DMCA Fun: Movie Studios Issue Takedowns Over Their Authorized Films

from the but-of-course dept

We've covered how often DMCA notices seem to be sent improperly, taking down others people's work, but it's also true that we see people send DMCA notices on their own work pretty often. TorrentFreak has done a great job detailing many cases where Hollywood's biggest and most famous studios have been issuing DMCA takedowns on their own movies, as well as their own movie promotional pages. Among the takedowns are ones from Lionsgate taking down authorized versions of a film on iTunes, Amazon, Blockbuster and Xfinity.

Then there's 20th Century Fox trying to protect Family Guy... by issuing a takedown of the Wikipedia page about the show. Even worse? Another takedown for the show How I Met Your Mother, in which the "original work URL" listed is the CBS website for the show (which makes sense), but that very same URL is listed for takedown
Other studios seem to takedown press stories about their movies. The BBC, for example sent takedowns on a bunch of press coverage and reviews of their film "Ill Manors."
While Sony Pictures issued a takedown supposedly about their film "The Other Guys," but which really targeted a ton of articles... about Megaupload.
And then there are just random ones like notoriously aggressive about IP studio Summit Entertainment issuing takedowns over the movie 50/50... but including an announcement about US Energy Secretary Steven Chu delivering a keynote speech at the "50th Anniversary" of SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator). Apparently, you can't take a chance with anything that has "50" in the title. Might be the movie.

While these may be amusing to point out, they raise a much larger issue. Copyright holders like to insist that companies like Google and others can just "obviously" tell what is and what is not infringing and they should be able to magically stop piracy because of that. And yet... here we are, where the studios themselves can't even figure it out. How the hell do they expect others to figure it out for them?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    it is obvious to them

    if its on the internet, it obviously needs to die, in order to kill the internet.

     

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    •  
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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

      Re: it is obvious to them

      It's infringement even if the copyright holder authorized it!

       

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      art guerrilla (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 5:05pm

      Re: it is obvious to them

      (parasitizing on your post to make a meta-comment)

      i would note that as is *often* the case in these stories where outright idiocy, wholesale perfidy, and bald extortion are being undertaken by the MAFIAA, their apologists are virtually no where to be found...
      hmmmm...
      they REFUSE to address the numerous posts which describe -say- 'hollywood accounting', and attempt to defend the indefensible, since it is obvious there is no rational, real-world, commensensical way to do so... The They (tm) shut up real fast on those type of articles...

      but let a tech-challenged grannie unknowingly have their grandbrat *try* -not even complete- a download of some pop music crap on her 'puter that they've already heard a billion times, and suddenly these rough customers, these ne'er-do-wells, these, these *PIRATES*, are responsible for the downfall of western civilization, and the bots will scream about it ceaselessly...

      funny, that...
      what i call 'diode morality': only works one way...

      art guerrilla
      aka ann archy
      eof

       

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    Kelly, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    This kind of stuff has gotten beyond ridiculous. Maybe a law saying that any kind of take-down that was ruled frivolous or abusing fair use (such as a takedown on a review) should result in the studio losing copyright and trademarks on that show/movie for 20 years.

    Honestly...when you're telling Google to take down your own website...that's insane.

     

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      in_to_the_blue, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      Honestly...when you're telling Google to take down your own website...that's insane.


      maybe they are finally putting money where their mouth is, if they want to demonize the internet better take themselves off it too


      i agree with them, ban all MAFIAA sites from the net!

       

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      •  
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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re:

        wouldn't the power button down in the server room have been simpler and faster ? =)

         

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        •  
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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah, but that wouldn't be a tax write-off. This way, they can claim it as a business expense.

           

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            Niall (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 4:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Build server centre: charge as business expense.
            Design web page: charge as business expense.
            Get Google to shut down access to web page: charge as business expense.

            Sounds like a win so far!

             

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      Ed C., Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      Well, if the dullards want to remove themselves from the net, why should we stand in their way? The faster they dig their own graves, the faster we can backhoe it in. Then bury it in cement, just to be on the safe side. They have a nasty habit of raising from the grave.

      We could reinstitute the old tradition of burring them facedown, so that if they do reanimate they'll end up digging a hole to China, but I've heard they're already negotiating a trans-hell freeway.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      Yeah its kind of sad they are telling Google to take down official websites.

