Can a movie spoiler be copyrighted?


While a publication that contained rumors about the plot of the film Mario has been removed from Reddit, the spoiler issue takes a legal turn. Does revealing potentially key elements of a film based on rumors constitute copyright infringement?

The movie Mario is at the center of a copyright dispute on Reddit. © Matt Winkelmeyer-Getty Images

Since 2018 we know that a movie Mario is in development at Nintendo in collaboration with the Illumination studio (Me, ugly and bad). The premiere was planned for the end of 2022, but it has just been postponed to spring 2023. Waiting to discover the feature film in theaters, some fans are lost in conjecture about its content, while others go further by rebroadcasting the noises of the corridors. and other more or less founded rumours.

Reddit post removed for copyright infringement

Precisely at this point a curious event occurred a few weeks ago. As the specialized site explains TorrentFreak, it all started with a post on Reddit relaying all the rumors about the movie’s plot, based mostly on comments from people who claimed to have attended test screenings. The user behind the post warned in advance that the information should be taken with a grain of salt, and could very well have just been made up and copied from all over the internet. All in all, a pretty wise and pretty classic scenario on Reddit.

However, shortly after publication, the site’s legal team removed the post following a copyright claim from a third party. Presumably, it is on the side of Nintendo, Universal or Illumination that we must look for the author of this complaint, often called DMCA, from the name of the American law designed to fight copyright violations, the Millennium Copyright Act digital. Therefore, we are talking about a publication removed for its purely theoretical content and absolutely not validated by any official synopsis.

The famous deleted post on Reddit.  © Screenshot by TorrentFreak

The famous deleted post on Reddit. © Screenshot by TorrentFreak

how do you remember TorrentFreak, the message did not contain screenshots or stolen video excerpts from the film, confirming that it is indeed the text that is in the viewfinder of this complaint. However, more or less reliable theories and reports about upcoming movies are far from unusual on the Internet. With such a precedent, revelation could it become the subject of a DMCA complaint? If so, many bloggers and YouTubers have cause for concern.

not the first

However, it wouldn’t be the first time a studio has seen red due to spoilers. the net American AMC had attacked, for example, an online community, the pampered deadwho had fun sharing sensitive information about the plot of the new seasons of the zombie series The Walking Dead. how to explain TorrentFreakforum officials were accused of receiving “Trade secret information copyrighted on the most critical information of the plot.“with a plan to”distribute this supposedly highly confidential information“, knowing that such disclosure would be detrimental to AMC.

Similarly, HBO filed DMCA notices against a YouTuber who posted very specific predictions about how the series would play out. game of Thrones. YouTube eventually reinstated the videos in question, but the case demonstrated the power of studios over the voices of fans of their shows, if the latter don’t bother to fight back. So, will we still be able to come up with more or less believable theories about our favorite works tomorrow? In any case, it does not seem to be in the interest of the world’s entertainment giants.

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