Universal Studios Copyright Bot Stupidly Asks Google To Delist IMDb Page For “Furious 7”

Universal either has the stupidest copyright bot on the planet or it genuinely doesn't want people going to the one website on Earth everyone goes to for basic information about movies.

Universal either has the stupidest copyright bot on the planet or it genuinely doesn’t want people going to the one website on Earth everyone goes to for basic information about movies.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it’s against the law to knowingly misrepresent a copyright infringement claim, and yet copyright holders and the automated bots they use to spit out these takedown and delist demands continue to make sweeping, obviously inaccurate claims without penalty. The latest example comes to us courtesy of Comcast-owned Universal Studios.

TorrentFreak.com noticed that Universal (through a third party) was sending out DMCA takedown notices for a number of the films it controls, and that some legitimate — and sometimes unrelated — sites were being caught up in these wide nets.

For example, this recently filed DMCA request with Google demanded that the company remove search results for a number of sites that allegedly infringed on the copyright for Furious 7 the latest film in the Fast & Furious franchise.

While many of the links included in the delist request were for sites with possibly infringing footage or links to illegal torrents of the film, one stood out: A link to the Internet Movie Database for this same film.

It’s an obvious error, and one that Google will undoubtedly catch because it cares more about the accuracy of these requests than the copyright automatons that file them. But it shows just how little these bots know of the actual Internet landscape if they can’t identify one of the world’s most popular websites as not being a source for pirated content.

And this isn’t the only error in this particular DMCA delist request. In France, Universal released the Michael Mann film Blackhat as Hacker, and among the various demands to delist sites allegedly infringing on the film’s copyright, the moronic copyright bot also sought to remove search results for this completely unrelated TechDirt article on hacking.

Again, Google will probably not oblige this delist request, but copyright holders need to be held accountable for making frivolous DMCA claims.

A Pennsylvania woman is still in the middle of an 8-year battle with Universal Music over that company’s overzealous use of the DMCA to have YouTube remove her 29-second clip of her baby dancing to a barely discernible Prince song.

“Unfounded and abusive takedown notices inflict real harms on [online service providers], Internet users, and copyright holders,” reads an amicus brief filed in that case by Google, Twitter, Tumblr, and Automattic. “Every time an unfounded takedown notice results in the removal of legitimate, non-infringing content posted by a user, it constitutes unjustified censorship of the user’s right to share speech with others and interferes with the OSP’s business of hosting and disseminating that user’s speech.”