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.

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Companies: disney, triton media, warner bros.

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Comments on “Disney, WB Claim Ad Firm Working With Pirate Sites Is Guilty Of Contributory Infringement”

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Bob (profile) says:

I would hate to be defending them

How would you rule if the ad agency claimed that cigarettes were good for you? Would they be complicit?

What about an ad agency that pushed illlegal items like crack cocaine? What about a place advertising hit men?

At some point the ad agency becomes complicit and given that Pirate Bay uses piracy as a selling point, well, I think it be hard for them to say that they’re just helping people finding Linux Distros.

Anonymous Coward says:

Method in the madness

There seem to be a method in this madness. By making anyone even remotely connected to these sites a target, they want to make these sites some sort of “untouchable”, so nobody would help these sites or even get near these sites.

Of course, we all know that the final effect of this strategy will not be what they expect…

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Method in the madness

“Of course, we all know that the final effect of this strategy will not be what they expect…”

Therein lies the rub …

Everyone in the entertainment industries is trying to blame everyone else for their problems. They dont blame stupid business decisions, or lack of business sense. They blame and sue everyone that doesnt agree with them. The problem with that strategy is you piss off everyone it tends to come back an haunt you.

slander (profile) says:

Let’s say that the court does rule in WB/Disney’s favor. Given the number of times that Disney’s been sued in the past, why not hit them where it would hurt them the most?

Let’s say that someone (not me, of course–I would never consider such a thing…) got injured at Disneyland and decided, after consultation with legal counsel, decided to sue. Not Disney, mind you, but all the various corporate enterprises with which they do business.

I’m sure that between all of the marketers, toy and merchandise manufacturers, stores that sell their products, movie theatres, etc., this person (who is not me) would rake in a lot of cash ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H receive a proper settlement for physical damages and emotional stress.

And friends, somewhere in the Disney vaults enshrined in some little folder, will be a study in black and white of my lawsuit.

And the only reason I’m telling you this now is ’cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into Disneyland, just walk in say “Mickey, I can get anything I want, by suing your business partners.” And walk out.

You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t let him in.

And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t let either of them in.

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singing it and walking out? They may think it’s an organization.

And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singing it and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

Freddy says:

Re: Re:

You’re right. In fact, the roller coaster manufacturer and other people in the supply chain will often get sued along with Disney when someone gets hurt on the roller coaster. Lawyers try to attach everyone at the beginning and drop them later as necessary. It’s a cost of doing business for everyone. I think it’s naive for an ad agency to think that they’re not connected with their clients’ business.

Karl (profile) says:

Triton Media

I did some research on Triton Media, to find out exactly what they did that was supposed to “enable” infringement, or even support these sites.

Well, it turns out Triton has a lot of irons in the fire. They make software to add “pre-roll” commercials to streaming videos, and “drop in” advertisements into streaming audio. They also have a commercial CMS for media sites.

But they don’t create advertisements, and are not an ad agency.

They’re not limited to digital, and here’s where things get interesting. Triton also owns Dial Global, which (according to their web site) is “an independent, full-service radio network, offering formats, prep, programming, jingles & imaging as well as national advertising sales representation.” They also (through TM Studios) provide music for jingles and such.

In other words, they’re a competitor to Warner and Disney. And I’m guessing that’s the real reason they’re being sued.

fenris Ninja (user link) says:

irony in this...

oh dear. i am a proud member of the ninja community, once a top mainsite as well, we are now fighting the good fight and defend our cause. i read this article on a lot of websites…
and the content makes me angry again…and especially Disney looses every credibility for me, because, and now, please get this right and understand its ironic: Disney at one point in time had adds on our mainsite!!!
what the …. is there really anybody out there who still believes in this lie of the big companies loosing money? i laugh about that, and it makes me angry. this is just another wrong pleaded cause by the so called new team of big companies to even get more money.

by the way, our forum is still alive and its growing! Check it out http://www.ninjavideoforum.net and join the movement!

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