Did Hollywood Not Use Available DMCA Tools Just To Pretend It Needed SOPA?

from the transparency's-a-bitch dept

The more you dig into Google's new copyright transparency reports the more eye-catching info you find. Julian Sanchez, for example, has noticed the rather interesting timing of massive explosions in Hollywood studios using Google's DMCA takedown system for search... in correlation with key elements of the fight to get SOPA passed. For example, there's a really big spike in DMCA takedowns for search the week of November 14th.

Hmmm... what happened that week? Oh, that's right: the House Judiciary Committee hearings about SOPA, where part of the "evidence" for why SOPA was needed was the MPAA's anti-piracy boss Michael O'Leary insisting that doing Google searches on certain movies led you to links to pages where you could download unauthorized copies. He was wrong, actually -- as our own tests showed, they took you to legal versions. But isn't it interesting to see that, for example, the very first search takedown that Lionsgate sent to Google happened on November 15th? Similarly, it's interesting to see that right after the SOPA blackouts made it clear that SOPA was going to die... there's another new "burst" of takedown filings. Twentieth Century Fox appears not to have used the system at all until January 30th of this year -- or a week or so after SOPA was officially declared dead. How about Paramount Pictures, one of the more vocal supporters of SOPA? It filed just one search takedown prior to the whole SOPA debate. But about a month after SOPA was declared dead, suddenly Paramount started using the tool. NBC Universal certainly had been a regular user of the system all along -- but right after SOPA died, its usage clearly trended upwards -- whereas prior to that, its usage looked pretty flat.

In other words, you could certainly make a reasonable case that the studios went to Congress to complain about how they couldn't get rid of search results they don't like from Google... when they hadn't even tried to use the tools available which appear to do the job they wanted.

There certainly may be other factors, but it's possible that the studios had been holding back on using the tools as a way of providing extra "evidence" of a problem that had to be addressed by law. Again, as Sanchez points out:
How about before you break the Internet, you try USING THE F***ING TOOLS YOU ALREADY HAVE?
A reasonable question, but don't expect a reasonable answer.

Filed Under: dmca, hollywood, house judiciary committee, michael o'leary, sopa
Companies: google, lionsgate, mpaa, nbc universal, paramount pictures, twentieth century fox

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), 25 May 2012 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    Not to mention you just showed that Google removes the links amazingly fast for the amount of complaints received.

    Also, it's amusing that this AC also ignores the other tools the MAFIAA can use to fight with piracy without any stupid draconian law: make it more readily and easily available, in more formats and without abyssal-dumb DRM or region restriction.

    The problem with using Google takedown tools and the ones I mentioned is that they'll require both effort and accepting less profit per sale.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.