       

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    This would be side splittingly funny if it were not so sad.

     

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    Rekrul, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Doesn't Google index the Chilling Effects website itself? I predict the next step will be to issue DMCA notices against links pointing to the original DMCA notices, since they also contain infringing links (in some cases).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Those that issue DMCA's notices to get content removed argue like hell when the DMCA notice is not carried out etc. so Google etc. should go ahead and remove the content and if it was issued by the mistake of the studio then tough. If the studio make a mistake then they should pay for the mistake. Also, why should the likes of Google etc. have to investigate the legality of each DMCA request. Surely it is written in the DMCA request that the information written given is truthful and so Google etc. should honour each DMCA request as truth as written and delete the content.

     

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      Ed C., Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      The requirement for reinstating your own website should be indicting yourself with perjury. Good luck explain to the judge that you issued the takedown in "good faith".

       

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    Wally (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Full Circle

    It seems the lack of understanding of technology has become more pervasive in the MPAA than we all thought....wait not..what understanding?

    So here's the back story:

    MPAA to Google: "Can we copy your automated takedaonw system?"

    *Google to MPAA* "Sure, here is the code...you have to set the temperatures yourself as this was only meant for YouTube."

    *MPAA* "Cool, lets set the automated URL finder to all asterisks and see what we find...."

    Someone please tell me how long did it take for that automated system...which was clearly copied from Google's ContentID system (albeit rather poorly)...to come full circle on the MPAA?

    I asked my wife how long it would take for it to come full circle on the MPAA when this automated stuff began began....she said "Somewhere between 3 to six months"...I now have to prepare her a fancy dinner as it seems I lost....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    if i were Google, i would take them down and refuse to put them back up. the entertainment industries are always complaining that it's only the link indicated that is removed, i would ensure the whole friggin lot goes for good!!

     

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      Wally (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      Problem is that Google's actual search mechanism for its URL database is based on an algorithm that automatically detects the links of one page in reference to another. The entire task of searching for the most relative hits to your search query is what you get as search results. The pages that are most referenced to your search query appear on top. So shutting down those links from the results is irrelevant because they will eventually be discovered again by Google's web crawler.

       

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      DannyB (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

      Re:

      As you say, Google should honor the DMCA takedown, and furthermore ban the MPAA's account (and socks) from ever posting to YouTube. Pirates like the MPAA must be stopped.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    "Copyright holders like to insist that companies like Google and others can just "obviously" tell what is and what is not infringing and they should be able to magically stop piracy because of that."

    Well OBVIOUSLY I'm guilty of infringing on my own songs & music I record and upload to my personal/business websites.

     

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      Chris Forsyth, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 11:47pm

      Re:

      Actually, I seem to recall this *was* a situation that happened on YouTube not long ago--an artist received a takedown notice for their *own* content on their *own* channel.

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    Same old duck -- I mean canard.

    "Copyright holders like to insist that companies like Google and others can just "obviously" tell what is and what is not infringing and they should be able to magically stop piracy because of that." -- NO, Mike, it's companies such as Megaupload that HOST the files, not just link to, and YES, a glance at most of the content there would have been enough.

    Your repeated lameness isn't even up to your glory days, Mike.






    Take the link to hear Melancholy Mike cover a Springsteen tune reminiscing his one big quip and nothing since:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
    Glory days well they'll pass you by
    Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
    Glory days, glory days
    "Glory Days" (Bruce Springsteen)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

      Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

      Just like a glance at the CBS site would have been enough to show that they hosted content which clearly infringed their own copyright?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

      Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

      YES, a glance at most of the content there would have been enough.

      So why such a high failure rate?

       

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

      Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

      Have you received the appropriate permission to quote Mr Springsteen? If not, expect the lawyers to be in touch.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

      Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

      Well if it is that easy to see infringement and you probably believe that the false positives are of no consequence, lets see you be responsible for every mistake you make and have to pay for any damages/costs that others incur because of this nonsensical behavior then.

      Sure you are of the mind that if people make mistakes they should be responsible for them right?

       

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      That Crazy Freetard (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

      Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

      OK, I've had it.

      So sick of seeing this little troll here egged on by all of you. I'll admit that, until now, I was a smallish part of the problem.

