Since January 2013, Google has received requests to remove more than 100 million links to web pages that are considered to be in breach of copyright laws.
This is proof that publishers are determined to stamp out internet piracy, especially when you consider that the number of requests has doubled compared to 2012.
However critics feel that this approach of removing links is flawed.
“As soon as you take down one page another pops up in its place,” says Mark Mulligan, a technology analyst at Midia Consulting. “It’s like playing Whac-A-Mole.”
“This is because file sharing has become very decentralised – there’s no central server you can just shut down.”
The editor of Torrentfreak.com, Ernesto van der Sar said that, “If people want to pirate they can always find a way to do so.”
Since 2012, Google has been publishing all its takedown requests in a Transparency Report. The number of requests has risen sharply, as right holders put the reporting system to its full use.
Most of the website domains are person-to-person file-sharing services, such as Fenopy.eu, extratorrent.com, torrenthound.com, filestube.com and bittorrent.com.
The major copyright owners that make the most takedown requests are the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), the Recording Industry Association of America and film studios, such as Warner Brothers.
A spokesperson for the BPI said: “BPI removes around one million links every week to music hosted on the internet without the artist’s knowledge or permission.
“This process is one of many initiatives undertaken by the industry to help to create breathing space for more than 70 legal music services in the UK that strive to promote and reward musicians.”
British internet providers were ordered to block access to EZTV and YIFY Torrents in a UK court ruling last week, after the sites were found to be carrying out internet piracy on a mass scale.
There is an increasing number of web sites that are now blocked to UK web users because they aid piracy. These include the Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, H33Y, Fenopy, Movie2K and Download4all.
[Image via ubergizmo]