Like many other Hollywood studios, Paramount Pictures sees online piracy as a major threat to its revenues.
Torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents represent a thorn in the side and the company is doing everything in its power to limit the damage.
For Paramount this includes tracking down and warning individual users of these sites. Generally speaking, rightsholders monitor people who share recent blockbusters or TV-shows, but there are exceptions.
TorrentFreak has learned that the Hollywood studio started sending takedown notices targeting Internet subscribers whose accounts were used to download and share the 1972 classic The Godfather.
With help from its anti-piracy partner IP-Echelon the studio is contacting ISPs, asking the companies to “disable” the copyright infringements and make sure that their subscribers stop sharing the film.
“We are requesting your immediate assistance in removing and disabling access to the infringing material from your network. We also ask that you ensure the user and/or IP address owner refrains from future use and sharing of Paramount materials and property,” the letter reads, listing the technical details.
In addition, Paramount urges the ISP not to destroy any data such as IP-address logs, even if the retention period has expired. The movie studio mentions that this data may be required if a lawsuit is filed at a later stage.
“In complying with this notice, [ISP] should not destroy any evidence, which may be relevant in a lawsuit, relating to the infringement alleged, including all associated electronic documents and data relating to the presence of infringing items on your network, which shall be preserved while disabling public access, irrespective of any document retention or corporate policy to the contrary.”
The lawsuit mention may cause some file-sharers to panic, but is likely little more than a mafia-inspired threat. Paramount is generally not known to file cases against individual file-sharers, even though it has sent out many similar takedown notices in the past.
In fact, many Hollywood studios and other rightsholders send out similar letters, such as HBO with recent episodes of Game of Thrones. That said, the Godfather notice is by far the “oldest” we have seen, which makes it record-worthy.