Just when we thought Adam Sandler’s Pixels had stopped hurting people, it has reared its ugly head once again. According to TorrentFreak (via Kotaku), an anti-piracy group working on behalf of Columbia Pictures—which distributed Pixels—issued a big stack of DMCA notices to video streaming site Vimeo, demanding that it take down a bunch of videos that it claims infringe on Columbia’s Pixels-related copyright. Oddly, though, most of the videos don’t actually have anything to do with the movie, they just use the word “pixels” in their name or description. (Fun history lesson: “Pixels” were a thing long before they were used as the name of an unpopular movie!)
Of the affected videos, there’s an indie short called “Pixels” that has nothing to do with living video game monsters from 2006, a music video for a band called The Pixels that some guy made in 2010, something called “Pantone Pixels” from 2011 that the creator simply billed as “a personal project that took me a very long time,” a short clip from Belgium’s Pixels Festival that is also not about video game monsters, and something called “Love Pixels” from a “royalty free stock footage and media site.” The anti-piracy group, Entura International, even demanded that Vimeo take down the official version of Patrick Jean’s short film “Pixels,” which is literally what the Adam Sandler movie was based on. Basically, this doesn’t make any sense.
TorrentFreak goes into some detail about what this means for the uploaders—their accounts have been marked with one “strike” against them, which is probably bad—but it sounds like Vimeo is investigating this and will (hopefully) re-upload the wrongfully pulled videos. In the meantime, we just hope Entura International doesn’t start going after even more pixels. Indie video games will really suffer without hip, retro art.
UPDATE: After realizing that most of the videos pulled because of this DMCA notice had nothing to do with Adam Sandler or the movie version of Pixels, Vimeo decided to contact Entura and got this whole thing straightened out. The videos have been restored, and now we can all go back to enjoying Pixels without this dark cloud hanging over it. Vimeo’s full statement is below:
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.