Sony Pictures attempted to take down “Pixel” videos on the Internet. I think it’s safe to say that Pixels is one of the biggest film failures of this year. Hated by both audiences and critics alike while also bombing at the box-office, the movie is now just another example to how Adam Sandler hasn’t made a good movie since 50 First Dates. Last week, Sony Pictures decided to might as well pour some salt on its own open wound.
Sony called upon Entura International to take down any suspicious videos on Vimeo that’s infringing copyright on Pixels. So basically, take down any clips or the entire movie that’s been uploaded to the website without Sony or Columbia Picture’s consent. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, Entura had a completely different approach to this: Take down ANYTHING that has the word “Pixels” on it.
This resulted in Entura wrongfully taking down independent projects with the title or included the word “Pixels” in its title. Some of these projects were even made long before the Adam Sandler film, including NeMe’s 2006 Pixels and the 2011 Pantone Pixels. However, some may wonder, “Did this strategy at least work to those that they were suppose to take down?” Not even. In fact, it kind of backfired. The only videos they took down that are related to the 2015 flop are a trailer to the movie and Patrick Jean’s 2010 Pixels, the animated short in which the movie was based on…oops.
Two days ago, Vimeo and Entura solved this issue by withdrawing the copyright claims due to many complaints by these users that the takedowns were falsely done and that their videos do not contain any clips from the Adam Sandler film. The videos are now restored and everything is back to normal. At least there is a bit of a happy ending to it, but Adam Rosenberg of Mashable* did say that this is an example to how the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)’s “Shoot first, ask questions later” strategy is highly flawed. “The DMCA takedown process is a tool in the hands of cash-rich companies that have the ability to throw money at firms like Entura. It might have bitten Columbia this time, since the only actual Pixels footage removed seems to have been an official trailer… It’s a messy situation, and one that’s unlikely to change until someone in Washington rolls up their sleeves and takes a good, long look at the current state of copyright law.”
As someone who posts content on YouTube, I know the pain of big studios claiming copyright on your videos with no consequence on their end, but it’ll sadly take a while before something actually happens, since every politician is starting to put their focus on the 2016 elections. In the meantime, small independent filmmakers just have to be ready for when dumb incidents like what Sony did will happen again.
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