Google now getting 30 million piracy removal requests every month

A new record has been set for the number of URLs that Google is asked to remove from search results over alleged copyright infringement.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
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.

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