HBO Sends DMCA Infringement Take Down Order to Google for VLC Media Player

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News Posted: Tue, Jul 16 2013 9:17 AM
Go home, HBO, you're drunk. That's the message we hope Google sends HBO in response to the media company including a link to a copy of the popular VLC media player as part of a DMCA takedown request. Judging by the other links in the request, HBO is primarily trying to remove illegal copies of Game of Thrones from the web, and in all likelihood, the inclusion of VLC was a lazy error.

Sorry, but HBO doesn't get a free pass for its simple mistake. In just the past month, companies like HBO and other copyright holders have asked Google to remove nearly 15 million URLs from its search results. It's a daunting task to sift through that many URLs, even for a company as resource-heavy as Google, but it's also necessary to make sure legitimate websites aren't removed, lest you end up with programs like VLC ending up a casualty of a copyright fight big media can't possibly win.

VLC Media Player

There's also the possibility that the listing for VLC wasn't a mistake on HBO's part, but an intentional inclusion. The URL in question belongs to TorrentPortal, and though it's for a legitimate program, the site also hosts torrents for copyrighted content, including HBO's Game of Thrones.

So, either HBO made a careless mistake, or it's targeting a legitimate program as part of its copyright crusade. Either way, this is concerning. It's also a bit ironic given that just a few months ago, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo went on record saying that piracy "certainly didn't negatively impact the DVD sales" of Game of Thrones.

"I probably shouldn't be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts," Lombardo said.
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loool that has to be a joke

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rofl hbo next time check your links before submitting links

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RWilliams replied on Tue, Jul 16 2013 11:56 AM

They're just trying to get people to use the better MPC-HC!

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Not a joke.

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HBO is kind of smart in this one...seeing as VLC will play just about any format of anything...sure you can get your pirated movies... But?

Will you be able to watch them now?

For some reason it reminds me of the electronic cigarette TV commercials..can advertise E-Cigs on TV. but not regular cigarettes...

Guess because my tv is USB compatible as well :/

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RWilliams replied on Tue, Jul 16 2013 4:57 PM

"HBO is kind of smart in this one...seeing as VLC will play just about any format of anything...sure you can get your pirated movies... But?"

Well, there are a billion alternatives out there, so if VLC were to up and disappear, people would quickly flock to these other applications. Even commercial apps support "pirated" software (by pirated, I generally mean MKV+H.264, which tends to be the most popular format for HD content).

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HBO, give me your package separately and I will throw money at you. 10 bucks a month. No problem. Do it. DO IT.

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ajm531 replied on Tue, Jul 16 2013 11:36 PM

Oh HBO as hard as it is find legal resources to watch the show since you cant purchase or watch episodes on websites like oh i dont know amazon,google play,itunes, your own freaking website no wonder people pirate it. And now just because this player can play any file format even a pirated one your so upset about you want to remove it??? ssssSStop it HBO. I think this comic best explains it http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

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