TorrentFreak Continues To Get DMCA Takedown Notices Despite Not Hosting Infringing Material

It's no secret that TorrentFreak, a mainstay news site covering copyright and filesharing issues, gets more than its fair share of errant DMCA takedowns and other wayward scrutiny. This is almost certainly a function of the site's chosen name, though the sheer volume of mistaken targeting of the site also serves as a useful beacon for just how bad policing copyright has become. If you can't get past a news site having the word "torrent" in its name, then we should probably all admit we're operating at a very silly level of IP enforcement.

And yet it keeps happening. Most recently, TorrentFreak reported on a request made to Google to delist a post the site did on how popular The Mandalorian was with pirates.

Every week we see obvious errors, where sites such as IMDb, Wikipedia, Justice.gov, and NASA are targeted. By now we ignore most of these mistakes but in some instances, we take them personally. That’s also the case for a DMCA takedown request Google received a few days ago. This notice claims to identify several problematic URLs that allegedly infringe the copyrights of Disney’s hit series The Mandalorian.

This is not unexpected, as The Mandalorian was the most pirated TV show of last year, as we reported in late December. However, we didn’t expect to see our article as one of the targeted links in the notice. Apparently, the news that The Mandalorian is widely pirated – which was repeated by dozens of other publications – is seen as copyright infringement? Needless to say, we wholeheartedly disagree. This is not the way.

A couple of things we should absolutely point out. First, at the time of this post being written, Google has not delisted the post from search results. Also, and this genuinely surprised me, Disney was not the the party requesting the post be delisted, despite the show being a flagship on Disney+. Instead, the requesting entity is something called GFM Film. TorrentFreak was unable to pin down precisely who that company is or where it's from, as there looks to be several potential candidates found via web search.

All of which is only really interesting in terms of finding out who is responsible for this screw up. Because, again, TorrentFreak is a news site that does not host a single bit of infringing digital material. The policing of copyright is full of this sort of collateral damage and that doesn't seem to be a problem anyone seriously wants to tackle.

 

With thanks to our Friends over at : Techdirt.

 

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