Google gets one million DMCA piracy takedowns a day

21 Aug 2014
Piracy

Rights holders are sending Google more than a million copyright takedown notices each day

Rights holders are sending Google more than a million copyright takedown notices in the battle against piracy each day.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), web firms are given so-called "safe harbour" if they take down content that infringes copyright upon request. In Google's case, rights holders are looking to have links removed from search results.

Google offers an automated system, letting complainants file through an online form, but publicises removed links at the bottom of affected search results, on the Chilling Effects website, and via a transparency report.

According to that report, Google is now facing a million takedown requests per day - a fact first spotted by TorrentFreak. Google received 7.8 million requests last week, up 10% from the week before, the report added, noting Google is now getting a DMCA request every 8 milliseconds, versus one every six days in 2008.

Over the past month, Google's report shows it's seen more than 30 million URL removal requests, affecting 47,301 domains, on behalf of 4,547 copyright owners.

Those requests aren't all coming from individual companies, however. Google accepts requests from third parties, such as rights-holder lobby groups or firms dedicated to tracking piracy.

Indeed, over the past month, the five organisations with the most requests from Google are third-parties. All have requested more than a million links removed in the past month alone, with UK rights group the BPI topping the list with 6.3 million.

The most complained about domains include sites such as listengo.com, 4shared.com and rapidgator.net - all of which saw hundreds of thousands of URLs requested to be removed.

Google said as of 2012 it took an average of six hours to remove a link, and as of 2011 it removed 97% of requested URLs. More recent data isn't available in the report, though Google does highlight links it didn't remove.

Despite sifting through a million link requests a day, MPs aren't impressed with Google's efforts. Last year, a Commons Select Committee report said Google's anti-piracy efforts were "derisorily ineffective", calling for the firm to block piracy sites the same way it does for those hosting child-abuse images.

The million-a-day milestone comes as Google also has started removing links under EU's right-to-be-forgotten rule, which requires the search giant to delist URLs about individuals upon request, if the pages are deemed no longer relevant.

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