Shakedown leads to Warner Brothers flagging themselves as pirates

Shakedown leads to Warner Brothers flagging themselves as pirates

Piracy has been blamed for a slowing in movie industry’s profits. However, the majority of the torrent sites where piracy occurred have been taken down recently and yet we still haven’t witnessed an increase in DVD demand or trips to the theater. So what gives?

Warner Brothers, sticking to their guns, continue to blame piracy and copyright infringement. The problem they have now is a creation of their own hands. They’ve flagged themselves, Amazon, Sky and IMDB as the Captain Hook of the piracy world. Warner Brothers has —via third party company hitman, Vobile — demanded Google remove links to legitimate sites that either cover or stream the Warner Brothers collective catalogue. What’s that mean for potential customers? It means when you attempt to Google, let’s say “LEGO Batman” for some dumb reason, you’d find fewer returns, including the ones tied to Warner Brothers and IMDB, leading consumers to be unaware that the movie is even playing near them, or who is in it. In the case of “LEGO Batman,” that could be a good thing.


The effort was originally done to cut free views of their films, or illegal downloads, or copyrighted material that could reduce revenue for the company. What happened instead is a potentially gross reduction in coverage and information on many of their upcoming films and DVDs. If WB succeeded in their takedown requests and you wanted to see a plot line on a movie, your search engine may come back with fewer than a dozen outdated links.

In the long run, the demand for limitations may impact Warner Brothers worse than it helps. The vast majority of the media falls into a smaller category than the large magazine outlets. If there’s a fear that sites will be pulled from Google’s search engine when they cover a Warner Brother’s film, they’ll simply cover another company and avoid the threat of losing their site.
Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 4.14.07 PMWithout sharing trailers, synopsis and reviews, the big market flicks, like “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” will survive, but lesser known titles will flounder because you can’t even Google search a trailer. WB are not oblivious to this. They expect media outlets to get the word out to the public, but this nonsensical error could be avoided with a little more conversation and a little less action.

Who initially discovered the blunder? Torrent Freak. One of the very targets of Vobile’s mass takedown shootouts, making Warner Brothers look like the shakiest gun in the west.