September 12, 2016

Warner Brothers Reports Its Own Site As Illegal

warner_bros-_pictures_logoIf you haven’t had a site or channel or video that you owned be contested because someone is claiming you don’t own the content, consider yourself lucky. This practice seems to be growing by the day and it can be a real pain to straighten out. For the most part, this process is automated either by the social platform or by a third party, and some glaring mistakes can be made. One of the worst, and there’s some poetic justice here, came from a recent report that Warner Brothers Pictures actually asked Google to remove its own website from from search results for violating its copyright.

It didn’t stop there though, as it also asked that links to its own films on streaming sites like Amazon and Sky be removed, as well as the film database IMDB.

All the hubbub didn’t come directly from Warner Brothers though. The request was submitted on behalf of Warners by Vobile, which is a company that files hundreds of thousands of takedown requests every month, and has submitted more than 13 million links in total for removal.

As this case illustrates, this entire process has gone wrong, and if it can happen to a major entity like Warner Brothers, then of course it can happen to you if it hasn’t already. If you are issued a takedown notice, you’re usually able to contest it, and if it’s only for a single property, the process isn’t too lengthy, with just a simple form to fill out attesting that you’re the owner of the content. The time involved can really add up when multiple properties are involved however.

On the other end, I once issued asked Google for a takedown of a YouTube channel that illegally posted all 101 videos from my 101 Mixing Tricks course. I had to fill out a separate form for each video that included the each of the links, and the entire process took about 3 hours out of my life that I’d like to have back. That said, the channel and all the videos were removed within a day.

So the moral of this post is that illegal infringement is wrong, but accusing someone of it can be just as bad. Initiating the process manually instead of by automation makes you think twice about it, and hopefully fewer mistakes will happen as a result.

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