Google now getting 30 million piracy removal requests every month

Google now getting 30 million piracy removal requests every month

Summary: A new record has been set for the number of URLs that Google is asked to remove from search results over alleged copyright infringement.

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TOPICS: Piracy, Google
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URLs requested to be removed from Search per week
URLs requested to be removed from Search per week. Image: Google

The number of requests asking Google to remove links to websites containing allegedly pirated and copyright infringement keeps on climbing, and has now hit over 30 million a month.

It's a new high for Google, representing the first time it's processed over one million removal requests on average per day — or as TorrentFreak put it, one every eight milliseconds. Over the last month, the removal requests related to 47,301 domains, allegedly hosting content from 4,547 copyright owners. There were a total of 2,244 organisations reporting infringement to Google.

Copyright owners direct the requests to Google under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with the aim of making allegedly pirated material and streaming sites more difficult to locate.

The new figures come from Google's Transparency report, which showed that it received 7.8 million copyright infringement requests in the week to 11 August — about one million more per week than it has generally received over the past year.

The updated figures suggest copyright owners are intensifying their efforts to frustrate people's attempts to use Google search to find pirated content. Last September, Google received 21.5 million requests for the month, suggesting around a 40 percent year-on-year increase.

The organisation behind the largest number of links removed by Google is the BPI, the UK's music industry trade body, which requested 6.3 million URLs be removed over the past month. Since 2011, it's filed over 270,000 requests and has had a total of 93 million links removed.

The BPI is closely followed by Degban, a copyright protection company, which has been responsible for the removal of 5.7 million URLs from Google search results.

A request doesn't mean automatic removal, however: Google also highlights at the bottom of the report that there are URLs for which it takes no action and lists a few samples. As TorrentFreak notes, among the millions of URLs targeted for removal each week, there are occasionally errors or simply attempts to abuse the system.

Other organisations behind millions of removed URLs include the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Takedown Piracy LLC, and MarkMonitor AntiPiracy.

Read more on piracy

Topics: Piracy, Google

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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12 comments
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  • Google is the biggest pirate site.

    Forget Pirate bay...


    Google itself is built on stolen software.

    Many content on Google sites are pirated. YouTube is the worst offender.

    Google platforms are designed in such a way that they can be abused and Google
    milking money from these offenders indirectly.
    Owl:Net
    • fowlnet is a Microsoft shill.

      He likes to deny that they are a twice convicted predatory monopolist. Who has a search engine that can also be used to find pirated material and they also have a long history of privacy issues.

      Additionally he apparently likes to lie and risk legal action by claiming that google stole their software which is all based on Linux. Assuming he means java except that the CEO of sun at the time gave his blessing to it.
      frankieh
      • Actually....

        YouTube does display copyrighted material that should not be on there. Do a search on any semi-well know artist and you will find someone uploaded the audio to a full album and/or a video that is currently available in store and haven't done anything about it.
        While Google has cleaned out some of their search engine, you can still find plenty of links to downloaded pirated software or music. That an some of those "Ads" aren't quite legit. Google "contact Microsoft" and you get 3 ads by sites that aren't Microsoft or authorized to "assist" you - well without charging a fee.
        Gisabun
  • Agree

    YouTube is a treasure trove of stolen TV shows and music.
    Xippy
    • lots of which was put their by the copyright holders themselves.

      Remember in the verision case they complained about lots of their content being on YouTube to the judge until google proved that loads of it was actually submitted by verision themselves. And I'd ask... Can you even imagine trying to search for piracy in the hundreds of terabytes of video that gets uploaded to YouTube every second? Its a mammoth task that every video site has to do... Just on a much much smaller scale. And google do remove videos if they are legitimately indicated as infringing.
      frankieh
      • Errr

        Those YouTube videos posted by the authors/owners are one thing but there are plenty out there Search for "rolling stones beggars banquet full album" and you will find that someone posted the full Beggar Banquet album and farther down [in my search] on the same page was Their Satanic Majesties. Both aren't from the Rolling Stones [or related to them].
        Google/YouTube has given up trying to enforce copyright rules unless someone complains.
        This also excludes videos you don't see. There are ways to have "private" videos such that they will not appear in any search engine.
        Gisabun
  • Google is Internetese for Hypocrite

    Google aka YouTube blocked several of my own "taken and edited by me" videos for potential copyright infringement. Yet, I watch full movies and full TV episodes on YouTube all the time. My niece and her friend posted a video of themselves doing gymnastics, but it was blocked because it contained copyrighted music (barely audible in the other room where her mother was sitting). If they are getting that ridiculous, why not block people who show anything with a brand name? Drinking a Coke during your video? Trademark infringement. Wearing an Aeropostale sweatshirt? Trademark infringement. But posting an entire movie? No problem.
    Iman Oldgeek
    • music I'd easy to detect.

