Video & Audio|August 24, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags: , ,

YouTube Hosts ‘The Godfather’ in its Entirety For a Brief, Glorious Moment

Chalk it up to the long tail end of summer and a lot of bored people at understaffed offices on Hump Day- but one of the bigger stories relating to YouTube this afternoon and evening had to do with a briefly available, full-length commercial-free version of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic Mafia masterpiece The Godfather on the service.

Sweet, right? Alas, as you can imagine, it was as it looked- too good to be true. A few viewers were able to stream the cinematic classic as the word spread on blogs and social networks that The Godfather was up on the streaming site for reasons unknown at the time- surely this was a massive violation of like, every licensing law ever in the history of copyright statutes? Could such an offering, especially of a major film property be legal by any stretch of the imagination?

Predictably, the clip- all three hours of it, posted to an account claiming to be owned by “Sony Pictures UK”- was yanked with alacrity. If you visit the page where The Godfather was originally available, you’ll be greeted with this message:

“This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.”

Sony added:

“This account has been suspended due to a violation of YouTube’s policy prohibiting content designed to impersonate another person or user.”

A spokesman for Sony Pictures later confirmed that the account- despite speculation it may have been legit due to other content under the handle on YouTube- was in no way affiliated with Sony Pictures either in the US or internationally:

“The YouTube handle in question is, in fact, not a Sony Pictures account and is in violation of Sony Pictures’ rights. Upon discovering the existence of this fraudulent account, Sony Pictures Entertainment worked with YouTube and the account was deactivated. Sony Pictures is investigating the violation.”

No word on who added the clip, or whether there was any larger motive behind the move.

  • Asd

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