[A2k] Internet piracy war intensifies as Google's takedown requests skyrocket

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 03:53:57 PDT 2013

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Internet piracy war intensifies as Google's takedown requests skyrocket 
by Jamie Hinks, 29 July, 2013

Google has had over 100 million requests so far this year to remove 
pages that infringe worldwide copyright laws.

The search engine has been engaged in significant efforts to reduce 
piracy and saw the number of requests skyrocket, with the total for 2013 
so far already double the amount it received for the whole of 2012.

'Takedown' requests are sent by and on behalf of copyright holders each 
week in order to try and limit the amount of copyrighted content online. 
The reports are made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 
as well as other related acts, and are usually done by third parties.

Those critical of the approach complain that a new URL is created almost 
as soon as one is taken down and another scheme needs to be devised that 
is more effective.

"As soon as you take down one page another pops up in its place," said 
Mark Mulligan, a technology analyst at Midia Consulting told the BBC. 
"It's like playing Whac-A-Mole."

Mulligan went on to explain the file sharing system is "very 
decentralised" and there is "no central server you can just shut down".

Most of the requests involve peer-to-peer sites and those offering links 
to torrent downloads are among the most prolific. The torrent community 
is another that doesn't think the current approach is an effective 

"This increase in requests is more about publishers putting pressure on 
Google to do more to tackle piracy," Ernesto van der Sar, editor of 
Torrentfreak.com, said. "If people want to pirate they can always find a 
way to do so."

Degban, a digital content protection specialist, is on the other side of 
the fence and sends Google around 300,000 requests for links to be 
removed each week on behalf of its clients.

Most of its requests are made on behalf of Froytal Services, a 
pornography producer, with various film studios and music industry 
bodies among those to submit the most requests.

Earlier this month, Google and a handful of tech giants teamed up with 
the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the White House to reduce 
the ad revenue that is funneled to sites involved in copyright infringement.

The move is in line with Google's previous assertion that following the 
money is the most effective way of combating illegal downloading.

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