Every week copyright holders send millions of DMCA takedown notices to Google, hoping to make pirated movies and music harder to find.
Not all copyright holders take the same approach. Where the RIAA targets millions of infringing URLs per month, the MPAA only sends out a handful of notices.
Instead of using dragnet scripts to take down everything that links to infringing copies, the movie industry group specifically targets homepages of ‘rogue’ sites and other high impact targets. In the latest DMCA notice, sent last week, Reddit ended up on the list.
Like many other user-generated content sites, Reddit has plenty of links to copyright infringing material. In fact, there are several sub-communities that are dedicated to finding and publishing lists to pirated material.
The subreddit r/fulllengthfilms is a good example. Here, users are encouraged to post links to their favorite movies, preferably from legal sources. However, pretty much all links point to streams of pirated films including “Gravity” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The MPAA is not happy with this growing list of movies. In their most recent takedown notice they ask Google to remove the entire subreddit from its search engine, because it contains a link to a camcorded copy of “Edge of Tomorrow.”
Interestingly, Google has declined to action the MPAA’s takedown request. It’s not clear why the search giant refused to take it down, but one of the reasons may be that the MPAA did not limit their request to the “Edge of Tomorrow” posting. Instead, the movie industry group targeted the entire subreddit.
These broad takedown requests are not uncommon as most of the MPAA’s takedown notices contain homepages of download portals or streaming sites. In some cases the infringing work listed in the takedown request no longer appears on these homepages, and the MPAA often fails to list the internal page it’s supposed to link to.
With this strategy the MPAA has managed to remove the homepages of several popular sites from Google’s search results, including KickassTorrents. But Google doesn’t always comply. For the most recent DMCA notice it refused to take down most links, including the Reddit one.
It’s still unclear whether the MPAA also sent a takedown notice to Reddit. TorrentFreak asked Reddit for a comment on the news but we have yet to receive a response.
At the time of writing the FullLengthFilms subreddit and the “Edge of Tomorrow” posting remain online.