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December 16, 2003

Fists of Miramax

Wired article reports how Miramax sent a cease-and-desist letter to the site owner for Kung Fu Cinema regarding the "selling, distributing and/or otherwise exploiting copies of the film Hero on DVD and/or VHS."

The problem? Kung Fu Cinema only linked to a site that was selling the film, a site that had stopped selling the film as of June, meaning the movie-specific link was dead anyway. But even if it wasn't, the legal arm-twisting of the C&D letter for merely linking to the offending site is dead wrong.

Says Miramax:

"The letter served its purpose because Mr. Pollard stopped linking to the sites," said Matthew Hiltzik, a representative for Miramax. "By removing these links, he's [Mark Pollard, the site owner] making it more difficult for people to purchase these films, thereby allowing us to protect our interest in these properties."
Jason Schultz, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Miramax got its facts wrong when it targeted Pollard.

"Once again this shows how overzealous enforcement of copyright has an effect on free speech," Schultz said. "This guy clearly runs his website to give his opinion about movies that he loves, and links to more information on the movies, such as where you can buy them."

Links are "a part of a discussion ... you're not only writing what you think but you are providing additional information about what you think and it's all interwoven together as speech," Schultz said.

Yours, &c., LC | 08:11 AM | Legal | TrackBack (0)

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