The video “Pantone Pixels,” published in 2011, was an independent art project that used a swath of colors to illustrate a picture of the creator’s parents. Last week, Vimeo took it down. Turns out it was too similar to “Pixels,” a 2015 movie starring Adam Sandler.
Update (11:40 am EST): In a statement, Vimeo said it’s restoring the videos:
Late last week, Vimeo removed certain videos pursuant to a DMCA takedown notice filed by Entura International claiming that the videos contained copyrighted content from the film Pixels. After users informed us that their videos did not contain any Pixels content, we reached out to Entura. Entura has since withdrawn its takedown notice. As a result, we have now restored the affected videos.
A reasonable human being might wonder what a tiny art film might have to do with a giant Sandler catastrophe, but copyright trolls are not reasonable human beings. Last week, the anti-piracy firm Entura International, which frequently works with Pixels distributor Columbia Pictures, filed a big old DMCA complaint—as first reported by TorrentFreak—that goes after a bunch of videos not for pirating or violating copyright in any way, but for using the word “Pixels,” which it turns out was invented in 2015 by Adam Sandler.
The full complaint, which you can read here, asked Vimeo to pull down the following videos:
“Pixels”, “Pantone Pixels”, “Pixels”, “Pixels - HD Trailer”, “Detuned Pixels - Choco”, “Pixels - Life Buoy”, “Pixels: Redeye @ Kettering”, “Pixels Festival 2015”, “Love Pixels- VJLoops”, “Pixels Official Trailer (2015) - Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage”
Yep, they went so hard in the paint that they even dunked on their own damn trailer for Pixels, which, it should be noted, is a garbage movie. This DMCA trolling also swayed Vimeo into removing several indie films including a Machinima video from 2010 and a 2006 video by an independent museum called NeMe.
The good news: Vimeo tells Kotaku that they’re looking into this further, so hopefully they’ll restore everything within the next few days without holding any copyright strikes against the affected accounts.
“The videos were takedown in accordance with Vimeo’s DMCA policy,” a spokesperson for the video company told me in an e-mail this afternoon. “However, Vimeo’s Trust & Safety team are further evaluating the claims made and will have an update in the coming days.”