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Hollywood Tries to Censor Movie About Hollywood Censors

| 21 May 2013 08:24
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The irony is lost on the Hollywood studios, who have asked Google to take down links pointing to a Pirate Bay documentary based on the lives of the three founders of The Pirate Bay and their fight with Hollywood censors.

TPB-AFK is a documentary produced by Simon Klose that is based on the lives of the three founders of The Pirate Bay. It follows the multi-million dollar copyright infringement case the trio were involved in, and discuses the dangers of censorship on the internet. It was released in February this year completely free of charge, and millions of people have already watched it. But while the public response to the Pirate Bay produced documentary and its free model is overwhelmingly high, Ebenezer Scrooge, in the form of several Hollywood studios, is putting up its usual resistance. The irony of attempting to censor a movie about censorship is lost on Viacom, Paramount, Fox, and Lionsgate, who are trying to take down links pointing to the documentary.

Over the past few weeks, the four Hollywood studios have been actively trying to suppress the availability of TPB-AFK by requesting that Google remove links to the documentary from its search engine. As Google is one of, if not the biggest search engines in use, this is kind of a big deal. The takedown requests are carefully hidden in standard DMCA takedown notices for popular movies and TV shows, which the studios actually hold the rights for.

While it is possible that this is a tinfoil-hat conspiracy from Hollywood trying to silence TPB, another likely explanation is that this is just collateral damage from automated DMCA takedown request processes.

Most studios fully-automate their takedown requests, with programs that simply troll through all recently added Google links, pick up on infringing content, and file the request. It is entirely plausible that the Pirate Bay documentary was simply picked up by the automated system for whatever reason.

Torrent Freak warns that this doesn't make it any less of a problem, as it shows that the current DMCA system is ripe for abuse from Hollywood studios, as shareholders can take down whatever they want with almost no oversight and no incentive to improve the accuracy of their systems. It suggests a kind of "three strikes" systems for studios that abuse the system.

Source & Image: Torrent Freak

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