Google Inc Asked To Remove 345 Million Links In 2014

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The number of requests to remove links to copyrighted content almost doubled from 2013 to 2014, to 345 million.

TorrentFreak carried out an analysis of the weekly takedown reports issued by Google and amalgamated them into an annual report. Over one in six of the requests was submitted by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which is the collective organization for the British music industry.

“The majority of these requests are honored with the associated links being removed from Google’s search results,” according to TorrentFreak. “However, Google sometimes takes ‘no action’ if they are seemed not to be infringing or if they have been taken down previously.”

Google: Huge increase in takedown requests

The report claims that the domains, and were the source of most requests, “with more than 5m targeted URLs each.”

Google began reporting takedowns in 2008, a year in which it received only 68 requests. The current figures represent a 550,000,000% increase on that number.

Google declined to comment on the news, but pointed the Guardian to its October report, in which it addresses the issue of piracy in its search results.

“Online piracy still remains a challenge, and Google takes that challenge seriously,” reads the report. “We develop and deploy anti-piracy solutions with the support of hundreds of Google employees. This regular report details those efforts, as well as how Google products and services create opportunity for creators around the world.”

BPI pressing for more

The Guardian asked the BPI to comment on the report, but they too declined to comment, citing a statement made in October by chief executive Geoff Taylor.

“When fans search for music or films, they should get legal results – it’s as simple as that,” he said. “If these new steps help guide more consumers to services like Spotify, Deezer and iTunes, which give back to music, instead of to fraudulent torrent or hosting sites, then they would represent a step forward for artists, labels and all those trying to build a thriving music economy online.”

The BPI appears to feel that further action is needed from search engines, although it is “encouraged” by Google’s response. However one sticking point is the search engine’s refusal to automatically delist sites which are subject to a UK court order, such as the Pirate Bay.

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