Warner Bros. has yet to comment officially on the issue. Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hollywood powerhouse Warner Bros. Entertainment has recently been caught flagging their official sites as copyright violators. A correspondent for the website Torrent Freak first spotted the wrong listings in recent DMCA notice filings for infringement of copyright laws.

Screenshots from the notices clearly show Warner Bros. official film sites among the reported wrong URLs that host pirated content. The conglomerate is a parent company for several entertainment studios responsible for producing and releasing hundreds of movies and TV shows every year.

Warner Bros. employed the firm Vobile to detect illegal content online and file takedown requests against the sites that host it. Vobile claims to be a specialist on this process and has even developed their method throughout the years reportedly working with other major studios.

A shot of the famous Warner Bros. Pictures' water tower. Image Source: Flickr
A shot of the famous Warner Bros. Pictures’ water tower. Image Source: Flickr

How exactly did Warner Bros. end up on its blacklist?

The digital experts at Vobile specialize primarily in the protection, measurement, and monetization of audiovisual content online from owners who hire the company’s services.

The security part is where the error lies apparently, as it is a two-pronged approach. Vobile focuses both on protecting the content itself and ensuring that consumers view or broadcast it from a legitimate source. In the automated process of detecting unauthorized movies or shows online, it seems as if filters did not distinguish Warner Bros.’ official site from other pirate portals.

According to the Daily News outlet, the Vobile CEO Yangbin Wang told them in an email that a bug in the system was responsible for the error in the search for personal URLs. Furthermore, Wang claimed that since it was only a handful of addresses among millions sent in takedown notices, said sites were not removed from search results in Google.

Despite authoring the article that sparked the controversy, Torrent Freak’s Ernesto Van der Sar agrees to a point with Vobile’s CEO Yangbin Wang. BBC reached out to Van der Sar for an interview, and the article author said that occurrences like this are fairly usual.

“Piracy monitoring firms often use automated systems to find and report copyright infringing websites. I’m fairly certain that this happened here as well, considering the obvious mistakes that were made,” claimed Van der Sar.

The original Torrent Freak article pointed out Warner Bros. site listed on DMCA notices for the films ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘The Matrix’, and ‘The Lucky One’. ‘Batman Begins,’ the first installment of the Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan, was also wrongly flagged as illegal on official sites.

Vobile’s mistake does not shame Warner Bros. alone, as other official sites like Amazon, Netflix, IMDB, and Sky are also in the list of URLs wrongly flagged for piracy. Warner Bros. has yet to comment officially on the issue.

Source: Torrent Freak