Almost twelve years after the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed into law and signed by President Clinton on October 28, 1998, Hollywood studios are running around with their hair on fire yelling for stupid legislation like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, CISPA and the like. Trouble is, in many cases they’ve apparently not been properly using the enforcement provisions of the law they fought for and were given.
What’s more, some eagle-eyed researching by people like Julian Sanchez uncovers that some of the studios only got “serious” about enforcing the law around the time that SOPA was being pushed in Congress. Why? Quite possibly, it was a ploy to make it seem like copyright infringement was so rampant that SOPA/PIPA were necessities.
But for the Hollywood studios trying to perpetuate a lie, a tool like Google’s Transparency Report can be their worst enemy. Research on file takedowns found that the requests from studios spiked during the times the MPAA really pushed for the SOPA/PIPA legislation. Lionsgate, which existed for as long as DMCA has, didn’t even get around to its first takedown request until November 15, 2011, during the very week SOPA was being deliberated in Congress. Twentieth Century Fox didn’t use the Google takedown request system until January 30 of this year. And before the debate on SOPA, Paramount pictures requested a takedown via Google exactly once. In response, Sanchez tweeted this great line:
How about before you break the Internet, you try USING THE F***ING TOOLS YOU ALREADY HAVE.
I would agree, however, someone may have to teach them how. You see, Enigmax at Torrentfreak found that the studios have been undermining their own marketing departments by stupidly demanding unnecessary takedowns of their own promos from approved sites like IMDB, Apple, Hulu and Crackle. Among the movies hit: Wrath of the Titans and Happy Feet 2, both of which could have used the extra publicity.
The studios better get around to properly using the DCMA before they screw up totally and get sued by film producers for negligence. Seriously.