More than 500 million allegedly copyright infringing links were requested for removal from Google by copyright owners in 2016. This number is the same as the total number of removal requests received in 2015.
The copyright holders and Google hold opposing views on the matter, with the rightsholders seeing this increase in takedown requests as evidence of a failing system.
Increase in the Past Few Years
The number of requests have ballooned over the past few years, breaking several records.
Torrentfreak reports that Google has just recently received its 500 millionth takedown request. Presently the number of requests stands at 523,000,000.
If the number of takedown requests continue to increase at the current rate, Google will have received 1 billion of these requests by the end of 2016, a huge number.
Google has said that they remove 98% of the reported links. This means that almost half a billion are indeed removed from their search results.
Copyright Holders vs Google
The copyright holders say that most of the removed links reappear under a different URL shortly after being removed by Google.
Google released an update on “How Google fights Piracy” report. It highlights the efforts made by the company for fighting piracy and also counters some of the points made by the copyright holders who claim that Google’s efforts are not enough. The report mentions that:
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.
This did not help appease the copyright holders in any way. British Phonographic Industry CEO Geoff Taylor dismissed the report adding that,
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
No Solution in Sight
Despite the argument between Google and the copyright holders continuing for years without a conclusion, the copyright holders are continuing to report more links to Google for removal.
This is a convoluted mess, copyright holders are also right in arguing that Google’s removal of the pirate links isn’t working, with alternative links popping up soon after removal of the original links. But they are wrong in blaming Google for being at the forefront of piracy in the online world.
The billions who use the internet are in control of the piracy instead of the small elite being blamed for it. The torrenting sites and filesharing sites are where most of the pirated content is distributed and most of the people rely on those instead of searching on Google for that one movie they wanted to download.