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HBO Tries To Remove VLC Player Download Link From Google Results

Posted by: , 20:41 AEST, Thu July 18, 2013

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Another case of an erroneous DMCA takedown request, this time with HBO trying to remove a torrent of the popular open-source VLC player
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Image/Photo Credit: Horia Varlan @ Flickr, CC

In another case of mistaken identity, HBO is trying to remove a download page for the popular and open-source VLC media player via Google's DMCA takedown process.

This comes after an incident earlier in the year when HBO tried to have their own website removed from Google on copyright grounds.

The page that HBO asks to be removed is a page on the torrent site TorrentPortal, and contains a torrent link to the latest stable version of VLC, version 2.0.7. The same takedown request document also lists other unrelated links, everything from free Java applets, to video games.

With Google currently being asked to remove more than 14 million links just in the last 30 days alone, and with copyright holders often outsourcing the job of identifying copyrighted links to third parties (who may then relegate the job to automated algorithms), accuracy may not always be of the highest priority. Mistakes do occur, and while Google has their own system to prevent clear mistakes from influencing the search results, the system is no foolproof either.

For the time being at least, it appears the link has not been removed by Google from their search results, although without anyone filing a counter-claim, or if Google's does not catch the error on their own, VLC could fall victim to yet another case of collateral damage in the war against piracy.


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