Published in News

Movie studios censor their own legal sites

by on05 December 2012

Want to blame pirates later

Several large movie studios are ordering Google to take down legitimate pages related to their own films, including sites legally hosting, promoting, or discussing them.

In early November, a few dozen DMCA notices were sent by a company called “Yes It Is – No Piracy!” on behalf of several major movie studios, including Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, BBC Films, Summit Entertainment, Sony Pictures, and Walt Disney Pictures.

But the victims of the takedown were sites where the content is hosted legally such as Amazon, CBS, iTunes, Blockbuster, Verizon on demand, and Xfinity. Other sites which were deleted included newspapers discussing the content in question such as the the BBC, CNET, Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Guardians, The Independent, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, and Wired.

Some of this might be due to automated complaint software being used by the studios. But its continued use could have a damaging effect on legitimate online film sales. So far Google left many of the links up, probably because it did a manual check first. In this situation it is totally unfair because Google is effectively having to protect the film industry from its own stupidity. 

What is the bet that in a few month’s time the RIAA sees a dramatic fall in sales from legitimate online movie sales and blames pirates. The excuse will be something like “because the content is already online, pirates are just hacking it.”

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