Since the beginning of the current year rights owners have asked the search giant to remove over 100 million links to “pirate” websites. This figure is already double the number Google processed for the whole last year. Google is currently processing an average of 15 million “pirate” links per month. Although this number is leveling off, the rights owners aren’t satisfied yet.
Trying to steer prospective customers away from illegal websites, rights owners keep sending the search engine millions of DMCA takedown requests. Google, on its side, is trying to give the public insight into the scope and nature of this process – this is why it started publishing details of all takedown requests in its Transparency Report. It turned out that since last year the number of URLs the company is being asked to remove has exploded.
Thus far, Google has been required to delete more than 105,300,000 links to infringing websites, and most of them don’t appear in search results anymore.
As for the websites for which the company received the most takedown notices, the file-hosting search engine FilesTube tops the rankings with almost 6,000,000 URLs. Another “rogue” website is Torrentz.eu with over 2,500,000 URLs, followed by Rapidgator.net with more than 2,000,000 links. The surprising fact is that infamous The Pirate Bay didn’t show up in the top 20. Maybe this is because it changed domain names, or maybe because it hosts just 2,000,000 magnet links on the website.
Talking about the reporting groups, we can see that the Recording Industry Association of America is one of the most active senders of DMCA takedown requests. The anti-piracy outfit has sent takedown requests for over 26 million URLs within the last year and half. Despite the fact that Google responds swiftly, the entertainment industry doesn’t believe the takedowns are efficient. This is why it now asks the search giant to ban entire domains from its search results.
On the one side, the company is satisfied with the way things are going, saying that it has faith in the general workings of the DMCA takedown procedure. The only problem with the massive number of takedowns is that thousands of links are taken down in error – for example, Microsoft recently asked to remove its very own website from the search results.
In the meantime, the industry experts note that it would be interesting to see how the tension between the search engine and the rights owners develops over time.