Google asked to remove 100 million piracy links this year


GoogleGoogle has received requests from content and rights owners to remove more than 100 million links since January for web pages said to be in breach of copyright laws. That’s double the number it received for the whole of 2012 and a sign that publishers are stepping up their battle against internet piracy, noted a BBC article.

Copyright holders send millions of “takedown” requests to Google every week in an attempt to make pirated material harder to access online.

Many of the takedown requests made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and other national copyright laws are generated by third parties, or reporting organizations, on behalf of copyright holders.

Google began publishing all such requests in its Transparency Report in 2012 and since then the number has risen sharply, as rights holders have made greater use of the reporting system.

In the past month alone Google received requests to take down nearly 14 million links from its search results, relating to 3,200 copyright owners.

Major copyright owners making the most takedown requests included the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) and its member companies, the Recording Industry Association of America, and various film studios, such as Warner Brothers.

A spokesperson for the BPI told the BBC: “BPI removes around one million links every week to music hosted on the internet without the artist’s knowledge or permission. This process is one of many initiatives undertaken by the industry to help to create breathing space for more than 70 legal music services in the UK that strive to promote and reward musicians.”

See the BBC story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: You can definitely tell its happening. Google’s YouTube likely gets a huge share of these requests. Bookmark a song or video clip and in a week or so, it will be gone with a copyright notice posted inside the video window. Google is keeping itself from getting sued by this practice, but as soon as it takes down one page another pops up in its place.