There’s this movie coming out next year called Avengers: Age of Ultron. You might have heard about it. If you haven’t, then being un-American is a problem you should seriously have someone look into. Being the sequel to the first Avengers movie, Age of Ultron has the pleasure of being pretty high on every comic book fan’s bucket list until mid-2015. That being said, the spotlight lately hasn’t been on the movie itself, but the trailer. And that has led to what I can only describe as dumb people being so dumb.
Here’s what happened. Way back when, while Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD was still trying to become less of a train wreck, an exclusive trailer of the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron movie was advertised to broadcast after the October 28th episode of Agents of SHIELD. That got leaked six days early. Instead of panicking, Marvel decided to be clever instead. As Marvel is wont to do more often than not lately.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 22, 2014
After this bit of exposition, Marvel proceeded to not only immediately release an HD version of the leaked trailer through their Youtube channel, but they also produced extra footage of the movie for the intended release date of the trailer. That’s a double whammy. GG. Marvel won right?
Here’s where it gets sticky. Marvel decided to go after the original leaker of the trailer. They didn’t go so far as to track down every site that posted a link to the trailer after the fact. They only wanted Patient Zero. And they used the courts and the DMCA law to subpoena Google for the information needed to track him down. The leaker was identified as a John Gazelle, and Google was ordered to produce the IP address that uploaded the leaked file, along with just about every other piece of info they could get on him. Additionally, they also asked the courts for a permit to search his property, but that was denied. As it should have been.
At that point, Marvel— previously lauded as a company of heroes and champions— became a heel. The Vocal Minority made its voice loud and clear, and in the process practically lost its shit. The result? Marvel is now this big company with all the failings of all the other big companies who have abused the law for their own methods and practices.
Wait, what? What happened? Did the logic train just careen helplessly right into the yawning chasm of lunacy?
Not to say that Marvel is completely innocent of and of the things that big companies are normally found guilty of, but in this case, they potentially have an employee under their roof who has no qualms about sharing their secrets. This person has breeched a contract, and is causing harm. This makes Marvel perfectly within their rights to go after the guy. You wouldn’t let a thief hang around your valuables if you could do something about it. This is, more or less, the same thing.
But Orophen, what about DMCA, NSA, WNBA and all these other scary acronyms? It’s true that Marvel used the DMCA in order to subpoena Google for the personal information of the leaker. It’s not a bad thing in this case. As most have reported it, it’s not an abuse of the DMCA law. This is exactly what it was created for, whatever that might mean to those who are against the law in the first place.
The letters DMCA are not a curse. You won’t summon Candyman just because someone mentions it too many times. That’s not to say that there are some problems with the law. There’s issues with just about every law you could probably think of off the top of your head. But a company suddenly using the law to protect itself doesn’t make that company any less worthy of trust. It just makes it more obvious that thoughts aren’t being processed by those who have an issue with this. They hear certain words and have a knee jerk reaction, despite not having much knowledge about what’s actually going on. Next thing you know, you have a mob of Internet quaking in fear because “reasons”.
This isn’t the first time randoms have jumped onto the Internet Bandwagon of Moral Outrage, and it won’t be the last. But vilifying Marvel makes very little sense here. My prediction? It’ll blow over in a week or two once people start to realize they’re being silly. And those complaining the loudest will be the first in line when Age of Ultron finally releases in 2015. So why even bother starting drama about this? Dumb people being so dumb. I think that about wraps it up.
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