Google Is Now Removing Half-a-Million Infringing Urls… a Day

That’s according to the latest tallies shared by Google, a company now grappling with continued and massive ramp-ups in DMCA takedown demands.  At present, Google is now yanking more than 16.3 million infringing urls a month, with the RIAA and BPI among the biggest issuers of takedown demands.

All of which translates into 543,500 infringing urls per day, or roughly 6 urls per second.

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The question is whether Google can effectively slow this avalanche, and whether this forces an entirely different dialogue.  Google legal director (and former EFF crusader) Fred von Lohmann has publicly complained about possible encroachments on freedom of speech and information.  Google has even implemented caps on the number of takedown requests allowed, citing technical compliance and site performance problems.

At present, the takedowns appear to be having a very limited impact on piracy and infringing content availability.  Enter Kanye West, whose latest album, Yeezus, has been the subject of hundreds or even thousands of major label takedown requests.  Yet this is what a search for Yeezus torrents brings up, as of Monday morning.

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39 Responses

  1. GGG

    Taking down URLs to infringing sites is like taking pain killers for a broken bone. Not going to do much of anything except make yourself feel better for a little bit.

    • Visitor

      You obviously don’t have a clue…
      Takedowns are absolutely essential, especially in the first week.

      • GGG

        No, you obviously don’t have a clue, like I tell you every single time. How many people that pirate music do you think actually have to Google for torrent files? If you think more than a very insubstantial amount, you are incredibly naive. Maybe there’s a large number that google “so and so pirate bay” to save themselves a page of trouble, but very, very few people actually have to google for where to torrent.
        Mainstream piracy is not mainstream music fans. It’s Reddit, it’s 4chan, it’s Anonymous, it’s music nerds. It’s not your avg Justin Beiber or Katy Perry fans. They only top the piracy charts because regardless of the demos that steal music, those artists are still the most visible.
        Taking down a URL on google does NOTHING to stop any measurable amount of piracy. Oh, congrats, now all those links of page 7 of search results are gone! Great! Except for the fact that links at the bottom of page 1 barely get clicked, let alone anything after that.

        • Marmuro

          Your problem is that you actually think that you own the absolute truth about internet, digital music, streaming, etc…and even though your point of view is valid as any other, you’re constantly mistaken.

          Google has to do this takedowns for several reasons, knowing that they will keep coming, every second… it’s just legal, if they don’t do their homework over this, the machine collapses at one point. You can’t afford to tell anyone the type of users Pirate Bay has, you are absolutely clueless… did you know that most of physical CD buyers are most likely to have downloaded illegal content prior to their purchase?

          It’s like you work as a dishwasher in a restaurant and you get these piles of plates every hour. Thing is, no matter how much you clean and dry, they will keep coming. So a very mediocre action would be: “I quit, they just don’t stop coming!”.

          • GGG

            Baha, yea, because nobody asserts their opinion with as much conviction as I do on here…gimme a break. There are plenty of people just as vocal on here as I am. I guess you just agree with them.
            The rest of this doesn’t make any sense…Google “has” to do takedowns because they want people to see them as doing something and they have the resources to do so. Takedowns certainly don’t hurt anyone. I can’t afford to tell anyone…or google can’t? Not sure the point of that sentence. All the CD stat does is show people who pirate consume a more music than others, which is the fundemental idea I’ve pushed on here site since I started commenting, which is why most comments relate to Spotify/streaming.
            If a million Yeezus torrent urls go up everyday it doesn’t matter. Nobody clicks on google links past the first page, barely past the first 5 links on the first page. And those urls don’t actually take down the torrent, just the link. Which goes back to my point, how many pirates do you REALLY think have no idea where to get music?

          • Yves Villeneuve

            Agree. There are a lot of self-defeating pessimists here. No one claims to have the ability to eliminate piracy any more than the ability to eliminate shoplifting.
            However, forcing DMCA takedowns, scanning for infringers on torrent or P2P sites and imposing reasonable fines and education is a good way to significantly reduce bad behaviour.
            My barber does a google search and then clicks on one of those links. He is 50.
            Pirates may know where to go but not all know how or want to use a VPN. GGG obviously fails to mention this and will likely continue his rants that piracy cannot be minimized even though only a minority of pirates, though all Paedophiles, use a VPN. By the way, ISPs have the capacity to know everyone’s IP addresses, including those using a VPN. Law enforcement have the right to know who owns the car and police for everyone for infractions. The Internet does not give anyone immunity.
            As always, I’ll allow GGG to have the last word.

