Following the introduction of a ’3 strikes’ mechanism targeting regular Internet users, as reported earlier this week moves are underway in France to strangle the finances of streaming and direct download (DDL) sites. Today the direction of the multi-pronged action becomes even more clear.
Three umbrella organizations representing the rights of more than 100 movie and TV-related companies have gone to court in order to have video streaming sites blocked on the Internet.
L’Association des Producteurs de Cinéma (APC), a group which in itself represents more than 120 companies including Paramount and Sony, have teamed up with La Fédération Nationale des Distributeurs de Films (FNDF) and Syndicat de l’Edition Vidéo Numérique (SEVN) for the ground-breaking legal action.
Their complaint, which if successful could spread to dozens of other sites, targets locally popular AlloStreaming, AlloShare, AlloMovies and AlloShowTV. Speaking with TorrentFreak earlier today, PC INpact journalist Marc Rees told us that after speaking with the movie companies he could confirm that an initial report which indicated that MegaUpload and MegaVideo are also listed in the 100-page complaint are unfounded.
With this action APC, FNDF and SEVN are taking on some of the biggest names on the Internet. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo all face demands to delist the streaming sites and services from their search engine results. A range of ISPs including France Telecom, Orange and Free are all being asked to block their subscribers from accessing the sites.
The rightsholders’ claims are rooted in Article 336-2 of the Intellectual Property code, a provision which allows the High Court to take almost any emergency measure to protect rightsholders. With this in mind, proceedings for interim relief will be heard before the High Court on December 15th.
Interestingly, it appears that Google has already received and responded to a DMCA takedown notice (here on Chilling Effects) from the groups listed above concerning Allostreaming.com, AlloshowTV.com, Alloshare.com and Allomovies.com.
Typing any of the domains into Google’s search engine is now fruitless – all of them have been completely delisted, so at this stage it’s unclear why Google remains in the complaint.
Earlier this week a US judge ordered Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Bing, Yahoo, and Google to delist several pages referring to counterfeit goods. This case was started and won by the fashion house Chanel, who were also allowed to seize the domain names. Whether Hollywood studios will follow the French example and file a similar suit in the US has yet to be seen.