CANAL+ Sends Preemptive Takedown Notice to Pirate Sites Ahead of TV-Show Premiere

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Copyright holders commonly ask pirate sites to remove infringing content. That typically happens after it appears online but the Polish branch of media giant CANAL+ is trying to get ahead of the curve. The company is asking sites to prevent the illegal distribution of an upcoming TV show, or face legal consequences.

canal+ logoIt’s commonly known that copyright holders regularly send takedown notices to pirate sites, asking the operators to remove pirated content.

These notices are typically sent after pirated content appears online. However, the Polish branch of media giant CANAL+ is being a bit more proactive and is asking sites to prevent copies of a yet-to-be-released TV-show from being shared.

The operator of a large pirate site, who prefers not to be named, shared a copy of the preemptive warning that was received from the CANAL+ Anti-Piracy Department. In the notice, that was also sent to several other sites, the media giant alerts the operators to the upcoming premiere of the new TV show.

Preemptive Takedown

The show, titled Planeta Singli. Osiem Historii (Singles planet. Eight Stories), is scheduled to be released this coming Friday. With the warning letter, CANAL+ puts the site operators on notice, urging them to prevent the series from being shared through their sites.

“[I]t is undisputed that the Company has not given the right to disseminate Series by you and/or the users of your site (‘Website’) by, among others, uploading the files containing the episodes of the Series on the Website,” CANAL+ writes.

“Thus, this letter gives you actual knowledge of illegal activity or information […] and its receipt obliges you to act expeditiously and remove or to disable access to any of the above-mentioned files from the Website.”

Legal Threat

If the operators fail to take action they may be held liable for the unauthorized distributions that take place through their sites. If copies of the shows are shared nonetheless, CANAL+ says it’s ready to defend its rights in court.


The letter is sent by Piotr Wójtów who confirms that this is one of the strategies CANAL+ Polska S.A. uses to protect its content. The company has a dedicated anti-piracy department that keeps a close eye on the piracy landscape and takes action when needed.

“Such an approach includes, without limitations, sending notifications to the operators of web services before the premiere of the TV series of our production. The list of websites includes those against which we have a reasonable belief that could disseminate our content,” Wójtów informs TorrentFreak.

Part of a Broader Anti-Piracy Toolbox

While these preemptive takedowns are unusual, CANAL+ has sent similar requests in the past. The repeated use of these warnings suggests that the company believes that this strategy is at least somewhat effective.

Technically it is impossible to remove or disable content that’s not being shared yet. One option could be to implement upload filters to prevent the show from being shared, but we’re not aware of any pirate sites that have gone this far.

The Polish branch of CANAL+ understands that these notices won’t eliminate piracy completely. Instead, they’re seen as part of a much larger anti-piracy toolbox which, in combination, help to deter piracy.

“There is no ‘silver bullet’ in terms of being effective in fighting online piracy. Only the combination of many factors, means, and tools will achieve results. Sending notifications you referred to, is only one of the measures we take to be effective in the protection of CANAL+ Polska S.A. content,” Wójtów concludes.


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