Google: The 345 Million Question


Google were reportedly asked to remove over 345 million copyright infringing links from its search engine in 2014, a 75% increase on 2013.

As reported here by the ever-reliable Torrentfreak (who also did the back of a fag packet maths to calculate it), copyright holders and trade bodies are seemingly overloading the search giant with such requests.

Under American law, Google must remove links to copyright infringing works if requested to do so through takedown requests that were set up by Google.

In the wider piracy picture, 2014 saw a raid on high profile target The Pirate Bay conducted on a data centre built into the side of a mountain and the site is yet to reappear online.

Such high numbers are all good PR for Google in their on-going quest to respond to the industry and prove that they are tackling the problem. The obvious counter argument from content owners is that such numbers are the tip of the iceberg of what is actually out there and that the search giant is not doing enough to downgrade piracy sites in search results. As pointed out in CMU, rights holders are widely in favour of domain wide takedowns, with the reasoning that prolific offenders operate multiple URLs that host content illegally. Torrentfreak also note that in some instances, five million takedown requests were issued for a single domain and trade body the BPI issued takedowns for over 60 million links last year.

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