Google Faces Government Scrutiny Over ‘Take Down, Stay Down’ Refusals

BPI Demands 'Notice And Stay Down' Piracy Policy From Google
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The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is insisting that Google reforms its ‘notice and take down’ procedure.

The BPI claims that it has reported 200 million links to infringing content on Google since July 2011.  The links were reported via Google’s ‘Notice And Take Down’ policy but were quickly replaced by other pirate links, often the same links.

The BPI is claiming that Google is not doing enough to combat this ongoing issue, and proposes a ‘Notice And Stay Down’ policy, which prevents the same link for the same site being indexed again.

If Google doesn’t conform to their proposal they will go through the British Government to force this upon them.

Google is heavily resistant to this move.  In December of last year, DMN first reported Google’s response to the ‘Take Down Stay Down’ petition.  Google’s copyright counsel Cédric Manara completely disregarded the idea that the campaign was a reasonable solution, and curtly concluded that the ‘Take down Stay down’ system is “not a solution and just does not work.”

In a formal statement, the BPI is now blasting back.  ”Illegal results that are taken down by Google are frequently replaced by other illegal links, which means that legal services continue to be overshadowed by infringing sites in the very top search results,” the group stated.

”This damaging situation can only be remedied by Google themselves changing strategy and pro-actively pursuing a ‘notice and stay down’ approach.”

The issue of pirated content on the internet has been a long-standing issue.  Though steps have been taken to remove the content, there hasn’t been any policy to actively prevent future content from appearing.  Content can typically be taken down from Google, but almost never removed.

An alternative, ‘stay down’ approach would rapidly change behavior.  If people knew that uploading pirate links would not only result in a takedown, but also prevent that content from being re-loaded, the piracy landscape would start to change.  It would take a lot more effort and a lot more time for them to keep creating links to stolen material.

Hearing the argument and the imbalance in term, the British Government has stepped in to try to reach a ”voluntary agreement”.  The timescale for a mutual agreement between Google and the BPI is unknown.


(Image by Pixaby, Creative Commons CC0, Public domain)

6 Responses

  1. Ballstone the greater

    Honestly, I am tired of receiving false DMCA takedown requests in Google’s webmaster tools. It is plainly harassment. As a publisher I have no interest in giving out my info via Google’s rebuttal process.

    The headline is misleading here. Google is not facing government scrutiny, they are facing scrutiny from individuals who feel entitled to censor others.

    Maybe it would not look so bad if the parties involved were somewhat competent in their DMCA spamming. As it stands they send DMCA takedown requests indiscriminately.

    • Anonymous

      Oh bull.

      Google will do whatever it takes to avoid this scenario, as they make too much money from piracy to go down without a fight.

    • FarePlay

      Ballstone. I’m guessing you’re a fiction writer?

      While some notable false negatives generate headlines, the occurrence of this type of error is actually quite rare.

      A study that analyzed the number of section 512 notices sent by the U.S. film industry during six months in 2013, found that of the 25 million notices these companies sent, the relevant online intermediary only received eight counter notices.

      A more recent review of the notices sent to Twitter shows a similarly low numbers of counter notices. From July to December 2015, Twitter received 35,000 notices, but only 121 counter notices.

      And during the prior six months, Twitter received 18,000 notices and only 27 counter notices.14

      • Ballstone the greater

        I’ve received thousands of false DMCA notices, and I have no intention of filing a counterclaim. The statistics you quote ignore the unseen cases. The counter-claim process is not worth it for most users.

        On occasion I will directly contact the DMCA mills responsible for the false claims. This almost never resolves the issue. This is completely irresponsible.

        Before DMCA spammers ask for more authority to censor, perhaps it would be better if they exercised their existing powers more responsibly.

  2. Mellow out or you will pay!

    Government scrutiny eh? Horrifying!