reviewers weren’t very kind to the movie in their write-ups and this is the BBC’s sneaky way around it? They also asked for the official “Ill Manors” Facebook page to be taken down!
In an incredibly strange example of copyright crazy, in an attempt to stop people illegally accessing “The Other Guys”, the DMCA on behalf of Sony Pictures sent Google links to news reports on the Megaupload case on sites like Wired, Cnet and Forbes to name but a few.
What the hell is that about then?
They Aren’t The Only Ones
These glaringly obvious errors aren’t the only ones, according to TorrentFreak, there are many many more. Luckily for those perfectly legal sites though, is that Google at least appeared to use their noggin in the situation and did not remove the legitimate links that were cited in the notices.
These notices pointed out by TorrentFreak all come from a little known organization called “Yes It Is – No Piracy!” The company presents itself as a DMCA remover on the website yesitis.org, but there are some signs that it might well be a fraudulent organization. If these notices were not in fact authorized by the copyright holders, then it signals to the fact that DMCA notices can be easily abused.