Google Was Asked To Delete 345 Million Links In 2014 Over Copyright Infringement

Google sergey brinGOOGLE-GLASS/ REUTERS/Stephen LamGoogle cofounder Sergey Brin.

Google is getting asked to remove more and more links over copyright issues, with requests up 75% year-over-year.

Torrent Freak has compiled all of Google’s weekly transparency reports into one study that looks at the whole of 2014.

The report shows that DMCA takedown requests sent to Google increased by 75% from 2013, with 345 million requests sent in 2014.

It’s important to note that Google isn’t hosting the copyright-infringing material. Rather, publishers are asking Google to remove search links to that material.

Copyright holders contact Google and ask the company to hide links to websites containing content posted illegally. The biggest sites that rights holders complained about in 2014 were 4shared, Rapidgator, and Uploaded, all well-known places to illegally download music and movies.

Google has been trying for years to fight piracy. In 2012 it released an update to Google Search that stopped sites with DMCA takedowns from ranking highly in search results. It released another update in October that buried offending sites even lower down the rankings, meaning that few people will see them.

Just because a copyright holder asks Google to remove a link doesn’t mean it’s actually delisted, though. Google often refuses DMCA takedown requests, keeping websites listed on Google Search. In 2013 it notably kept the homepage of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay on Google Search, despite a complaint from a music industry group.

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