Warner Bros. Entertainment have used their partner Vobile to track down and kill off a lot of piracy related content on search engines. The funny part about it is that they’ve been sending out DMCA notices to have Google remove certain links and URLs from the search engines, some of which includes websites that are owned by Warner Bros.
Torrent Freak did an in-depth article about the DMCAs being spread around, which hilariously include a list of sites and sources that officially host Warner Bros. Entertainment content, including Warner Bros’ own official website. It sounds too absurd to be true, but you can check the copyright claims on the Lumen Database to see the entries for yourself. The images below show you a few of the links Vobile flagged for Warner Bros., to have censored from search engines.
Yes, you’re not being mistaken. That one entry there is literally the official Warner Bros., website. If you follow the link it will take you to the official page for the 2008 release of The Dark Knight, as evidenced with a screenshot from the website below.
So in their rush to censor the web of piracy, they’ve also censored themselves in the process. They’ve literally turned into the ouroboros of anti-piracy activism.
The insanity does not end there, though. While Warner Bros’ own website was requested for removal, so was the Amazon and IMDB pages for Batman Begins.
The Matrix, the 1999 turning point film for Hollywood, was also listed. The official website for the movie was requested for removal via a DMCA notice.
According to Torrent Freak, there’s somewhat of a happy ending for Warner Bros., since Google swooped in to correct their mistake…
“Luckily for the Hollywood studio, Google is there to save the day. The search engine spotted their mistakes and decided to take no action for the Amazon, Sky and IMDb links.”
There were no happy endings for the people who made fan-made games based on Nintendo products, however. The Big ‘N’ recently issued more than 500 DMCA takedown notices for various freeware titles on Game Jolt. They also individually sought out to shut down Another Metroid 2 Remake’s creators from even releasing patches for the unofficial game.
The moral of the story? Essentially you can use wide sweeping DMCA claims to strip the internet of content, even if the content being pegged for censorship is completely legitimate. While Google stepped in to save the day here, it only leaves you to wonder how many other articles, websites or crucial pieces of information get buried everyday by erroneous DMCA claims thrown out to silence certain websites?
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