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Movie bosses demand Google take down takedown notices

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Movie studios have taken the fight against piracy to a whole new level by sending takedown notices to Google asking it to remove links to their takedown notices.

NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox are meta-fighting the Chocolate Factory because its search links to takedown notices on sites like Chilling Effects could be used as an anthology of where to get pirated material, according to TorrentFreak.

Movie studios and other copyright holders issue takedown requests for search results that point users towards alleged pirate sites. But, in a cruel twist of fate, the list of the actual takedown notices could be used by wannabe downloaders to pinpoint pirate URLs.

Recent notices from 20th Century Fox asked Google to take down links to earlier requests because they are "infringing" on themselves. Other Hollywood studios such as NBC Universal and Lionsgate, as well as Microsoft, have followed suit.

There is a chance that the new notices are just a result of the automated processes copyright holders use to find offending URLs. If so, they only point out the problem with automating those processes. Now, though, Google is not only being asked to remove links to pirated stuff but links to links that list links to pirated stuff.

Confused? Good.

Not everyone is so ticked off about having their media pirated. HBO's president of programming, Michael Lombardo, recently told Entertainment Weekly that the network actually considers the fact that Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV show a bit of a compliment.

"I probably shouldn't be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts," he said. "The demand is there. And it certainly didn't negatively impact DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network." ®

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