Warner Bros., Marvel, others complain of pirated content on Google Play

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Hollywood studios are dialing up efforts to eradicate mobile applications incorporating content pirated from feature films and television series, Reuters reports.

Time Warner's Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co.'s Marvel Entertainment, Sony Corporation, Viacom's Paramount Pictures and News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox have all submitted copyright infringement notifications to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play app storefront in recent weeks, the report states. The Android apps in question contained unauthorized images culled from films like Clash of the Titans, Spider-Man and Green Lantern as well as TV shows including Glee and Gossip Girl.

Warner Bros. notes Google responded to a request to remove the unauthorized Hobbit 3D Wallpaper HD app within a matter of days. A Google spokesperson declined to discuss any specific takedown requests, but said it is Google Play policy to remove apps that clearly infringe copyrights and then notify the app developer. Any View, the developer behind Hobbit 3D Wallpaper HD, did not respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) also declined to address specifics of iOS apps infringing copyright restrictions, but a spokesperson said the firm vets all submissions before making them available for download from its App Store.

A recent survey conducted by IP Lasso, a startup that monitors brand names and trademarks across applications, found that among 100 Android and iOS apps mentioning Oscars or Academy Awards, 90 percent contain content that may not have been authorized by studios, TV networks or other creators. "We have spoken with studios that represent several of the properties and they are actively monitoring unlicensed mobile apps," said IP Lasso CEO Reggie Pierce.

The Motion Picture Association of America said it is also expanding its efforts to curtail apps that contain links to sites offering pirated films. "Smartphone apps that provide a direct link to infringing content have become a growing problem that needs to be addressed," said Marc Miller, senior vice president for Internet content protection for the MPAA. "Not only do these apps offer access to creative content that has been illegally copied, but they also pose risks to consumers from malware and often fail to provide viewers with the quality product they could often get through a growing number of legitimate sources."

For more:
- read this Reuters article

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