Anti-Piracy Efforts Reach Yet Sillier Heights

A blogger has received a cease-and-desist letter for embedding YouTube clips of lite-rock crooner Michael McDonald, Techdirt reports. Firm Baker and Hostetler, purportedly representing McDonald, issued entrepreneur Ronald Lewis the nastygram accusing Lewis of posting the videos to YouTube. Lewis, for his part, says that he’s known McDonald for years and that he only ever posted the YouTube-provided embed code.

While Techdirt worries this type of case maybe become an issue down the road, I’m going to file it under “bumbling lawyer.” Because if Baker and Hostetler’s Gary L. Gilbert had been paying attention at all, he’d have an issued a DMCA takedown to YouTube. Sure, maybe there’s some grounds to cite inducement under the DMCA, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

While I’m no fan of McDonald, personally, here’s a clip embedded above as a show of solidarity. And while we’re mocking bumbling anti-piracy zealots…

While my motto is “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” Media Defender‘s seems to be “if you can’t beat ’em, fight dirty.” In a classic case of entrapment, they’ve set up site miivi.com with promises that you can download hit movies, according to TorrentFreak. A commenter on the post points out that downloading the client from miivi.com populates your download cue with unauthorized content, even if you’re only using it to share freely distributable files!

Finally, NBC Universal representatives haven’t stopped at equating copyright infringement with bank robbery — now they’re arguing that movie downloads mean fewer trips to the theater, which means fewer tubs of overpriced popcorn, which means industrial agribusiness executives corn farming families go hungry (via Techyum). For a network so digitally savvy in other respects, this lunacy makes me wonder if someone isn’t due to join Lindsay Lohan at Promises.