The RIAA Has Now Forced Google to Remove 10,000,000 Links…

This is what the war between the music industry and Google now looks like.  Because by law, Google doesn’t have to remove anything from Search without a proper takedown notice.  But they do have to act when the notice arrives, even if there are millions of them.

See the new strategy?  As of this morning, the RIAA has now sent a collective 10,000,000 takedown demands, for member labels Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment.

This is the latest official DMCA takedown report from Google (updated January 31st).

Let’s call this the ‘avalanche method,’ with the expressed goal of burying Google with compliance chores.  Aggressive indeed, but effective?  The RIAA is notorious for spending millions on ill-conceived, losing strategies, but this one could bear fruit.  In December, Google legal director Fred von Lohmann publicly complained about the ratcheted volume, which is saying something for a company with billions in resource reserves.

Which means the tactic could be extremely effective outside of the Google theater.  After all, Google can bitch all they want, but they can handle it.  But what about smaller, struggling opponents, like Grooveshark?  Here’s where a massive avalanche could be extremely effective: after all, Grooveshark is currently saddled with massive legal bills and, according to our sources, exiting personnel.  All of which makes a sudden avalanche a major compliance problem, and a serious legal vulnerability.

Sadly, both Google and Grooveshark have used legal loopholes to continuously refresh infringing content.  And that’s glaringly obvious in this breakdown of Google top offenders.

43 Responses

  1. Roger Bixley

    Requested does not equal Forced. Who writes these headlines?

    • Ixnay!

      DMCA says you have to comply with a “request” or you are in violation of copyright law.

      • David

        No it doesn’t. If you comply with a takedown notice you have a DMCA defence against any complaint of copyright infringement. If you do not comply with the notice you do not have that defence. Whether or not you are breaking copyright law will depend on whether the material does in fact infringe copyright. So nobody is ‘forced’ to comply with a takedown notice – there is no penalty for not complying – but if you choose not to comply you run the risk of being sued for infringement.

          • Visitor

            Not sure what you’re referring to.
            But yes, Google has to stop its DMCA abuse if it wants to survive. It’s just a company after all, and there’s no doubt it will be replaced by a creative competitor sooner or later.
            There is huge a market for a new, accurate search engine that won’t spam you with useless, illegal results.
            Just imagine if you didn’t have to waste your time typing -“piratebay”, -“serial number”, -“crack” and -“torrent” in the search field when you search for items that can be pirated.

    • hats

      Definitely an inaccurate headline, but according to Google’s FAQ:
      “How many of these requests did you comply with?
      We removed 97% of search results specified in requests that we received between July and December 2011.”

    • Visitor

      No, Google is really becoming useless these days.
      If you search for music, literature, software, movies or anything that can be pirated, you have to add -piratebay -“serial number” -crack -torrent -“free download” to your search string.
      Otherwise, Google will spam you with useless suggestions.
      Google today is a torrent tracker, a piracy search engine and a portal to organized crime.

  2. Visitor

    “This is what the war between the music industry and Google looks like”
    Indeed — I just wish we could leave the ‘industry’ part out.
    That word gives Google and their pirate fans the excuse they so desperately need.
    Who cares if a common thief steals from a rich industry?
    But I’m not an industry.
    I’m an individual, independent artist.
    Google never declared war on the music industry — they declared war on individual musicians, lyricists and composers.
    And by doing so, they declared war on music.
    That’s why they’re going to lose.

    • Casey

      Music declared war on Google. In regards to their search engine, Google has treated musc no differently than they have treated any other industry. That includes no special treatment, and that there lies the problem.

      • Visitor

        “Music declared war on Google”
        That’s not only the Lie of the Year. That’s simply indecent.
        Music doesn’t declare war on anything.
        Music is a thing of beauty. Music is one of the most innocent and fragile things you have.
        It’s true that Google steals from a wide range of media as well — and I honestly feel sorry for writers, software developers and the movie people — but Google’s rampant music infringement is unparalleled.

        • Casey

          I know a lot of software developers. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. They know how Google’s search engine works, they know all it does is index the web. Just like every other search engine out there. Artists have made it into something that it isn’t.

          • Visitor

            “I know a lot of software developers. ”
            Sure you do — from your VPN business, no doubt.
            “They don’t feel sorry for themselves”
            Neither do musicians, they feel sorry for the music. I don’t expect you to understand the difference.

          • Casey

            I never said I had a VPN business. I have setup some VPNs for their intended purposes, to securely connect remote users to a network and to connect network sites to other network sites over the internet to replace costly dedicated connections. It’s not particularly difficult.

