Sony Using Copyright To Take Down Its Own Anti-Piracy Propaganda

Sony has apparently decided that you can’t see its anti-piracy propaganda, because it might be pirated.

There are a few iconic sitcoms I remember from my childhood and What’s Happening!! is probably near the top of that list. What I had forgotten, is that the show once included a two part episode all about the evils of bootlegging, with guest stars, the Doobie Brothers. In that “very special episode,” the character of Rerun is caught trying to secretly tape the Doobie Brothers playing a show at their high school. Or as Mental Floss puts it:

The band, who are so upstanding they named themselves after an illegal drug, proceed to lecture the youngsters on morality and righteousness.

So, that’s cool. Either way, DC policy advocate Josh Lamel recently went looking for clips of that episode and discovered that they’ve all been taken down:

I wanted to find a video of Rerun taping the Doobie’s concert from “What’s Happening”. Sony is literally blocking their own anti-bootlegging propaganda with a #copyright takedown. cc @mmasnick @ilusasha @blakereid @M_F_Rose @AnnemarieBridy @Producing2Power

— Joshua Lamel (@jlamel) February 8, 2019

Indeed, if you try to visit any of the clips of that episode, you get this following:

And, obviously, this is Sony’s choice. The clips may, indeed, be infringing. But it does seem to show the level of insane protectionism that the copyright maximalist mentality leads to, where you hyper vigilant focus on taking down all the things includes you sending copyright takedowns of your own propaganda on why piracy and bootlegging is so bad…

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