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Wednesday, 20 November 2013 12:17

Hollywood admits lying about copyright takedowns

Written by Nick Farrell



We issue false takedowns

In amongst the court case against cyberlocker Hotfile, Warner Bros has admitted that it issued false takedowns of content on purpose. While it had been expected that the automatic takedowns were “false positives” and all a terrible mistake, it appears that it was diberate.

Hotfile provided a takedown tool to the studios so that they could take down illegal content. However Warner insisted on using it to take down a variety of content that was non-infringing and had nothing to do with Warner Bros. WB initially said that it filed a bunch of false takedowns, but said it was no big deal because it was all done by a computer, which was what everyone expected. However it turned out that at least one work was taken down by a WB employee, and that employee had done so on purpose.

Hotfile is trying to carry out a countersuit against Warner which accuses it of perjury. Lawyers seem to think the case is sadly a little weak because the DMCA clause relating to perjury is a badly worded. The studio practically told the court that the way copyright law is written, it can take down whatever it wants and no one can stop it.

Nick Farrell

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