back to article Google now gets 250k copyright takedown requests EACH WEEK

Google now regularly receives more copyright 'notice and takedown' requests from rights-holders in a week than it did during the entirety of 2009, the company has said. The internet giant said it has experienced a 'rapid' increase in the number of takedown requests and added that it is "not unusual" for it to receive requests …


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  1. ratfox


    Talk about whack-a-mole...

    1. asdf

      Re: Geez

      Welcome to the digital world were data storage costs are near zero and data can be losslessly copied over and over in the blink of an eye.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    From the other point of view.

    I am not defending Google but surely the copyright holders should be contacting the Websites owners/creators asking them to remove the material from their websites. Hence when the Google spiders update they will no longer reference copyrighted material.

    In this case Google is actually helping the copyright owner due to the fact that Google bring to light the fact that the sites exist publically. The copyright owners would have been unaware that the sites even exist if they were not referneced by google, this by way does not stop the connaisseurs from knowing about their existance..

    I know that it is a double edged sword. but it's like asking the newspapers to remove articles for "prostitution services". The only thing that will change is that the publicity will be gone but the "prostitution" will still remain.

    Mines the one with "I Killed the messenger" on the back.

    1. Crisp

      Re: From the other point of view.

      It's easier to go after Google than the actual infringer. After all, if Google doesn't index it, it doesn't exist right?

      Of course, it's harder to go after every search engine. But after a listing has been taken off Google, it magically makes it disappear from Altavista, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Yahoo, Excite, and the rest..

      1. Cris E

        Re: From the other point of view.

        Actually that sort of explains the fact that Bing's owner is responsible for half the requests. If Bing finds it they can get Google to wipe it out. It probably works as a process, but it's got to be a bit emasculating over time...

    2. Chris Harrison

      Re: From the other point of view.

      Not sure I get your point - The copyright holder has to inform google and google take action. I've had to do this myself and google acted quickly.

      In the past I've tried directly asking for stolen content to be taken down and it just doesn't work. Contacting the website hosting company doesn't help either.

      I think google do a good job here.

      As to your prostitution example, its rubbish. If you take away every means of advertising a service then the service with wither away. On the web the whole point of stealing content is to build sites and make money on advertising - if google won't let you show in the search results then you are utterly wasting your time.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: From the other point of view.


        I used prostition as an example of one of a multitude of vices that could have been used. Google is merely a window of opportunity for any/all of these vices.

        There has been a market for the various vices, prostitution / forgery / theft etc existed long before the Internet ever existed ( lets go back at least as far as the Greeks). These markets will never disappear they will merely progress and adapt to their environments.

        Removing Google from the equation will force alternative solutions to be found, which they inherently will.

        Killing the messenger never resolves problems, it merely pushes them elsewhere.

        1. Chris Harrison

          Re: From the other point of view.


          Prostitution still requires advertising - even if it's someone standing on a street corner winking at people walking by. And that was my point if you take ALL advertising avenues away, then the business disappears.

          Also, as far as I'm aware - and I have gone through this process with my own site, google don't simply change their search results, they ask for the content to be removed. As long as google check that it is content theft I really can't see what people could possibly be whining about.

      2. Chris Harrison

        Re: From the other point of view.

        Somewhat confused by the thumbs down on these posts.

        I can only assume that some people think stealing content is acceptable.

        1. JetSetJim

          Re: From the other point of view.

          I can only assume it's because you refer to copyright infringement as "stealing". I'm not condoning it, but the language used should be clear - stealing refers to the removal of something from someones possession, not making a copy of something. It is more correct to refer to this as copyright infringement, or perhaps even copyright dilution.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: From the other point of view.

            re: Stealing: Enter the words "definition" and "steal" into Google and what comes back includes this:

            Dishonestly pass off (another person's ideas) as one's own: "accusations that one group had stolen ideas from the other were soon flying".

            I'd say that pretty much covers taking someone's hard work and not paying them for it.

            1. Benjamin 4

              Re: From the other point of view.

              Passing off others ideas as one's own. Most copyright infringement still states the owner (i.e. music still states original artist and label etc), henceforth you are not passing it off as your own.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: From the other point of view.

                What is music, if not an idea? What is taking it without paying and saying that it's yours, if not passing it off as your own?

            2. Intractable Potsherd

              Re: From the other point of view @AC

              You are making two errors in your argument:

              1. Just because their is a colloquial use of the word "steal", it doesn't mean that it is what the law says. Stealing (theft) in the UK is "dishonestly taking property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive them of it".* Dishonesty is a two-part test involving an objective component (would most people think it was dishonest?), and a subjective (did the defendant believe it was dishonest?)**

              2. "Passing off" is a legal term in which someone claims that something was created by her/him when in fact it was created by someone else. It is a tort (i.e. common law, not criminal law). In the music example, it would involve someone claiming that they composed/sang/played instrument on the track when in fact it was someone else. It is not merely copying a track and saying "This is mine now".

              * Theft Act 1968, s1.

              ** R v Ghosh [1982] EWCA Crim 2

              1. Intractable Potsherd

                Re: From the other point of view @AC

                Damn - typo. Should be "there" not "their" in the first line of point 1. Many apologies.

                <-<- The reason

    3. Ian 55

      Re: From the other point of view.

      Prostitution being legal in the UK, of course.

      You can happily charge money to have sex with someone. What you cannot do (legally) is tell them that in person on the street or other such public place. Or own or control a brothel / escort agency.

