Warner Bros. has been caught out sending phony DMCA takedown requests to Google over Kim Dotcom’s Mega file locker site. It obviously didn’t realise that Mega links aren’t listed with Google anyway – plus it sent the wrong URLs.
A DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) request allows a media corporation to petition Google or other websites to remove material that they believe infringes upon their copyright. However it’s become an increasing trend from some media corporations to file millions of the requests, many of them erroneous, for material they don’t own or in this instance, for links that aren’t even present on the site in question.
Warner Bros. sent a takedown request to Google for some 900+ links that it claims, link to illegal copies of its movie Gangster Squad. As part of the list of links, 16 of them point to Mega. Unfortunately for Warner, it failed to realise that Mega doesn’t index its content on Google, making it harder for anyone to claim that it helps facilitate piracy.
To make matters worse, the Mega URLs sent to Google are also complete gibberish. According to TorrentFreak, the automated tool Warner is using to try and find copyright protected content has switched around a lot of the less common punctuation, changing “#!” with “?escaped_fragment=”.
Apparently the files are still up on Mega though, which suggests Warner hasn’t used Mega’s own takedown tool to remove them. This could be because doing so requires you agree never to sue the file locker site.
KitGuru Says: While you could debate whether Warner should be able to freely remove content from websites, it’s always funny to see a media giant get egg on its face.