A Texas district court supoenaed Google and commanded the company to take down an unauthorized copy of the documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" from Google Video.
Given all the hoopla surrounding copyright and video sites these days, I thought it would be worthwhile to point out that Google was supoenaed by a Texas district court last week and commanded to take down an unauthorized copy of the documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room."
The doc is no longer available on Google Video. Google spokespeople have told me before that Google receives and responds to take down notices on a fairly regular basis.
This really wouldn't be that interesting except that the rights to the Enron documentary are owned by Magnolia Pictures. Magnolia Pictures is owned by Mark Cuban, perhaps the most vocal critic of Google's acquisition of YouTube. (and a big fan of the Enron doc.)
"If Google gets nailed one single time for copyright violation," Cuban wrote recently on his blog, "there are going to be more shareholder lawsuits than doans has pills to go with the pile on copyright suits that follow."
By removing the video promptly, Google is complying with the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). Cuban wasn't immediately available for comment.
I spoke briefly with Jason Janego, Magnolia's head of legal affairs, about subpoenaing Google over the illicit video. "We get notices all the time of our films being online," he said. "It ranges from people who are fans of the film sending us an e-mail to our publicity marketing people."
He said Magnolia doesn't aggressively pursue copyright violators online, but when they're notified of a violation they issue a take down request.
"It's difficult to monitor this activity. Extremely difficult," he said.