Copyright holders are asking Google to remove more links to pirated content than ever before. In 2014 the search giant was asked to remove more than 345 million allegedly infringing links, according to a compilation of the company’s weekly transparency reports made by TorrentFreak. This is a 75 percent increase on requests from the previous year and shows how copyright holders have been leaning on Google more than ever to tackle the problem of piracy using brute force.
In 2008 Google received just 62 takedown requests — it now processes more than a million a day
Google now receives more than 1 million takedown requests each day and honors the majority of them. By comparison, in 2007 the company received just 177 takedown requests — a figure that actually dipped to just 62 requests in 2008 before beginning its rapid ascent to current heights. TorrentFreak reports that the BPI — the UK’s music industry group — was the top copyright enforcer for 2014 and reported more than 60 million links to Google. Meanwhile, the most frequently targeted domains were 4shared.com, rapidgator.net, and uploaded.net — each the target of more than 5 million takedown requests last year.
It’s not clear, however, how much longer this status quo will continue, with tensions continuing to mount between internet companies like Google and copyright holders. Recently The Verge reported on Project Goliath — a heavy-handed attempt by Hollywood studios and the MPAA not only to block piracy sites but to discredit Google and exclude it from the public debate about copyright. Google accused the industry bodies involved of trying to "secretly censor the internet," before the MPAA fired back by saying "Google's effort to position itself as a defender of free speech is shameful." With Google currently suing a state attorney general for his alleged role in Project Goliath while the MPAA continues to seek out new, even stricter regulatory powers, the fight against piracy is becoming more of a mutiny, with would-be allies sharing a sinking ship.