Major Hollywood Studios All Sent Bogus DMCA Takedowns Concerning The Pirate Bay Documentary

from We see so many bogus DMCA (Digital Millenium Copywright Act) takedowns, and we hear the big copyright holders insisting that it’s just an accident each and every time — and not to worry about the collateral damage and censorship it leads to. 

So it seems interesting that TorrentFreak has uncovered a series of bogus DMCA takedown notices to Google from four different giant Hollywood players — Viacom, Paramount (owned by Viacom), Fox and Lionsgate — that each ask it to remove links to Simon Klose’s excellent documentary about The Pirate Bay TPB AFK. As TorrentFreak notes, Fox, via DtecNet (another total failure for the “six strikes” company), asked Google to remove a link to the movie on Mechodownload. Viacom asked for links to be removed to the movie on Mrworldpremiere and Rapidmovies. Lionsgate asked for to remove a link to the movie from The Pirate Bay of all places. Needless to say, all of these were authorized copies that the movie studios were seeking to have hidden.

Beyond the obvious concern about censoring a movie that shows, perhaps, a more sympathetic side of the TPB crew and their legal situation, these kinds of take downs serve another, more nefarious purpose: making sure there is less value for authorized works on these various sites. You hear it all the time from these companies that these sites are “all bad” and must be taken down. Having authorized content really looks bad, so it’s nice for them that they can remove it by filing bogus DMCA claims with no real recourse. No wonder the MPAA is so vehement that it shouldn’t need to consider fair use before sending bogus takedowns.

Yes, I’m sure these were all just more “accidents” but the impact is very real. For struggling filmmakers like Klose, having authorized copies of his film removed from Google has a serious impact. Copyright maximalists never seem concerned in the slightest about the collateral damage on the people who have actually learned to use these platforms well. They prefer to protect those who fight against new systems of distribution, while harming those who have succeeded in using them. 

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