Starz Confuses Inconvenient for Infringing

June 4, 2019

Surely, Starz sees its actions as simply cracking down in illegal content access, but TorrentFreak tells a different story in, “Starz Doesn’t Like News About Leaked TV-Shows, Takes Down TorrentFreak Tweet.” As it is wont to do, TorrentFreak reported a recent leak of several shows, including Starz’ “American Gods,” and auto-tweeted a link to the article. Soon, though, the tweet could no longer be seen; Starz had requested it be withheld as “infringing.” Writer Ernesto relates:

“According to the takedown notice, Starz argues that the tweet is infringing because it links to an article where people can see ‘images of the unreleased episodes’ and find more information about their illegal availability.’ For the record, our article only includes a single identifiable frame from a leaked ‘American Gods’ episode, to show the screener watermarks, which are central to the story. That’s just 0.001% of the episode in question, without audio, which is generally seen as fair use, especially in a news context.

As for the claim that the article includes information about the shows’ ‘illegal availability’, we only mention that they are being shared on pirate sites, without giving any names or links. That’s no ground for a takedown request.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s senior staff attorney agreed, and the write-up declares TorrentFreak’s intention to pursue the matter. As of this writing, it seems they persuaded Starz to see things their way, because the tweet is back in place.

Cynthia Murrell, June 4, 2019


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