“America” Movie Filmmaker Sends Legal Demand For Google To Fix Showtime Results

Google TV LogoThe Hollywood Reporter writes that Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, “America” is not coming up properly in the Google search results and as a result, they are getting complaints that the movie is not available in local theaters near movie-goers.

Dinesh D’Souza’s lawyers sent a letter to Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond demanding Google fix the issue.

If you search for [america movie] in Google, you won’t get the showtimes box you’d get for searching for other popular movie names.

Here is what you see in Google:


Note, you see the carousel of movies, but none show the new movie by Dinesh D’Souza. This is despite the movie debut on July 2nd and being available in 1,100 theaters nationwide. Searching for just [america] does bring up the movie page:


But what you’d expect to see are the showtimes based on nearby theaters. Here is what you see when searching for another popular movie in Google:


The legal letter written to Google said that Google was “misdirecting many users who mistakenly believed the film was not playing in theaters. We understand this was brought to your attention for correction five days ago, yet the problem persists.”

The lawyers are also demanding Google explain if this was “human or automated error” and for Google to provide “statistics on searches from the time the misdirection began until resolved so that we might ascertain the number of users who could not find the film as a result of this mix-up.”

Google has not responded to the Hollywood Reporter’s request for a comment.

As you may know, the term “America” is very generic, but adding on America Movie” to the query should narrow it down. There are, however, many movies with the name “America” in the title, which may be confusing Google in determining when to show the movie times results.

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: Google has now told the Hollywood Reporter that it has implemented a fix for the problem, caused by confusion — Google says — with “America” being a common term. But it will still take “some time” before the fix rolls out in order to make show times appear.

It’s also worth noting that this exact same issue happens for the film “Jersey Boys,” which is indicative that rather than there being some political agenda behind the situation with “America,” Google just has problems in general with showing times for some movies.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Knowledge Graph | Google: Legal | Google: OneBox, Plus Box & Direct Answers | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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