Two major Hollywood studios have asked Google to remove the homepage of Kim Dotcom’s Mega from its search results. Warner Bros. and NBC Universal claim that their copyrighted content is hosted on the URL and want it taken down.
Dotcom is disappointed by the news and points out that constant takedown abuse is restricting access to legitimate files. “This is in line with the unreasonable content industry behavior we have experienced for years,” he says in a response.
Every week copyright holders send millions of DMCA takedown notices to Google, hoping to make pirated movies and music harder to find.
Unfortunately not all of these requests are correct. Because of the high number of often automated notices and the fact that copyright holders don’t check the validity of all requests, this results in questionable takedowns.
One site that has been the target of this kind of takedown abuse is Kim Dotcom’s file-storage service Mega. In recent weeks Hollywood studios Warner Bros. and NBC Universal both asked Google to de-list Mega’s homepage from its search index. These are odd requests as Mega’s homepage doesn’t link to any files at all.
According to a takedown request by NBC Universal, however, Google is led to believe that Mega’s homepage is linking to an infringing copy of its film Mama. Warner Bros. on the other hand claim in a DMCA notice that Mega is making a pirated copy of Gangster Squad available to the public.
NBC Universal takedown request
Kim Dotcom is not happy with the censorship attempt and points out that this is not the first time he has fallen victim to this kind of abuse.
“The Warner Bros. and NBC Universal requests to Google are censoring our entire homepage. This is in line with the unreasonable content industry behavior we have experienced for years,” Dotcom tells TorrentFreak.
In this case, Google caught the error and refused to remove the Mega homepage, making it still available in its search results today. However, these kind of mistakes are certainly not an isolated incident. Dotcom points out that when Megaupload was still around one in five DMCA requests were bogus, often the result of automated processes.