          • Yves Villeneuve

            Clarification: I’m not saying all pirates are paedophiles.

          • Visitor

            “I’m not saying all pirates are paedophiles.”
            Of course not.
            But pirates & pedophiles have a lot in common. That’s why they are allies.
            Here’s what the guy behind the Pirate Parties feels about violence against children:

          • GGG

            Shitty pop songwriters and prostitutes have a lot in common, as well.

          • Visitor

            “My barber does a google search and then clicks on one of those links.”
            Yes, this is the way mainstream piracy works in the real world.
            Google is the leading piracy search engine today.

          • GGG

            Yea, because your avg pirate is a 65 year old barber…
            You have both proved two of my points. Both of which are you have literally ZERO clue as to what the pirate community is like, demographically and behaviorally. I’m by no means an expert on pirating music, but next to you guys I look like fucking Einstein. Go visit some messageboards, communities, etc and go undercover. Gain some perspective and knowledge for once. You don’t have to steal anything, just go see the general mindset.

      • Tune Hunter

        I agree with Visitor. … and it looks like it is going in the right direction. To save time Google (YouTube) should list all original copyrighted music and media with purpuse to sale it after initial 30 seconds of enoyment. (I have rented a movie last weekend from You Tube for $2.99 – very refreshing!) At the same time they should hire Shazam for something purpusful and scrol thru all database every four hours for new postings identical with originals. It would automate all those removals prior to any forma complaint.

        • GGG

          How does removing a URL, but not the file or the website, stop any piracy? Removing a piratebay link from google does not remove the piratebay page. This does nothing to ACTUALLY stop piracy. Again, if you think your avg pirate has to google where to find a link to torrent a movie/album/whatever, you really need to learn more about the pirate community.

          • Marmuro

            It figures you know a lot about piracy… soooo, how you do it? In the end, you don’t own such websites or platforms where piracy developes its business… what would you do to stop it? I agree that users don’t need to Google in order to download illegal content, but portals such as theirs, need to avoid any legal responsability by not supporting these kind of operations… like a “not on my watch” statement.

          • GGG

            If Google wants to take down every link, fine, I’m all for it I guess. It still solves NOTHING, like you apparently agree with. People who pirate a lot of content know exaclty where to go. To stop piracy you’d have to actually take down the site or find a way to deter via IP fines or whatever. Which I’m on record plenty of times on here saying I’m fine with, too, except that the people that torrent know how to get around that. If lulzsec can hack the FBI and anonymous can take down gov’t sites of other countries, I think they can steal Daft Punk if they want.
            This is why I advocate streaming so much, while fully admitting it’s current shortcomings. It’s a middle ground concession that tries to bring money back into the unfortunate cultural mindset that music should be cheap or free.
            As to your first line, I’ve mentioned my experiences with piracy on here. There have been points of my life that I’ve spent way too much time on the internet haha, but one of the things I’ve learned during those times is how shit like this works, and how these communities think. But if you want to side with 45 year olds who couldn’t figure out how to torrent if their life depended on it, go for it. Our industry will do great! And while you’re at it, ask a kid who just passed freshman year biology to diagnose your next illness.

          • Visitor

            “There have been points of my life that I’ve spent way too much time on the internet haha”
            …stealing from your fellow DigitalMusicNews-readers, yes.
            You really think that’s funny?

          • GGG

            No, way to purposfully misinterpret what I said. See, there’s this thing called learning that happens when you interact with people, read articles, etc. I did enough of that that I gained an understanding of how and why piracy happens. The amount of music I’ve pirated is literally .1% of whatever you think it is, you self-righteous prick. You have clearly done very little of this, except regurgitate articles once in a while.
            You act like piracy is the only problem while you peddle your mindless, shallow music. You’ve prostituted yourself to writing and rewriting the same songs that do nothing to challenge art, culture or the human experience. You are just as much a stain on this industry as piracy.

          • Visitor

            “It figures you know a lot about piracy… soooo, how you do it?”
            GGG is a pirate and may not be the right person to ask.

