Call attention to something sketchy and you're bound to make it more popular. In its latest piracy-thwarting attempt, the MPAA just alerted hundreds of people to the fact that there are links to stream and download thousands of full-length movies on the subreddit /r/FullLengthFilms. Smooth move.
Early on June 24th, before TorrentFreak got its hands on a Google takedown request filed by the MPAA against the subreddit, you can see there's a relatively small hundred or so users checking the subreddit each hour. But last night, when TorrentFreak published its article, you can see a substantial jump.
Calling attention to /r/FullLengthFilms, which is still online, obviously was not the MPAA's intention, as you can tell by the formal takedown request obtained by TorrentFreak.
In the request sent to Google, the MPAA asks the search behemoth to no longer show this subreddit on search results because it links to a stream of Tom Cruise's most recent release, Edge of Tomorrow, recorded by a shaky camcorder. So far, it appears that Google has not complied.
In the "MPAA Targets Reddit Community Over Movie Privacy" thread on /r/FullLengthFilms, moderator /u/jaredcheeda says that the moderators never originally intended to host bootleg, stolen, or illegal films—though that's a pretty dubious claim. Originally, moderators said they'd "prefer" legal content, now the rules say moderator's will "only" allow legal content.
"I forgot I even made this place… [I just] changed [the rules] to stop saying 'prefer' and instead to say 'only.' Yeah, that looked bad," the redditor wrote. "So far, no one from Reddit.com or TorrentFreak has contacted me regarding this [MPAA takedown request]. I wasn't even aware until a user on here linked me to the article."
The Redditor appears steadfast in making good on the intention to stick to legal content. In a later comment, Jaredcheeda says the moderators will start taking down illegal links:
"We have two new members of the clean up crew… Mops are in the cleaning closet, employee lounge is in the back. Anyone else who want's to hop on the cleaning crew, send me message or reply to this," the redditor wrote. "Stop posting illegal shit, assholes."
Who knows if the mods will stick to that claim. But, in the meantime, the MPAA has shed a light on Reddit as a bastion of piracy, which is probably the worst thing it could have done.