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MPAA Sues Two Movie Sites

Alleges infringement

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The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), acting on behalf of the major studios, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles against Fombd.com and Movierumor.com for alleged copyright infringement.

The MPAA says the sites contribute to and profit from copyright infringement by identifying, posting, and indexing links to infringing content on the Internet allowing people to then view on-demand.

The organization says Fomdb.com (Free Online Movie DataBase) and Movierumor rely on advertisers to run their sites and profit from third-party advertising pitches. Fomdb servers are located in Charlotte, North Carolina and Movierumor’s are in Chicago. The two sites combine attract 27,000 unique visitors per day who view over 97,000 pages of content.

"There are many people operating illegal websites like these who are profiting from the theft of protected content. We have filed several other similar lawsuits and will continue to do so in order to hold operators accountable for their illegal activities. We have every intention of shutting down these, and sites like them, for good," said John Malcolm,Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPAA.

Globally the motion picture industry lost $18.2 billion in 2005 due to piracy with $7 billion estimated to be from online piracy.
 

MPAA Sues Two Movie Sites
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  • http://www.cinemamad.com JonD

    You have to admit, what those sites are doing is pretty blatant.  It’s not like they’ve just embedded YouTube clips!

  • http://www.g7uk.com/ Gary

    Many sites are making themselves a destination on the pretext of ‘indexing’ and ‘aggregating’ video content.

    If you take the example of Mefeedia… This site embeds video content. Some from YouTube and Blip.tv but it also hotlinks video files from your own server, if these have been linked in an RSS feed. Mefedia republishes all your titles, tags and text content in full on its own pages and serves this up with its own Google Adsense ads.

    Your content can be be protected by full copyright, Creative Commons no commercial use licence or you can have offered it for sharing for private/non-profit use, it makes no difference, Mefeedia republishes (steals) it regardless. Your only option is the DMCA route or, more effectively, complain to Google Adsense, as serving up copyright content without permission alongside Google Adsense ads is against the program terms and conditions.

    Because Mefeedia has lifted full content from tens of thousands of quality sites, not surprisingly, it rates above your own site in the Google search results. So people go to watch your video on Mefeedia and click on their ads rather than on yours.

    Mefeedia links to your site but almost no one clicks those links. Which is hardly surprising when they can get all your content in full on the Mefeedia website. In 18 months our site had 19 clicks from MeFeedia, while our videos were watched many thousands of times on their pages.

    They claim to be a ‘search engine’ and not to store text content, but we found they were presenting text  that had been completely removed from our site more than two years previously. They were also offering one of our videos with a Creative Commons licence when we have never used Creative Commons for anything.

    These people are driving ’video sharing’ because they are profiting from it and transferring income from content creators to themselves. Don’t output partial RSS feeds they say (and no wonder). They say it’s a benefit to have your file on dozens of video file sharing sites, when it fact doing that ends up burying your own web pages on Google and costs you traffic. If there is one destination for your video, people will find that.

    This all may work eventually for video producers who don’t have a website and don’t want traffic to it, assuming that ads embedded in the video (as used by blip.tv) eventually start making money. At the moment, in our experience, they make almost nothing, while Adsense brings in lots of money (a fact that Mefeedia realises only too well).

    But, currently, the tactics of sites such as Mefeedia are the kiss of death for websites.

    Strangely though, Mefeedia is one of the over-hyped poster children of the RSS/video sharing/UGC fans who are driving this and they are happy to pick and choose which sites they love and hate: Veoh bad, Mefeedia good.

    Theft is theft.

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