When a major blockbuster title leaks online, it sets a series of intruiging processes in motion.
It was no different this week when low-quality CAM versions of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller ‘Tenet’ surfaced.
Immediately after this happened thousands of seasoned pirates flocked to their favorite download portals, grabbing a copy. At the same time, anti-piracy outfits sprang into action to issue a continuous stream of takedown requests.
The leak was also a heads up to scammers and other dubious actors. While fake Tenet copies were already circulating, a real leak tends to increase the demand. And indeed, over the past days, we’ve seen scammy links being posted on many legitimate sites including Medium.com, Opensource.com, Shopify.com and Schooltube.com.
There were also news outlets who jumped on the story, including the undersigned. In the days after the leak came out, hundreds of sites referenced it. While some reports are better than others, the news articles are certainly not infringing anyone’s copyrights.
Nonetheless, we noticed this week that several takedown requests targeted real leaked copies, scammy links, and also news reports. One notice sent by the Estonian branch of ACME Film stands out as it combines all three.
The screenshot below starts with a link to a Pirate Bay proxy, followed by a list of scammy postings on legitimate sites such as Sourceforge and Openlibrary. At the very bottom, there are two links to ‘news’ reports. In total, there are five URLs of news reports in that takedown notice alone.
That notice doesn’t come alone, there’s another one that flags a news report as infringing as well. We are pretty sure that these were all reported ‘accidentally’ but still, a quick glance by an actual person could have easily prevented it.
We fully understand that writing this article is not without risk at all. After all, writing about news reports that were targeted because they covered the Tenet leak, may trigger takedown requests as well. However, we’re willing to take a chance.
Also, Google is known to be quite good at spotting these errors. When we checked, most takedown requests for the news articles were being ignored, which means that they are still in the search results.