As a counter to how easy it is to search for pirated content on Google, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) launched its own search engine to drive up the rankings of sites that provide access to movies legally. Film distributors on the lookout for pirated content seem to not have been fully across what the MPAA were trying to achieve — and ended up reporting a number of listings to be removed from Google searches. Which they were.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests came from Poland. Film distributor Forum Film Poland reported five URLs from MPAA’s search engine WheretoWatch.com. Reporting agency Anti-Piracy Protection also sent one on behalf of ITI Neovision.
Google complied with the requests, and a total of six listings were removed completely from Google searches.
Users of the site were met with the following notice when searching for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 :
Automated takedown processes are being blamed for the error, and since WhereToWatch has not been whitelisted content could be flagged as pirated.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened — FindanyFilm and JustWatch are other examples of industry-supported serach engines being wrongly reported for containing pirated content.
The MPAA has been lobbying Google to remove sites for accessing pirated material from search results entirely.