Copyright holders are closely keeping an eye on pirate links in Google’s search results. They have even reached 100,000 reported URLs every hour. In recent years, they would target links to alleged copyright infringing material and overloaded Google with DMCA takedown notices.
Google only processes a few dozen requests back in 2008, but the takedown notices dramatically increased. Today, the search engine processes 2 million per day on average. To illustrate, Google was asked to remove around 6 million links per week on March 2014, but then it grew to 8 million in 2015 and 19 million last week. The volume continues to increase at a rapid pace. The data showing the number of links reported in DMCA notices is gathered from Google’s Transparency Report.
Most of the reported links are accurate, and this results to several pirate sites’ less visibility in Google’s search result pages as the search engine “downranks” a website when it receives a high number of site removal requests. The multinational technology company commented, “We process more takedown notices, and faster, than any other search engine. We receive notices for a tiny fraction of everything we host and index, which nonetheless amounts to millions of copyright removal requests per week that are processed, on average, in under six hours.”
Right holders push for removal of pirate sites from Google’s index for copyright protection. In fact, the MPAA and RIAA want Google to promote legal services. However, the search giant rejects broader actions, like removal of entire domain names, because it would lead to overbroad censorship and prove counterproductive. Still, we can expect the continuous rise of notices as it seems that the DMCA takedown process is working properly.