      The only way this guy's ever going away is if we ignore him completely.

      From now on, I'll be reporting all posts by OOTB as well as all who reply to him.

       

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      •  
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        Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

        Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

        Good luck with that.

         

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        Mr. Applegate, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

        Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

        I'll second that! I think all replies to a reported post should automatically be hidden anyway.

         

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        Wally (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

        Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

        You don't quite understand how noneffective that is. OOTB has been trolling the same crap for almost 5 years now. Either way responding to him is a lot less dangerous than ignoring him. I have been here almost 6 months and it took me just today to realize that.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

          > Either way responding to him is a lot less dangerous
          > than ignoring him.

          How exactly would ignoring him be dangerous?

           

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          G Thompson (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 9:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

          Either way responding to him is a lot less dangerous than ignoring him.

          WHAT????

          Responding to him is a guaranteed way to make your stress levels rise since he NEVER EVER responds back anymore.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 12:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

            I don't believe you should be responding for the sake of expecting a response. Responding to out_of_the_asscrack is to demonstrate how ridiculous, unintelligent and contradictory the copyright maximalists and advocates are. Then when they whine that they're being censored we can point to out_of_the_asscrack as their forerunner.

            If they want to be taken seriously they should consider revising the standards at which shills are allowed to make posts.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 12:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

            I don't believe you should be responding for the sake of expecting a response. Responding to out_of_the_asscrack is to demonstrate how ridiculous, unintelligent and contradictory the copyright maximalists and advocates are. Then when they whine that they're being censored we can point to out_of_the_asscrack as their forerunner.

            If they want to be taken seriously they should consider revising the standards at which shills are allowed to make posts.

             

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          •  
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            Wally (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 4:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Same old duck -- I mean canard.

            Well to be honest G. Thompson, I'm never really stressed after laying some mild smack down on at least OOTB. Just depends on what he says.

             

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  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    A matter of time

    So, any bets on how long until one of these guys accidentally sues themselves?

     

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    Watchit (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    wait wait wait... are they really using a third party company named "Yes It Is - No Piracy!"... are they serious? That's the shittiest name I've ever heard, it sounds like a 3rd grader arguing over what's a bad word or not.

     

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    ECA (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    So

    The Hunters of Pirated films HATE GOOGLE for showing Everyone where to find them..
    But LOVES to use Google because they can Trace the sites that HAVE the pirated shows..

    Then Doesnt EDIT, the list properly..LOL

     

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    Brent (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    i think this is best thing that could happen for the anti-copyright movement.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    This sort of looks like some poor tech somewhere forgot to make a whitelist for the crawler.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Looks to me like they just look up urls that contain the title and copy paste them into a takedown. They meaning the simplistic piece of software that does it automatically.

    If the studios pay some outside firm to do it, theyre getting scammed hard. Lovin it.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    This is why we need Six Strikes laws

    Six bogus DMCA takedowns, and you're done.

     

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      Wally (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

      Re: This is why we need Six Strikes laws

      Well yes and no DannyB. Six Strikes in the US is a whole other ball of wax.

      So far, 6 strikes is in limbo for a couple of reasons. The main reason cited by the copyright office is that Hurricane Sandy hit New York. But this may or may not be the only reason. Most ISP's in the US are held by contract to protect the identities of their customers unless it actually comes form a judge's direct court order in that specific area in which you were served notice.

      Bare with me here.

      The only reason I can think outside of Hurricane Sandy as the main reason is that Verizon has been sued by a copyright troll for not coughing up the personal identifications of accused users based on their IP addresses tied to the users' accounts.

      In short it seems like nobody wants to be first to plunge into this mess due to privacy clauses embedded in their contracts. It has to be court ordered and it is far more expensive to get a court order off of a civil suit when client confidentiality is in danger of being breached, than it is for customers in the system to chuck out the proposed US$35 to clear your name.

      I guess you could say it puts most Telco's in a quandary to keep their customers rather than loose them after they get booted from their services. The blame on Hurricane Sandy by the US copyright office shows complete and utter denial on their part.

       

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    Dave Reed, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    It's simple, really.

    If there were a fine, even a small one, say $25 for invalid notices (paid to the real owner, perhaps a 50/50 split with google/youtube/etc) they'd start clearing these lists. If we bumped it up to the $750,000 they think their content is worth, I guarantee those lists would be checked and re-checked.

