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British Music Copyright Group Wants 'Take Down, Stay Down' Google Policy

Posted by: , 18:21 AEDT, Mon March 28, 2016

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BPI wants Google to automatically remove links to illegal content it finds
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The BPI, the copyright lobby of the British music industry, wants Google to adopt a "take down, stay down" policy when it comes to removing links from search engine results.

The BPI is one of the most active groups in removing piracy links via Google's DMCA take-down process, having already asked for the removal of more than 200 million links. However, the group is rustrated with what seems to be an increasingly futile at removing piracy links, with many removed links simply duplicated in minutes with a different URL.

As such, the BPI now wants Google to adopt a "take down, stay down" policy, which means that instead of submitting a URL to illegal content, rights-holders like the BPI would only need to submit information about a piece of content (such as "7 Year by Lukas Graham"), and then it would be Google's job to hunt and remove all URLs offering an infringing copy of said content. This change would mean Google and other search engines would have to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to policing the Internet for illegal content.

Explaining the problem in their own words, the BPI says in a statement that, "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." Instead, the BPI's solution would mean that "once a piece of content has been notified for removal by the BPI, it isn’t indexed again for the same site and stays removed."

Google says they are already taking action against sites that frequently offer infringing content by demoting them in the search rankings, and that piracy sites do not actually rely on search engine referrals for most of their traffic.

"We've reviewed more than 80 million alleged links to pirated content in the last month alone, and we have refined our algorithm to demote sites that receive high numbers of copyright takedown requests," a spokesperson told the Guardian.

"But search is not the primary problem - all traffic from major search engines accounts for less than 16% of traffic to sites like The Pirate Bay."

Google has previously said that "take down, stay down" may have an "overreaching effect", and that de-listing entire sites could result in the "censorship of lawful material".


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