Google Removes More Than A Billion “Pirate” Search Results In A Year
TorrentFreak has discovered that Google received more than one billion take-down requests from copyright holders for content infringement in the last twelve months, according to statistics reflecting in the Google’s Transparency Report.
This is a new record, which is in line with the increasing number of takedown requests Google has received, forcing the search giant to be more strict in its action against piracy. Copyright holders continue to flood Google with DMCA takedown requests, targeting “pirate links” in the company’s search results.
In July this year, copyright holders had asked Google to remove more than 500,000,000 allegedly infringing links from its search engine in 2016. This nearly equals the number of takedown requests it received for the whole of 2015.
The recent years have seen an increase in the number of notices, which has one record after another.
Over the past twelve months, Google has been asked to remove 1,007,741,143 links to allegedly infringing pages, according to the numbers in Google’s Transparency Report this week says TorrentFreak.
The requests were effective with 908,237,861 (more than 90%) of the links removed, with the rest rejected for being duplicate requests or links that didn’t infringe copyright or invalid requests.
Google has up till now totally processed just over two billion allegedly infringing URLs from 945,000 different domains.
In comparison to several years for the first, the second billion took only a year, which shows how quickly the volume of takedown requests is increasing. Going by the current rate, another billion will be added by the end of next summer.
Most requests, over 50 million, were sent in for the website 4shared.com. However, according to the site’s operators, many of the reported URLs point to the same files, which in turn expanded the actual volume of infringing content.
The political agenda also noted the rush in takedown notices. For instance, in the UK, proposed amendments to the UK’s Digital Economy Bill recommend fines for search engines that fail to properly target piracy.
At the same time, the U.S. Government is considering changing the current takedown requirements.
In order to evaluate the influence and effectiveness of the current DMCA provisions, the Copyright Office has launched a public consultation. This review is still on-going and was extended earlier this month.
Until now, the consultation has already caused heavy criticism of the DMCA process from numerous copyright groups. However, the current system is working just fine, says Google.
Google has been vocal in suggesting the system is working to help stop the problem of online piracy.
“The notice-and-takedown process has been an effective and efficient way to address online infringement,” the company informed the Copyright Office earlier this year.
“The increasing volume of URLs removed from Search each year demonstrates that rightsholders are finding the notice-and-takedown process worthwhile, efficient, and scalable to their needs.”
While Google believes that the millions of reported URLs per day are a sign that the DMCA takedown process is working correctly, many copyright holders and industry groups are aware that the process is nothing more than a complex game of whack-a-mole and have asked the Government for broad revisions.
To ensure that infringing content doesn’t reappear elsewhere once it’s removed, they want advanced technologies and processes among other things, a so-called “notice and stay down” approach.
However, nothing has changed for now. As a result, there is a likelihood that the number of reported pirate links will continue to surge.