It's not uncommon for media companies to send in DMCA takedown requests to Google in order to have it removed from search listings and indexing, but sometimes it can get a bit ridiculous. Case in point: HBO is demanding that Google remove a link to a torrent listing of a version of VLC, the popular open-source media player.
Okay, so it's not rare when media companies request takedowns of torrent listings, because most of them contain copyrighted material. However, VLC is a completely free and open-source piece of software that has no copyrights, and since torrent sites themselves aren't illegal, we're not sure what HBO is getting at with this request in particular.
Copyright holders ask Google to remove millions of links every month. Just last month alone, media companies sent in almost 15 million URLs that they demanded be taken out of Google's search results, proving that copyright holders are a persistent bunch, even to the point where they're citing copyright infringement for things that don't even have copyrights in the first place.
However, this could be a simple mistake on HBO's part. We're guessing these companies have computer bots that scour the internet for copyrighted material and then sends it into Google, so it wouldn't be too surprising if these bots made a mistake every now and then, but this one is certainly a laughable mistake.
Unfortunately, we doubt that media companies will crack down on the number of false positives they come up with, seeing as how they seem to work off the notion that the more URLs they send Google's way, the more chances they have at getting their copyrighted material taken off in search results, no matter how many mistakes they make.