Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
If you wanted to bang your head against your desk, today is the day. In a “so sad it is almost funny” story today from the HollywoodReporter, Warner Bros and Walt Disney are teaming up to sue Triton Media.
What is the alleged crime that Triton media has so willfully committed? Try “contributory copyright infringement and induced copyright infringement,” if you can believe it. Why? Triton runs ads on 9 websites that contain copyrighted material. By completing the tasks of “advertising consulting and referrals for, and/or provided other material assistance” to the infringing websites, they are in hot water.
In short, they ran ads on the behalf of their paying customers on websites with information that Warner doesn’t want to give away for free.
But wait, why not go after the websites themselves? Simple, as HW points out: “All of [the websites that Triton runs advertising on] could themselves be liable for a contributory infringement claim, but the studios have instead decided to reach out even further by taking action against a larger business in Triton (emphasis TNW).” In short, Warner and Walt want money, so instead of attacking the infringers, they are attacking a deeper pocketbook.
Greed is so sad when you see it. Their suit rests on the fact that “Triton allegedly enables these websites to operate and has actual knowledge that the sites are participating in copyright infringement.” The two studios want to block Triton from handling advertising on the 9 sites in question, and they want a pile of money for damages.
They want it both ways. They are attacking the ad company, forgetting the infringer, and then taking money from the rich guy. If you want to see how honorable these people are, take a look at this lawsuit. This is not about copyright protection, or the law. This is about cash. The two studios think that they found a pocket they can pick, and easily on the double.
You can read the full complaint here.
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