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Google DMCA Takedowns Rise 711,787 Percent in Four Years

Posted by: , 16:26 AEDT, Sat March 29, 2014

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The number of DMCA requests received by Google has increased by 7118 times from 2008 to 2012
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new paper has highlighted a dramatic jump in the number of DMCA takedown requests sent to tech companies such as Google and Twitter. The number of DMCA requests sent to Google, for example, went from 62 in 2008 to 441,370 in 2012, an increase of 711,787%.

And Twitter, launched in 2006, received 21 times as many DMCA requests in 2012 than in 2010.

DMCA takedown requests can be sent by rights holders whenever they detect infringing content on sites like Google or Twitter. Site operators then have to remove the content in questions temporarily while they pass on the notice to the person responsible for originally uploading the content, for them to appeal or file a counter-notice for reinstatment.

In recent years, Google and others have streamlined their DMCA takedown process at the behest of rights holders. At the same time, third party companies are now offering content scanning and notice filing services, often relying on occasionally unreliable automated methods to detect potential infringing content. These combined have led to the number of requests to explode exponentially, particularly in the last two years.

The study, titled 'The State of the Discordant Union', has found that not only has the number of notices increased, the number of claims and URL takedown requests have also dramatically increased per notice. 

"It is disturbing to see the trend where more claims and more takedown requests are packed into each takedown notice. Up until 2010, each notice contained only one claim. But in 2011, the average number of claims per notice is 2.18, and in 2012, this average is 5.05," writes Stanford Law School's Daniel Seng, the author of the paper.

Seng also notes that most of these notices were sent by a small handful of rights holders. In fact, only 5% of those that sent notices in 2012 have sent more than 10 notices. The RIAA and Microsoft are among the heaviest submitters, the former having requested the removal of an amazing 7.6 million URLs in 2012 alone. Adult entertainment company Froytal also requested the removal of more than 7 million URLs.

59% of takedown notices were sent by the music industry, compared to 1.4% for books, for example.

You can read the full report here.


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