    Basically, as long as mistakes are painless there is no reason for them to correct them. Google oughta charge 'em. Wouldn't need a court order or new law or anything. Just bill 'em for invalid notices.

     

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    Simple Mind (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    the Thoughts of a Movie exec

    "duh... but Google is smart. duh... If we tell them to take down everything... duh... that will force them to figure it out for us. duh..."

     

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    vbevan (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

    Read the article

    While I normally enjoy the articles here, you should at least read the full torrentfreak article Mike.

    From what I understand, given the update at the bottom of the TF article, these takedowns were issued by a third party without authorization from the companies. Kind of a troll on trolls if you will.

     

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      Niall (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 4:40am

      Re: Read the article

      The point there is that then that third party is doing so illegally and is likely therefore to be guilty of perjury. Either way, it shows how ridiculously broken and encouraging of idiot scams the whole process is. So unless it's some company trolling the **AAs...

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 7:09pm

    Turnabout is fair play. I want to see statutory fines for these random DMCA takedowns, the same as the statutory fines for copyright infringement. After all, they're committing perjury, devaluing the internet subscriptions of millions of people, etc.
    I'd say $100,000 per improper takedown would do for a start.

     

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    Loki, Dec 4th, 2012 @ 7:39pm

    Copyright holders like to insist that companies like Google and others can just "obviously" tell what is and what is not infringing and they should be able to magically stop piracy because of that.

    I've listened to this argument for years, and even supported their argument for a long time, but eventually I realized the core of their argument mostly amounted to "if you simply allowed us to continue to control all the distribution channels, and kill off or gain control of anything - thereby effective allowing us to maintain our control of all distribution channels - that might potentially compete with our control, then we wouldn't have this problem." At that point I decided I couldn't in clear conscience support their position anymore.

    Whenever I hear their rhetoric anymore it makes me think of a line from Captain America:

    Abraham Erskine: Do you want to kill Nazis?
    Steve Rogers: Is this a test?
    Abraham Erskine: Yes.
    Steve Rogers: I don't want to kill anyone. I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 9:26pm

    The solution is simple

    Every invalid DMCA take-down issued should cost the issuer a cool $1M which gets split between the FSF and EFF... :-)

     

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    IsntYour2125 (profile), Dec 4th, 2012 @ 10:52pm

    A few years ago the same thing happened to the band Cradle of Filth. Or at least it looked like it. On the bands web page they had embedded YouTube video of the bands songs. But all of them got blocked. If it wasn't for the videos of them on YouTube i never would have bought albums and shirts of them. They don't get radio play and i don't watch TV. Way to shoot your own foot off. The so called 'illegal' sharing of music videos on YouTube has introduced me to more bands than MTV or radio ever would have. Music industry gets more money from me due to YouTube.

     

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    John85851 (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    I would imagine most of these takedown notices are done by overzealous companies who want to look good for their clients (CBS, Viacom, etc). But when will they be held responsible for false claims? If I was CBS and the takedown company said my own site was infringing, I'd fire, sue, and blackball the company. If they're that bad at telling good sites from bad, then how can anyone trust the rest of the their list?

    And what kind of punishment will these companies get? I say "name and shame" any company who sends takedown notices to any legit site, such as Wikipedia, a review site, or the actual site.

     

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    identicon
    Sabrina, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 4:54am

    copyright

    I wonder if the same people who are so strict on their "copyright" hold themselves to the same standard they hold others. Have they ever did a reivew on art,a book, or movie? Have they ever got their ideas from others? Have they ever made up stories in their imagination based on others? Have they pretended to play characters from a movie or book in a public place like a playground?Have they ever visted sites that had unauthorized copyrighted material? People in the entertainment industry can be so greedy.Maybe if we started to boycott their products if they are suing their fans who write reviews or create wikipedia pages they wouldn't be so greedy. Some of the things that come from the industry are immoral. They don't need to add greedy to their immoral list. What ever happened to the free speech clause in the consitution? I doubt the founding fathers would support such DMCA and 1976 copyright foolishness. The 1790 copyright laws were so much more reasonable than today's copyright law. Copyright law restricts freedom of expression.

     

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