          • GGG

            And here is the crux of the problem. You think answers for piracy should come from people like yourself, who know zero about piracy. Makes so much sense….

  2. matthew king kaufman

    this might be a game changer
    Internet provider AT&T has patented a new technology that allows the company to accurately track content being shared via BitTorrent and other P2P networks.

    • Visitor

      We need a hash fingerprinting system implemented at the ISP level that does this stuff (mostly) automatically.
      DMCA takedowns are a joke.

      • Pie Rate

        Point A: You need the entire file to calculate the hash. The ISP never has the entire file.
        Point B: Change one character in the metadata and the hash value changes.
        Terabyte disk drive swapping, anyone?

        • Visitor

          Point A: a national copyright registry (or even international WIPO registry) would be relatively easy to implement.
          Point B: there are many hash fingerprinting systems impervious to the kind of simple “one character” manipulations you mentioned.

          Try again.

          • Simple

            It sounds so simple to implement, one has to wonder why such things haven’t already been brought to fruition.

  3. zayno

    old dudes never gonna figure out they can’t win. give it up and adapt your model.

      • Typical Teenage Freetard

        “what model”
        Trying to exchange products for money? These dinosaurs need to adapt yo!

    • Visitor

      “old dudes never gonna figure out they can’t win. give it up and adapt your model.”
      Indeed, all these middle-aged old school pirates need to wake up.
      It ain’t 2003 anymore. The Piracy Decade is over.
      Get used to it.

      • Pirate

        You are….joking….right? It looks like it’s pretty damn far from over from where I’m standing.

      • Fatso

        It ain’t 1993 anymore. The MP3/CD Decade is over.

  4. Thedudeabidez

    The Kanye West example is a good one; most of the mega-upload type sites will immediately re-seed the content under a different URL once one is blocked, which leads to the cited “ineffectiveness” of takedowns. Yet instead of banning listings from sites that have repeated takedown requests filed against the same material, Google instead seeks to impose limits on those fairly seeking the removal of links to their own material which has been pirated.

    • Claire

      Right: why are there only limits on groups like BPI, not trackers and pirate sites?

  5. FarePlay

    4 ways to slow online piracy:
    1. Close the loophole called DMCA Take Down Notices.
    2. Track high profile (US) advertisers on pirate sites and publicly, mercileesly embarrass them.
    3. Create widespread public awareness for the economic peril our artistic community is experiencing.
    4. Enlighten fans to the importance of their support for artists’ survival.

    • GGG

      1. People can still do it if they want, they should just be aware it’s deterring proabably 1% max of would be pirates.
      2. I don’t think it’s too easy to shame MacKeeper, mail order Russian prides or find sexy singles now…
      3. That’s been going on for years and years and years. I think we can certainly break some more ground, but nobody cares about losing the arts like they do, say, a football team. Tech/apps are certainly making nerdom vastly more popular, but brawns over brains, personality over talent are still far too real in our (US) society.
      4. I think this is the key. Artists need to become a fan of their fans, so to speak. None of this “I’m above you” and/or “I’m some mysterious genius artist” bullshit. What artists need to realize, though, is that the internet has made finding niche, very specific artists very easy. It’s not a small group on radio anymore. It’s every person that uploads some shit to youtube and has a Facebook page. So you can’t expect to make millions. If you have 400 fans, don’t even expect to make an avg living on your music. You need to build a relationship and get thousands, and make them see you as someone worth supporting. Plenty of artists have done this, I’ve seen it firsthand many times.

      • FarePlay

        i refer to “high profile” US advertisers, I don’t think Russian Brides fits that category.
        Yes, sleazy advertisers will find their ad rates lowered, when American Express isn’t going there anymore.
        And slowing the revenue flow to online piracy sites is the goal. And eliminating the confusion that many experience when they go to a site and see an AMEX Ad and bad either.
        And yes, I agree it is about a respectful exchange between artist and fan that will make a difference………

      • Marmuro

        I totally disagreed with your post above, but in this one I totally support your comment, specially on 3 and 4.

  6. Michael Mtoba

    Just launched a project about a digital music service im about to unveil on indiegogo

  7. Visitor

    People, you have to realize that the time you spend on Facebook/Twitter should be allocated to SEO.
    Google is a criminal operation, yes. But it is not their fault that you can’t make your official website to rank properly.