Warner Bros. Targets Its Own Websites For Takedown Using Google’s Anti-piracy Tools
What would you do and how far would you go to eliminate copyright infringements? Warner Bros. Pictures may be hurting its own cause, as the company has inadvertently flagged their own legitimate websites for "pirating" comment.
Warner Bros. and other major movie studios claims that Google does not do enough to prevent piracy. They have requested that Google remove websites such as The Pirate Bay from its search results. The company in the last year alone has flagged more than four million URL’s.
Warner Bros. employs California-based company Vobile to deal with copyright issues. However, it appears that someone at either Vobile or Warner Bros. has not properly exercised their judgement or critical thinking capabilities. The latest Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice has requested that Google remove Warner Bros.’ own URL’s for The Dark Knight and The Matrix. They have also implored Google to get rid of the Amazon listing for The Dark Knight and the Sky Cinema version of Batman Begins. Batman Begin’s official IMBd page was a victim as well.
This is not the first time, Warner Bros. or Vobile have mistakenly requested that a legitimate site be removed. Vobile demanded that the Warner Bro.’s URL for the 2012 romance The Lucky Ones be taken down. In 2013, hosting website Hotfile accused Warner Bros. of abusing the DCMA takedown process. Warner Bros. admitted to the abuse, but they claimed that they were not to blame.
Many have complained that this entire process just makes it more difficult to purchase streamed material from legitimate sites. There are also no penalties for making incorrect claims. This can lead to mass, sometimes illegitimate take-downs.
Google, luckily for Warner Bros., easily caught the mistake. It decided to not take action on the Amazon, Sky and IMDb links. The Warnerbros.com URLs are still under investigation, and there is currently no explanation for why this is the case.