Google Wipes Record Breaking Half Billion Pirate Links in 2016

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Copyright holders asked Google to remove more than 500,000,000 allegedly infringing links from its search engine in 2016 thus far. This nearly equals the number of takedown notices it received for the whole of 2015. Rightsholders see the surge as evidence of a failing system, but Google clearly disagrees.

google-bayCopyright holders continue to overload Google with DMCA takedown requests, targeting “pirate links” in the company’s search results.

In recent years the number of notices has exploded, breaking record after record.

Data analyzed by TorrentFreak reveals that Google recently received its 500 millionth takedown request of 2016.

The counter currently displays more than 523,000,000, which is yet another record. For comparison, last year it took almost the entire year to reach the same milestone.

If the numbers continue to go up at the same rate throughout the year, Google will process a billion allegedly infringing links during the whole of 2016, a staggering number.

According to Google roughly 98% of the reported URLs are indeed removed. This means that half a billion links were stripped from search results this year alone. However, according to copyright holders, this is still not enough.

googlenotices500m

Entertainment industry groups such as the RIAA, BPI and MPAA have pointed out repeatedly that many files simply reappear under new URLs.

“It’s like ‘Groundhog Day’ for takedowns,” RIAA CEO Cary Sherman said previously.

This week Google addressed the issue in its updated “How Google Fights Piracy” report. In it, the company provides an overview of all the efforts it makes to combat piracy while countering some of the entertainment industry complaints.

According to Google, the increase shows that the system is working and the company notes that it takes less than six hours to remove content.

“The growing number of notices sent to Google by an increasing volume of different copyright owners and enforcement agents demonstrates the effectiveness and success of the notice-and-take-
down system.”

“As the internet continues to grow rapidly, and as new technologies make it cheaper and faster for copyright owners and enforcement agents to detect infringements online, we can expect these numbers to continue to increase,” Google adds.

Still, rightsholders are not impressed and continue to demand a tougher stance from Google when it comes to piracy. Shortly after Google released its report this week, BPI CEO Geoff Taylor already dismissed it.

“This report looks a lot like ‘greenwash’. Although we welcome the measures Google has taken so far, it is still one of the key enablers of piracy on the planet,” Taylor said.

By now it has become clear that the entertainment industry groups and Google are not going to reach an agreement anytime soon. The issue has been going on for years now and both sides continue to make the same arguments.

Various industry are now hoping that the Government will intervene at some point. Whether that will happen has yet to be seen but in the meantime, rightsholders will continue to report millions of pirate links per day.

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