Over the past year copyright holders have asked Google to remove 51,395,353 links to infringing webpages, a dramatic surge compared to previous years. The search giant is currently processing half a million “infringing” links per day, and this number is increasing week after week. At the same time, Hollywood and the major record labels want Google to increase its anti-piracy efforts.
In common with many other websites on the Internet Google has an obligation to remove infringing content upon receiving a valid DMCA request from copyright holders.
To give the public insight into the scope and nature of this process, Google started to publish all takedown requests online in their Transparency Report.
Since then, the number of URLs Google is being asked to remove has grown rapidly. Last week Google received takedown requests for a record-breaking 3,502,345 URLs, which is 15 times more than the amount received in January.
Google doesn’t report yearly figures, but we added up all the weekly reports and found that in 2012 Google was asked to remove 51,395,353 links to infringing webpages. Nearly all of these webpages are no longer showing up in Google’s search results.
The data further reveals the RIAA is the most active sender. The music group asked Google to remove links to 7,816,766 allegedly infringing webpages this year.
Looking at the websites that Google received the most takedown notices for, we see that the file-hosting search engine FilesTube tops the rankings with 2,273,280 links. While this is certainly a significant number, it’s less than one percent of all FilesTube pages indexed by Google.
Google was further asked to remove 554,613 links to The Pirate Bay, which puts the most notorious BitTorrent site in 16th place.