Every hour of the day dozens of anti-piracy outfits scour the web to find copyright-infringing content, which they then target with takedown notices.
At TorrentFreak we keep a close eye on the notices that are sent to Google search, through the Lumen database, and every now and then we see some unusual requests.
Most recently, we spotted several takedown notices that reference President Obama.
In some of these cases, it was pretty clear that someone had made a mistake. For example, when a few links related to Obama’s “State of the Union” speech were confused with a song from the band “State of the Union.”
As a result, several pages linking to copies or downloads of the President’s yearly address were deindexed by Google.
A broader trend, however, is record labels going after the President’s musical talents.
More specifically, the parodies produced by the popular YouTube channel “baracksdubs.” These videos, which have millions of views, are also on the ‘watchlists’ of anti-piracy groups.
The ‘cover’ of Justin Bieber’s Sorry, for example. Copies and links to this and other ‘dubbed’ tracks were targeted many times in recent takedown requests, with claims that they’re “allegedly infringing” Justin Bieber’s rights.
So have the associated record labels lost their sense of humor?
Since the original YouTube videos are still online, it’s unlikely that the labels are intentionally targeting these parodies. They are probably getting flagged by mistake based on keyword triggers.
Some of the links in question are from sites that often link to copyrighted content as well. Many index YouTube videos, allowing users to download them as MP3s. This makes it harder to spot these kinds of errors, especially when most of the takedown process is automated.
The “baracksdubs” people probably don’t mind the issue, as long as their videos remain online, but it shows that mistakes are easily made.
Oh. And for what it’s worth, the issue doesn’t apply exclusively to President Obama. President Elect Trump is getting the same treatment, so we can probably see plenty more of this in the future.