from the winter-is-[redacted] dept
We've talked in the past about how HBO has jealously protected its Game of Thrones property. The show, wildly popular to the point of being proclaimed as the most pirated show over certain time spans, has enjoyed success due in part to that piracy, according to the show's director, who made sure to add how much he hated that piracy that helps his show. Add to that HBO's insisting that certain fan gatherings and events centered around the show be shut down and we have a picture of a company and property very much at odds with anyone looking to share it in a way outside of their control.
As a parallel, the topic of spoilers often centers on this show. I happen to hate this topic with the fire of a thousand suns, but there is no doubt that some folks out there see unbidden spoilers as the great scourge of our generation. And perhaps that made some people pause when it came out that HBO had issued a DMCA takedown on a YouTube video that discussed such spoilers.
Besides from actual copies of episodes, HBO also appears to have an eye on those who talk about what may happen during the rest of the season. The Internet is littered with spoilers which HBO doesn't like, including those posted in Spanish by YouTube user Frikidoctor. Unlike many others, Frikidoctor is remarkably accurate with his predictions, and claims to have a source close to the fire who feeds him information. HBO doesn't like this and has pulled several of his videos, arguing that they are infringing their copyrights. This also happened to the video featuring several episode three spoilers which was uploaded a few days ago.Again, perhaps there are some who have the instinct to cheer this on over a dislike for spoilers. Sadly for them, the law is not even remotely on HBO's side here. The claim of copyright on this specific video, in which episode three predictions are discussed, is as bullshit as it gets. While many of these kinds of videos will use actual episode footage to provide evidence of specific predictions or spoilers, Frikidoctor used zero footagein this video. In fact, the only content on the video altogether was the author appearing in it and discussing the upcoming episode. That's it.
"I uploaded the video and two hours later HBO decided to take it down on YouTube [claiming] copyright infringement," Frikidoctor says, responding to the surprise takedown.
Frikidoctor admits that he used snippets of trailers and other promotional material in earlier videos that were removed, but says that the video with the episode three "predictions" didn't include any HBO audio or video.Very much so, yes. As annoyed at spoilers as HBO might be -- though why they would be is beyond me -- there is nothing about someone dressed in Mexican wrestling garb discussing predictions for an upcoming episode of a show that could be remotely seen as copyright infringement. The claim behind the takedown is so far from reality that it might as well serve as a chief example of the way the DMCA takedown system is abused.
"In the last two videos they took down I had some frames from teasers and trailers they decided to share with everyone for promotional purposes. This time the video did not have a single frame or sound that belongs to HBO," he says.
Instead, the video was just him dressed up in a Mexican wrestler costume, discussing what would happen in the upcoming episode.
"So, they think that me dressed as a Mexican wrestler talking about predictions for episode three of Game of Thrones is their property. That it’s copyrighted material that belongs to them," Frikidoctor notes. "Isn't that misuse of the DMCA?" he adds.
Fortunately, Frikidoctor has appealed the takedown with YouTube, and has even gone as far as to consult a lawyer as to what his next steps will be. Here's hoping he finds a way to punch back at the bully.