Disney, WB Claim Ad Firm Working With Pirate Sites Is Guilty Of Contributory Infringement
from the a-new-mole-to-wac dept
Apparently the folks in Hollywood are trying a slightly different tactic than directly wac’ing file sharing site/service moles, and are trying to go after other third parties. Disney and Warner Bros. have sued an ad firm called Triton Media for providing advertising services to a series of sites that the studios feel facilitate copyright infringement. Note the degrees of separation here. The sites in question do not host or transmit any copyrighted material. As the legal complaint notes:
Specifically, the Websites, have posted, organized, searched for, identified, collected and indexed links to infringing material that is available on third-party websites, otherwise provided access to infringing material, and/or hosted infringing material.
So, the websites themselves are already pretty far removed from the actual infringement. The files are hosted on other sites. They’re shared by other people. These sites just allow users to post links. And… then on top of that the studios aren’t even suing these sites, which are a few steps away from the actual infringement: they’re suing this ad firm, which is another degree of separation away. Wow.
The complaint itself is pretty stunning too when you realize that it never actually shows what Triton did that would qualify as contributory infringement. It just focuses on these nine websites instead. Perhaps there’s more to this lawsuit than is in the filing, but it seems like a huge reach. If advertising firms are liable for infringement that happens on a totally different website than the one they’re working with because someone clicked a link… that seems like it could create massive liability for anyone offering services on any website.