Google will probably need to assess over a billion URLs that allegedly infringe copyrights this year at the current rate of receipt. Compared to last year, the number of requests to get rid of links to allegedly infringing content from copyright holders has more than doubled.
A surge in takedown requests
Over the past month, Google received more than 76 million requests to remove URLs from search results, the search giant said on Monday. Last year, according to the search giant’s updated transparency report, around 34 million requests were received.
Whether a person is searching for a specific product or important information in general, Google Search is the best way to find things on the Internet. The search results comprise of many sites; some are legitimate, but a sizable percentage of the results is pirate sites which copy material from other websites and present it as their own material.
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Such pirate sites result in less revenue and a bad reputation for the actual site. Also pirate sites can be a source of malware. Companies like Google are protected from financial liability over claims of copyright violation by the DMCA, which was established in 1998. But the search giant, when it receives a request from a person regarding a takedown, must take away access to the content that allegedly infringes on a copyright.
Google downranks pirate sites
Google is discouraging pirate sites by “downranking” them in its search results. This means that these sites, which are the reason for so many takedown requests by people, will show up lower in search results. Takedown requests like these come under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
British Recorded Music Industry Pirates was the top copyright owner targeted by pirates. The majority of pirate sites were related to “free” music and video sharing, but they continue to operate, even if the relevant URL is no longer available
Users who believe their copyright has been violated can fill out a form on Google’s Content Removal site to request the removal of any questionable links in search results. According to the Internet firm, the average processing time for all removal requests submitted via the form is around six hours.
On Monday, Alphabet shares closed down 2.39% at $712.80. Year to date, the stock is down by over 8% while in the last year, it is up by over 24%.