Well, now we’ve hit the big times. We just received a Cease and Desist letter from NBCUniversal in regards to the article we wrote yesterday about Downton Abbey.
For those that missed it, we wrote an article about how you can watch the new season of Downton Abbey, which starts Sunday in the UK, before it airs in the USA. We included a handy infographic that summarized all the ways. It was a very popular article – Downton fans are pissed that we have to wait until January, when the show will be completely spoiled by then by this thing called THE INTERNET.
Downton Abbey is produced by Carnival Films, which is a wholly own subsidiary of NBCUniversal. Bet you didn’t know your favorite British costume Drama is made by NBC!
Now, they would prefer you didn’t know that Downton is airing in the UK starting this weekend. So, as a result, they sent us this letter:
Notice of Copyright Infringement
NBCUniversal and/or its subsidiary and affiliated companies (collectively, NBCUniversal) are the owners of intellectual property rights in numerous television shows and motion pictures. NBCUniversal diligently enforces such intellectual property rights.
Netdna-cdn.com is and has been infringing NBCUniversal’s intellectual property rights in numerous properties including, but not limited to, the non-exhaustive, representative list of title(s) appearing at the bottom of this letter. For each listed title, one or more of the URLs (links) assigned by Netdna-cdn.com to the listed titles, are also provided. NBCUniversal demands that Netdna-cdn.com immediately remove or otherwise disable access to all links identified in this letter, to any and all other links assigned by Netdna-cdn.com to the listed titles, and to the content files to which the links relate. NBCUniversal further demands that Netdna-cdn.com immediately cease and desist from any further infringement of NBCUniversal properties, including those identified herein.
The undersigned has a good faith belief that Netdna-cdn.com’s use of NBCUniversal property as referenced herein infringes NBCUniversal’s rights and is not authorized by NBCUniversal, its agent or the law. The information contained in this notification is accurate. Under penalty of perjury, the undersigned is authorized to act on behalf of NBCUniversal with respect to this matter.
Please be advised that this letter is not a complete statement of the facts or law as it may pertain to this matter, or of NBCUniversal’s positions, rights or remedies, legal or equitable, all of which are specifically reserved.
Very truly yours
Anti-Piracy Technical Operations
(NetDNA is related to where out site is hosted)
They sent a list of files they objected to, one being the series 4 cast promo pic (god forbid you see that now!) and our fancy infographic.
Now, in all fairness we did use a Downton promo image in the infographic and while this should fall under the Fair Use Doctrine, NBCUniversal disagrees, because they don’t want you to know how to watch the show early. We’ve used countless Downton images before and never received a message like this before. They have a problem with our content itself.
As we don’t have the resources for another legal battle, we decided to simply comply and remove the images that bother them so much.
So, we’ve altered them, stripping all mention of Downton from them and henceforth we will try to refer to Downton Abbey as “The Stately Home Show.”
Update: After consultation with Anglotopia’s counsel, we’ve decided to err on the side of caution and remove the infographic and the previous article. Telling you where to get the show is in itself a form of copyright infringement. So, we’ll just say that you can watch Downton in advance if you look hard enough and let’s leave it at that.