          • Visitor

            For what it’s worth:
            I’m the ‘Visitor’ who had this ‘war and vpn’ discussion with you — but I’m not the ‘Visitor’ with the weird ‘coy’ remark.
            50 cats named Sam…

          • AnAmusedGee

            Omg Casey! I’ve used a VPN to play LAN games and MMOs over the Internet…I must run a VPN company too!
            seriously though, don’t you just love the logic?
            You’ve used a VPN, so you must be doing something nefarious
            Like you own a gun, so you must be shooting people

          • Visitor

            “I’ve used a VPN to play LAN games and MMOs over the Internet…I must run a VPN company too!”
            Casey not only uses VPNs, my friend — he also creates them.
            “Like you own a gun, so you must be shooting people”
            A lot of gun owners do…

  3. Chris

    Google could pull every illegal link in a heartbeat if it wanted to. Trouble is they make too much money from them so unless they are shamed or legistlated into doing it they never will.

    • Visitor

      “Google could pull every illegal link in a heartbeat if it wanted to. Trouble is they make too much money from them so unless they are shamed or legistlated into doing it they never will.”
      That is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    • Casey

      Google can’t effectively judge what is fair use and who has legal use of what copyrighted material. That’s assuming they even know all the material protected under copyright, which they certainly do not. They could never begin to remove all infringing links and would create millions of false positives.

      • Visitor

        “Google can’t effectively judge what is fair use and who has legal use of what copyrighted material”
        So, this Pirate Bay is a criminal site?
        Gee whiz, how were we to know…

          • Visitor

            Not everything on YouTube is illegal, but Viacom proved, it’s a pirate site.

          • Visitor

            Well, I’ll defend Google here for once.
            Yes, YouTube still deliberately encourage you to commit crimes when you for instance search for Adobe Photoshop or MS Word: Their auto complete feature actively suggest that you download serial numbers. cracked software, etc.
            But most of the actual YouTube content is legitimate today.
            Though Google say they won’t “act like a policemen” on their search engine, that is precisely what they do on YouTube.
            Most of the content that seems infringing is monetized by the owners. Most illegal videos are either refused or deleted.
            Which proves how easy Google can filter out any content they wish to filter out.
            But their business model when we’re talking about the search engine is still to maximize the revenue from linking to organized crime material in the period between a and b, where a is the moment when Google uploads the illegal link, and b is the moment when they are forced by the owners to delete it.

          • Visitor

            YouTube is a pirate site. Wait till the court results, you’ll see..

          • Visitor

            Google is a piracy search engine like Pirate Bay, and that’s that.
            But YouTube is not as black and white. It has come a long way; they do compensate right holders, and Content ID works very well.
            Solve the autocomplete problem, and YouTube is legitimate.

  4. Here's an idea.

    Exploit the DMCA loophole on the creators side. Just DMCA takedown every link on Google. Google has to by law, take down any link any asks them to. Keep doing this until their search engine is completely non-functional.

    • David

      That’s a very bad idea, because there are penalties for deliberate use of false takedown notices.

      • Visitor

        Sending legitimate take-down notices for works you do own, however, is a good idea.

        • Visitor

          I think he refers to sending illegitimate take-down notices.
          But only a moron would do that. And he would only do it once. 🙂

  5. @matthewmeschery

    I often wonder, if only the US was more like Sweden….

  6. Versus

    Google is evil.
    Don’t tell me it’s technically impossible for Google to respect intellectual property law. They certainly manage to keep pornography off YouTube, which means they are actually policing every single upload.

    – V

    • Visitor

      “Don’t tell me it’s technically impossible for Google to respect intellectual property law”
      Nobody would say that — not even Google!
      They already filter child porn, illegal distribution of drugs and weapons, assassins for hire, counterfeit money and stolen credit card numbers.
      Google is the piracy search engine, torrent tracker and organized copyright crime portal today.
      Their goal is to destroy the idea of copyright, and their business model is to abuse the DMCA — knowingly, openly and aggressively — and they’ll continue to do so forever.
      Or until somebody stops them.
      But it takes guts for a politician to stand up against them and their thugs in Anonymous and the piracy blogs. That’s why their fans say: “They’re too big to fall.”
      Remember that line from Godfather?
      “Michael, we’re bigger than U.S. Steel.”

  7. Blacks are immune from this

    Well are the rap and hip hop artist being taken down too? The RIAA never sued black people for downloading and stealing music….its a dirty secret
    You mean they could no find people in Camden Detroit Gary Oakland Far Rockaway instead they find and prosecute fully someone in a Minnestota town with a 96% white population.