Columbia House Lawyer Fail: “Pixels”

vimeo-old-logo-official-copyright-vimeoAn intellectual property-focused law firm representing Columbia Pictures has gone berserk, filing a torrent of copyright takedown requests against popular video-hosting platform Vimeo in targeting independent firms and videos with the word ‘pixels’ in the title.

Anti-piracy firm Entura International has served Vimeo with a significant number of takedown notices targeting the takedown of a number of videos that contain the word “pixels” in the title, TorrentFreak reports.

The anti-piracy firm filed a DMCA complaint lodged against popular video-hosting platform Vimeo, in representing Columbia Pictures, the major Hollywood studio behind the film “Pixels.”

Common Sense, Discarded

While Columbia Pictures has every right to protect its property, the actions of the anti-piracy firm representing the studio have predominantly backfired in its efforts to curb piracy. Instead, the takedown notices have only served to inconvenience independent filmmakers.

For instance, a non-profit NGO (Non-government organization) called NeMe was one of the many victims in the scatter-fire approach used by the anti-privacy firm.

“Our NGO has just received a DMCA notice for a video we produced in 2006 entitled ‘Pixels’,” the organization said in a post on Vimeo forums after the takedown.

“The video was directed by a Cypriot filmmaker using his own photos and sounds/music on a shoestring budget and infringes no copyright.”

In response, Mark Cersosimo who is part of the staff at Vimeo responded by saying, “I’d suggest filing a counter-notice. This is in the hands of our trust and safety team and we, unfortunately our support team cannot help you with this issue.”

This is the page that greets any user searching for the independent movie now.


Other targeted videos include:

  • “Pixels — Life Buoy,” the work of filmmaker Dragos Bardac and part of a project for his degree at the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania, uploaded in 2010.
  • “Detuned Pixels — Choco”, a dance music video uploaded in 2014
  • “Pantone Pixels”, a short film uploaded in 2011
  • An independent video produced by Franz Jeitz, a graphic designer who was targeted after announcing that he’ll be speaking at a panel in the 2015 Pixels Festival.

Ironically, the film’s own trailer was uprooted and removed from Vimeo as a result of the sweep, although the trailer was uploaded from unofficial sources.

Hacked staff contacted Vimeo, and received the following message from Sr. Communications Manager Kevin Turner:

Late last week, Vimeo removed certain videos pursuant to a DMCA takedown notice filed by Entura International claiming that the videos contained copyrighted content from the film Pixels. After users informed us that their videos did not contain any Pixels content, we reached out to Entura. Entura has since withdrawn its takedown notice. As a result, we have now restored the affected videos.

Image from Pixabay

Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.