Pirate sites come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from torrent indexes, through streaming portals, to MP3 download sites.
Since it’s not always easy to get visitors, some of these sites employ some dubious tricks to draw an audience. By using machine generated pages filled with complete nonsense, for example.
Let’s take this “ShareMP3.link” page for example. At first sight, it appears to be a regular MP3 download portal, offering music from popular artists. However, it does more than that.
In fact, the site offers a result for every search term, generating pages on the fly. Whether it’s for “TorrentFreak,” “sdfasgf56u” or “Pizzagate,” there’s always an MP3 available
This results in interesting pages such as the following, offering the latest TorrentFreak music.
Or what about this page, with some of the latest Twittergate and Pizzagate tunes ready for download?
These and many other similar sites appear to grab content from external sources such as YouTube, regardless of whether it’s actual music. In addition to confusing the public, they are also triggering bots at some takedown companies.
While the odd name is likely an encoding issue, the link and many others listed in the complaint have little to do with it. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident either as we can easily spot several other mistakes for “pizzagate” or “trump putin,” for example.
So why are these pages flagged as being ‘pirate’ then? Well, these type of sites generally list random links to other keyword searches on their download pages, which may at one point have linked to an infringing term. Still, the identified page itself is something entirely different.
In addition, takedowns may also be triggered because a keyword is similar to one used by the artist in question, such as the band “New Order” in the takedown notice below.
Making matters worse, the whole situation might be self-reinforcing at times. That is, when the DMCA bots search for something that is then automatically generated, this likely creates more pages with the same results and more takedowns.
Luckily, the public is largely kept away from this battle. They are just machines fighting each other in a perpetual and utterly useless war.
Copyright holders, however, might want to reconsider whether this is how they want to target piracy on the Internet. After all, they are the ones paying the bills for these dubious practices.