In recent weeks, Hollywood studios NBC Universal and Warner Bros both submitted DMCA takedown requests asking Google to de-list the file storage website Mega from its search index.
According to a report on TorrentFreak, NBC Universal claimed Mega’s homepage linked to the NBC-owned film Mama, while Warner Bros alleged Mega made pirated copies of its film Gangster Squad available from its website. Since Mega’s homepage doesn’t link to any files, Google did not remove the website from its search index.
Launched in January of this year, Mega is the successor site of Megaupload, a file sharing and hosting service that was taken down in 2012 in response to a number of federal claims including online piracy. Both sites were created by the infamous Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who believes his new site is being unfairly targeted by “copyright extremist” using the takedown system to censor the content industry.
“During the Megaupload days over 20 percent of all takedown notices were bogus,” Dotcom told TorrentFreak, “We analyzed big samples of notices and most were automated keyword based takedowns that affected a lot of legitimate files. The abuse of the takedown system is so severe that no service provider can rely on takedown notices for a fair repeat infringer policy.”
Google receives millions of automated DMCA takedown request weekly from copyright holders wanting to reduce the availability of pirated content, but because many takedown requests are automated, they are not always valid.
As TorrentFreak points out, “The ‘mistakes’ by Warner Bros and NBC Universal show that wrongful takedown requests can seriously impede the availability of perfectly legal content.”
Dotcom argues that the entertainment industry’s attack on sites like Mega has much more corrupt implications. “From my experience the only people who are acting like criminal lunatics are the copyright extremists who think that the DMCA doesn’t matter,” said Dotcom, “Their agenda is war against innovation. The kind that forces the content industry to adjust to an outdated business model.”