Entertainment Internet

The MPAA Targets A Subreddit & Opens Everyone’s Eyes To Free Movies

Craig Snyder 30-06-2014

SOPA and PIPA terrified those of us who cherish the Internet for what it has become today. In light of these bills, the MPAA embarrassed itself on numerous occasions, once even citing countries like China, Iran, and Syria as role models of sorts when it comes to how they think the Internet should be censored by the US.


This week, they’re at it again, opening our eyes to a beautiful example of the Streisand effect:

The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

The MPAA’s latest attempt at thwarting the piracy of movies on the Internet sent them after a subreddit that many people never even knew existed.


That subreddit is /r/fulllengthfilms, which up until a couple hours from before I started this post was unkempt, had an obscenity in the header, and included CSS and a general color scheme that made you want to claw your eyes out. As this week is by far the most attention this subreddit has ever received, they’ve done a bit of tidying up. However, it’s not the type of clean-up that the MPAA is after. They want the Reddit administration to completely ban or remove this entire subreddit.

When you wage war on Reddit, you see the power of the Internet in its full force. On Thursday, there were numerous MPAA-related posts smothering the frontpage, including a #1 post where Redditors discussed this fiasco. Here is the top comment from that post:



Dozens and dozens of additional posts related to this incident were tossed all around Reddit, upvoted in hoards, and if anything, it has so far achieved the exact opposite of what I’m sure the MPAA wanted.


In this particular case, what the MPAA needs to consider is that Reddit is not a content delivery network. The things that are posted and linked on Reddit are not uploaded or hosted on Reddit. The only things that you’ll find on Reddit are links and text. Everything linked in the /r/fulllengthfilms subreddit is hosted on servers away from Reddit, and these are the websites that they should first be targeting.


I play from neutral ground when it comes to debates about piracy on the Internet 4 Ways Internet Piracy Can Be a Good Thing Let’s open up a can of worms and think about this for a minute: is online piracy really that bad? Read More . Fighting against Internet piracy isn’t exactly a bad thing, in my opinion, when handled properly. Though it goes against our own selfish and personal interests, we really shouldn’t have immediate access to free, full-length films over the Internet that would otherwise cost us money. However, we do.

If it’s in the MPAA’s interest to fight against that, they need to go about it in a respectable way. Targeting this subreddit isn’t going to earn them any new supporters, and it honestly isn’t going to achieve a thing.

I’m sure the MPAA didn’t contact every media outlet in their little black book to get this story out. Nonetheless, they had to know it would happen. Another thing that they needed to consider, or even be aware of, is the fact that anyone can make a subreddit. Subreddits are not assigned by some higher governing power within Reddit. The person who made /r/fulllengthfilms is just some guy. As a matter of fact, he had left the place for dead until this happened.



When I first heard about this, I immediately went to check out the subreddit. I expected to see some buzzing underground forum where torrent links are being pushed out by the hour. What I found was a mostly-dead subreddit with an awful stylesheet and numerous spam and filler posts. Is this really what the MPAA is after? Coming across this subreddit actually pointed me in the direction of two that are, in my opinion, a whole lot better:

  1. /r/fullmoviesonvimeo
  2. /r/fullmoviesonyoutube

Why trust the shady links on a subreddit like the one the MPAA is after when there are two great subreddits that offer full-length movies 7 Legal Ways To Watch Movies Online For Free With the advent of the Internet, media delivery has become so easy and so convenient for us. It started with music but quickly moved to include TV shows and feature-length films, and in the wake... Read More at your fingertips through Vimeo and YouTube? The difference is quite plainly that these movies are being uploaded and shared legally (or mostly, it seems), but if the MPAA really saw /r/fulllengthfilms as a huge offender a couple of days ago then I’m not even sure what they’d call it at this point. Attention has skyrocketed and it’s as popular as ever.

Google has already made it clear that they won’t be complying with the DCMA request submitted by the MPAA. This whole thing ended up damaging their reputation even more, opening thousands of eyes to where to find more legal and illegal movies online, and making one lucky subreddit moderator fairly famous (for now, at least). What’s your whole take on the situation and how it was handled? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Gevan
    July 10, 2014 at 3:36 am

    WHY WHY WHY YOU GOTTA TELL EVERYONE THOSE FULLMOVIESONGOOGLE AND FULLMOVIESONVIMEO ARE BETTER WHHHY? The 2 subreddits are useless now :(:( This is why we can't have nice things!

  2. Mike_M
    July 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Stuff like this is all the doing of lawyers. Lawyers are businesses in themselves and any business exists to make a profit. Lawyers make money off of either "billable hours" or huge settlements, or both.
    It's in a lawyers best interest to make as many "billable hours" as possible. Targeting the little guys and fighting the wrong fights make them tons of money. They don't want to shut down the sources or fight direct unless doing so would make them more money than the long fight.
    It's my uneducated opinion that the huge numbers of loss attributed to piracy is not due to the act of piracy itself but the milking they get from their lawyers seemingly "fighting" piracy.

  3. TomTom the Destroyer
    June 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    See, if the MPAA was smart, they'd instead just track all of the hub sites that aggregate where to find things for free and then use them to keep a constant checklist of where to attack next. Also, if they were smart, they'd attack the hosts, not the people looking at the Hosts. Because srsly, attacking one or two people who are trying to get things for free when every single person in the history of ever will try to get things for free when they can, is not going to be effective. Attack at the source, use aggregates to find the sources, and NEVER, EVER do something that would make something small into a publicly known entity and then BAM! Problem solved for them.

    • techno
      July 1, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Pretty sure they already did this with /r/fullmoviesonyoutube. They had an RSS feed and things started getting taken down almost immediately. I wish people hadn't shared publically about other places to get them though as it only puts those places in the MPAA crosshairs, which does nothing except to cause a whack a mole effect of just moving down the road. The MPAA needs to realize that the best way to end piracy is to create a better product, which they seem incapable of doing.

  4. Alan
    June 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    "Home Taping Is Killing Music" was the slogan of a 1980s anti-copyright infringement campaign by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), it's all lies from multi-billion dollar emipres.
    No one is going broke, Stars and Artists are still getting millions of dollars.
    Hollywood is still there, i don't believe piracy is nowhere near the problem it is made out to be.
    As far as i'm concerned you can't censor the internet, it is the actions of a communist govt, so F**k MPAA, SOPA, PIPA or whatever other stupid acronym the yanks can come up with while trying to over stretch their reach. Who declared the US of A the world piracy police anyway?

    • Anonymous
      April 20, 2015 at 5:02 am


  5. L
    June 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Mysoju.com is an example of a site being pulled down even though it only linked to content and didn't host any. I guess its easier to take down popular sites which link to hundreds others than going after the sites that host the content themselves.

  6. Bitesized
    June 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Google DMCA takedown notices can be an unexpected resource also - plus, the links are verified aka spam-filtered. ;-)

  7. likefunbutnot
    June 30, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    There is no part of Reddit's design that does not cause me to tear my eyes out, so at least there's nothing new there.

    Anyway, I've noticed in the last couple weeks that movie screening posts are moving on to Imgur, and every subreddit has a mirrored Imgur site anyway. How many seconds do you think it will take for these guys to start sticking URLs in images and paying them there?

  8. Enmity
    June 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    They stopped making films years ago. You don't get a refund for a substandard movie. I don't even bother with the "free" one's these days.

  9. Imaduddin S
    June 30, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Don't know whether it'll be taken down or not . But believe me it made a list of movies available for me which I'll be able to enjoy for months ! Thanks Craig .