Remember way back in 2012, when the federal government forced legendary (perhaps notorious?) internet business mogul Kim Dotcom to shut down his massive file sharing website, MegaUpload, on the basis of internet piracy? It didn’t take long for Dotcom to reinvent his incredibly popular website as Mega, and with new branding came a fresh chance in the eyes of the United States feds.
However, Dotcom’s new venture is already taking heat from an institution nearly as intimidating as the feds: major Hollywood movie studies. However, so far, Google isn’t playing along.
A Fair Request, or a Blanket Attack on File Sharing?
The aforementioned “heat” comes in the form of takedown requests via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by Warner Bros and NBC Universal. Warner Bros is asserting that Mega is illegally distributing its film “Gangster Squad,” while NBC Universal is saying the same about its horror flick “Mama.”
However, Google is refusing to take down Mega’s homepage on the grounds that the homepage does not contain links to any files at all, much less copyrighted movies.
Kim Dotcom said that this is just the latest in a string of overreaching attacks by content publishers, citing his belief that “over 20 percent” of DMCA takedown notices issued to his old site, MegaUpload, were unfounded. He went on to say that many of the takedown notices were created automatically based on certain keywords, and targeted plenty of legitimate, non-copyrighted files as a result.
Speaking to TorrentFreak, DotCom went on to say that “copyright extremists” are engaged in a “war against innovation,” alluding to the fact that Mega does facilitate the fast, easy sharing of many legitimate files, with features that simply weren’t available in older peer-to-peer networks.
To play devil’s advocate, it’s important to point out that no illegal files are linked from Mega’s homepage. Nobody, including Dotcom himself, is asserting that “Gangster Squad” and “Mama,” and undoubtedly plenty of other protected files, are being shared on Mega’s deeper pages.
Still, Google’s reasoning is sound. They’ll gladly de-list the deeper pages of Mega that contain copyrighted files, but they won’t de-list the site’s homepage because it just isn’t linking to anything illegal.