We have seen examples of dumb DMCA takedown requests before, such as the requests Microsoft sent to Google in July of this year. But movie studios asking Google to take down links to their own websites and/or websites that contain legitimate copies of movies and TV shows probably takes the cake when it comes to ridiculous DMCA requests.
Entertainment studios regularly send Google take down requests via DMCA. While most of these requests are legitimate, some are obviously not so:
A request sent on behalf of Lionsgate asked Google to remove a few dozen links related to piracy of “Cabin in the Woods”. Too bad this request also included links to legitimate copies of “Cabin in the Woods” on Amazon, Comcast Xfinity, Blockbuster, and iTunes.
20th Century Fox
A request sent on behalf of Fox asked for a link to “Prometheus” on Verizon On Demand (a legal way to view the movie) to be taken down. Another request asked for Wikipedia’s “Family Guy” article link to be removed. Yet another request asked Google to take down the official CBS homepage for “How I Met Your Mother”. The kicker? That same page was listed as the page that was being infringed upon!
A request on behalf of BBC for “Ill Manors” asked Google to take down film reviews from the likes of The Gaurdian, The Independent, Daily Mail, and The Mirror. The request further asked for the removal of the link to Ill Manors’ official Facebook page.
A request on behalf of Summit for “50/50” saw Google being asked to remove a bunch of unrelated, non-piracy links… and even a legitimate link to Blockbuster.
A request on behalf of Sony for “The Other Guys” asked Google to remove links to unrelated articles from tech blogs that covered Megaupload.
Walt Disney Pictures
A request on behalf of Walk Disney for “Cinderalla” asked Google to remove a link to BBC’s online kids corner, which contains fairy tales.
It should be noted all the DMCA requests were not sent by the movie/TV show studios themselves but rather sent on behalf of the studios by a firm named “Yes It Is – No Piracy!” It isn’t entirely clear who or what this firm is; as TorrentFreak points out, their website claimed that they are a DMCA remover but that website now redirects to an empty GoDaddy parked page, raising the possibly that these could be fake DMCA requests submitted to Google. (Fake as in not really on behalf of the studios; we already know some of them were false positives.)
Fake or real, they clearly contain some stupid requests. Thankfully, many of the false positives in the above DMCA requests are “whitelisted” (so to speak) by Google and are not removed via DMCA that easily. So not much harm was done.