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

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  1. icon
    Lowestofthekeys (profile), 25 May 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Hey Paul,

    How is this great news for Google again? I mean logging the time to go through each complaint must cost them a good amount of money.

    Though the other issue is this this solution came into effect from the RIAA's lobbying so even if new laws did pass for copyright enforcement, they'll probably be just as half assed as this DMCA system.

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