13 June 2016

You Have Got to be Sh%$ting Me

The AMC network has started threatening fans with copyright litigation for making guesses about plot twists:
What's up, Hollywood TV people? Hey, could you do everyone a favor and maybe stop being complete assholes to your biggest fans -- and especially completely abusing copyright law to harass and bully those people? Almost exactly a month ago we wrote about HBO abusing the DMCA process to go after people who were predicting what would happen in Game of Thrones, accusing them of violating copyright law in accurately predicting what would happen in the future. As we noted, that's not at all how copyright law works, but apparently AMC took a look at what HBO was doing and said "hey, let's do that too."

A large Facebook fan group (with almost 400,000 subscribers) called "The Spoiling Dead Fans" has announced that it has received a completely bogus DMCA notice from AMC:
After two years, AMC finally reached out to us! But it wasn’t a request not to post any info about the Lucille Victim or any type of friendly attempt at compromise, it was a cease and desist and a threat of a lawsuit by AMC Holdings, LLC’s attorney, Dennis Wilson. They say we can’t make any type of prediction about the Lucille Victim. Their stance is that making such a prediction would be considered copyright infringement. AMC tells us that we made some claim somewhere that says we received “copyright protected, trade secret information about the most critical plot information in the unreleased next season of The Walking Dead” and that we announced we were going to disclose this protected information. We still aren't sure where we supposedly made this claim because they did not identify where it was.
Their stance is wrong and short-sighted. It's wrong because merely predicting what's going to happen in a show is not copyright infringement. It's short-sighted because the people making these guesses tend to be the show's biggest fans. Pissing off your shows' biggest fans not only seems monumentally assholish, but also entirely counterproductive.
The DMCA is arguably the worst piece of legislation passed in my lifetime.


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