  3. JetSetJim
    Paris Hilton

    Does this mean automation?

    How do they process them? 1.2M per month is around 30 per minute. Continuously. Just how do they process them all properly? Admittedly there is probably a lot of "please squash these 100 links to this video of Max Mosely" repetition, but even so...

    1. Neil Lewis

      Re: Does this mean automation?

      One might almost suggest that MS could see flooding Google with takedown requests as a valid attack on a competitor. Almost like a legally sanctioned DOS...

    2. Tim Parker

      Re: Does this mean automation?

      "Admittedly there is probably a lot of "please squash these 100 links to this video of Max Mosely" repetition, but even so..."

      I think that the bulk of the reason right there, the Google counsel mentioned that these 1,200,000 odd requests "targeted some 24,000 different websites.". That equates to 1 every couple of minutes, or 1.5 / minute over a 8-hour work day, if each link to a site was unique - still quite a lot in absolute terms but easily manageable with a modest number of operators. I would imagine that the true number is somewhere in between the two, and that the site aggregation is almost certainly done automatically (if would be mad not to).

  4. Only me!

    Remove the content

    It should be the content that is removed the link will then vanish!!!

    It is like the police having a go at the witness of a murder but then not arresting the murderer even when the witness was pointing at them with giant arrows saying "This guy did it".

    1. Neil Lewis

      Re: Remove the content

      I do think it's a huge overreaction to compare copyright infringement to murder, but to continue your analogy, removing a link to infringing material is more like taking away the weapons from a serial killer.

      Taking action against an infringer to remove content is slow, expensive and seldom practical, particularly if the infringer is located in a different jurisdiction. And most of the time, any action not backed up by the threat of legal consequences will be met with no response at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Remove the content

        If you believe taking away Google links will "take away the weapons" you don't know what the weapons are.

        It's more akin to banning the ability to talk about alcohol, instead of shutting down the factories making it.

  5. wowfood

    But does it really do anything? They take down a site with infringing material from google so how can they possibly counter that? Its not like they can just i don't know, register a new domain which points to the exact same content and magically get straight back on google.

  6. ukgnome

    Hmm - Just wondering if you can access the site from google once they have removed the link by using their handy cached site thingy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, you know, you could type the sites address in the address bar at the top of your browser. ;)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great to see...

    It's great to see all the people who say that Google should be taken down, like The Pirate Bay, because they index pirated material too, now saying that it should be the source of the material that should be taken down.

    The pro-"take what you want and screw the artists" arguments were always poor, but this is incredible.

  8. Keep Refrigerated

    Back to web portals it is then...

    It's quite hilarious to see how many equate being listed on Google with being on the internet!

    I get the feeling content owners want Google (for them read: Internet) to be like the Yahoo! web portals of old.

    Fine let them eat cake I say, let them DCMA Google back into the 90's and I'll keep using the internet how I always used it, to discover knowledge and new content.

    Google's success was down to the fact it didn't behave like a web-portal... there will soon be another search service to replace it -- if not some competing alternative DNS services.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to web portals it is then...

      For 90% of the users of the Internet, if it's not on Google, it's not on the Internet.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    google's take downs are excellent. At the bottom of the results page it says something like "X results have been removed from the results here because of DCMA take down requests. Click here to read these requests."

    They then publish the full request, with URLs, for you to check. Thus handing you immediately, the most likely places of success for whatever it is you are trying to get a hold of. Try it for yourself!

    Google search for stream live football

    (bugger, seems as though that takedown notice is no longer valid but my point stands!)

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      The DCMA notifications are still working

      Here is an example of what the above AC mentioned


      "In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at **********.org."


      I removed the website name in order to avoid causing them problems.

  10. Maty

    It works. That's all.

    We periodically get content lifted from our websites. The people who do this generally aggregate our stuff with stuff lifted from other websites to make a composite 'site' of their own. They then sell advertising on that site. And no, they and the host (usually in the far east) won't take it down when you ask.

    Generally these sites advertise on Google's adsense program. Informing Google that these sites are infringing copyright not only kills their main source of revenue (people finding the site via websearch) but Google also removes them from adsense, so it kills their income from the other side as well.

    Not quite whack-a-mole. I'd compare it with weeding the garden. Sure the 'weeds' always come back, but what's the alternative? You have to do it periodically, not least because experience with one site we did not defend shows it was copied by sites copying the original infringing site and we quickly lost control of the content.

  11. Shannon Jacobs

    Insincerity of the google

    If the google were sincere about opposing the criminalization of the Internet, they would obviously focus on better community-based tools. My own peeve is email spam, but have you looked at the gawdawful webform that eventually "handles" a spammer's use of the google? Pitiful.

    I don't understand exactly why the google has become so tolerant of the criminals. It obviously has something to do with their determination to make profits, and I think it's also related to their increasing evolution to evil.

    It used to be that I didn't blame the google for becoming evil, since that's essentially how it works in America. The least ethical businessmen bribe the cheapest politicians to rig the game in their favor. I think a good business should be in business to stay in business, though you can make a morally neutral argument that a good business is in business to make a sustainable profit. However, the rules of American business is that every business must grow like a cancer or be destroyed--and the game riggers are ignoring the little question of what eventually happens to cancers and their hosts. Too big to fail? Yeah, the dinosaurs thought so, too.

    However, in recent news, it turns out that the google has become the leading lobbyist among tech companies, beating out such other contenders as Apple and Microsoft. Kind of hard to absolve them now, eh?

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