      Scanning video is much harder and requires much much more CPU grunt and resources.
      frankieh
      • Not really

        In this day and age, a decent Core i5 can do just about anything.
        Gisabun
  • piracy makes the cyber world go round

    Let's not forget the greatest act of piracy of all - Microsoft and Bill Gates and the way they took over Gary Kildall's CP/M OS and sold it to IBM setting himself up as the chief provider of operating system software for Big Blue. MS grabbed so many software tools over the years it was amazing. Their greatest talent was using the work of others even going as far as having software developers submit their work to MS before it could be licensed to operate on Windows. And MS would release the work as their own before they would approve the original software. How many lawsuits did they lose over this? But it doesn't matter after you've already raided the hen house and stolen all the eggs. What good is a door after that? Piracy is perfectly legit if you can steal enough to pay an army of lawyers to drag your case out in court until it's too late. Google is among the worst. How come Hollywood asks Google to enforce copyrights when Google hosts mountains of pirated video on YouTube??? It's all about having enough money to make the system work for you. Screw the little guy even when he creates video. That scares them more than anything actually because that little guy making video on his home computer can change the whole distribution model and they know it. So they try to muscle those guys out before they get started. Hollywood has done it for over 100 years. Google is no different. And don't get me started on how they got consumers to be the final testers for Microsoft products. I spent at least 10 hours "helping" a MS techie "help me" one day because he knew I was better at it than he was. They no doubt used my hard work to make money for themselves. So much for their work being "their" work. They all stink when it comes to piracy. New laws to protect the big companies are the last thing we need but we get them all the time.
    CJ_56
    • not the same thing.

      Actively stealing someone's work as you have indicated Microsoft used to do. (Wasn't there a case with dr-dos where they managed to get the digital research logo to display from a "microsoft" msdos binary in court?

      Google didn't put any of the infringing content on youtube. they get hundreds of terabytes of video a second. Only automated tools can search that much data. And automated tools are not that good compared to human eyes. If google had to employ people to review that much data they would close youtube and every other video sharing site overnight as they would all lose massive amounts of money. All the legit video sharing sites have this issue and all of them struggle with them. Google just has by far the biggest one so they get the bad press for it. Do some research though.. They are far from alone.

      One thing you should also consider. Microsoft nowdays commonly take copyright owners rights to the extreme like setting up the Xbox one so that people couldnt even sell games they had bought legally. That would be foisted on you right now if Sony hadnt used it as a selling point for the ps4 and Microsoft consequently realised they were going to lose millions of sales if they were seen bending over to the copyright holders that badly. There is a balance to be reached here. Copyright holders always want more draconian measures put in place like taxes on all blank media because some of it "might" be used for piracy. Given the choice they would have us all pay them a monthly fee just in case we watch or hear something infringing in the course of our daily lives.

      They balance must be reached between what they think they want and what people want and will consume. Remember, if record companies had their way, we'd all be buying physical CD's instead of online stuff like iTunes and google play music. Now they make most of their money from online sales so clearly they are not very good at working out the way to the future.
      frankieh
  • Copyright holders are partially to blame for piracy

    The entertainment industry is not essential compared to what is needed to sustain life. So, this industry has to give people what they want. If they don't give potential customers what they want, people will get what they want without them (piracy)

    For example, sometimes release schedules for movies and TV shows are very convoluted. Add in the region nonsense, draconian copy protection and you give people a reason to look elsewhere. In addition, the fragmentation of legitimate sources make it hard to legally find what they want.

    People want to be able to watch and play things on a variety of devices. DRM makes it nearly impossible to do what they want and drives them to look elsewhere.

    People want to watch something they missed or is out of print and it is not available, so they look elsewhere.

    For years, people expressed interest in "mixed tapes", being able to purchase select music without having to buy albums loaded with a lot of fluff. Their customers also showed an interest in digital music. What did the music industry do for them besides price fixing and then going through an illegal witch hunt against their customers?

    When new technologies came out, the copyright holders tried to kill them rather than work to give their customers what they want. In many ways the copyright holders drove their customers to piracy by not giving them what they want. Then they go cry to lawmakers that they are losing so much money to piracy when they practically drove their customers there.
    mystic100