Google piracy link-removal requests jump again: Now they hit 75 million a month

At the current rate, this year Google will probably need to assess one billion URLs that allegedly infringe copyrights.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Last week alone Google was asked to remove 19 million URLs for alleged copyright infringement.

Image: Google

The number of links Google is being asked to remove from search results each month amounts to a doubling of requests every year.

Google's latest Transparency Report reveals it has been asked to remove 75 million links under US DMCA copyright takedown notices in the past month.

The number of piracy links it's been asked to remove has climbed by 10 million a month since November. Last week alone Google was asked to remove 19 million links.

As noted by TorrentFreak, the number of requests Google receives has climbed dramatically from 2008, when it only received a few dozen takedown notices. At the current rate, it will be asked to handle requests for a billion URLs by the end of the year.

The report indicates that most of the links in question concern alleged violations of copyright owned by music and movie content organisations across the globe. But as Harvard University's Lumen project illustrates, Google receives DMCA claims from others, such as e-retailers and other content owners.

The Lumen database emerged from the Chilling Effects project in November. Google previously submitted notices to Chilling Effects, which republished URLs that Google had removed from search results.

Google now says when it's able to do so legally, it "links from our search results to the requests published by Lumen in place of removed content".

It's not clear exactly how many requests Google accedes to each month but it reported that it complied with 97 percent of them between July and December 2011.

The Lumen project also notes staggering growth in the number of URLs that Chilling Effects has received over the years. DMCA notices received from partners such as Google rose by one million a year since June 2013 to reach three million in total by July 2015. The project receives notices from Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, WordPress, and Reddit.

While DMCA notices have grown fairly linearly, the number of URLs has grown exponentially due to an increasingly common practice of identifying multiple allegedly infringing URLs.

"Chilling Effects received its one-millionth URL in January 2012; its five-millionth in August 2012; its fifty-millionth in April 2013; its five-hundred-millionth in September 2014, and its one billionth in October 2015," the Lumen Project noted at its launch.

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